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Support your partner this planting season

Hoosier Perspectives: Here are five ways to stay connected with your partner during a hectic spring.

Allison Lund

April 22, 2024

3 Min Read
A family with young children walking between a grain storage facility
FAMILY FIRST: Don’t lose sight of your partner and children this planting season. Find some ways to connect and stay on the same page to make the transition to a busy spring easier. Betty Haynes

A message I’ve seen floating around lately is the idea of giving people a little grace. During planting season, I think this rings true more than ever, especially for farm couples. It can be easy to get caught up in the moment and lose sight of those important relationships.

Those busy seasons can lead to unintended arguments, miscommunications and disconnect in farm marriages and relationships with other family members. And while everyone in the family understands that planting season calls for an extra dose of patience and understanding, those tense situations still arise.

Although I’m not yet married, over the last few planting and harvest seasons, my farmer fiance and I have figured out some key practices for staying connected during some of those busiest times of the year. Here are five ways that I believe help promote a positive environment during planting season:

1. Communicate often. While it’s not possible to answer every phone call or text immediately, or even within the hour, during planting season, it is important to relay simple messages when you have a free moment. A quick check-in can keep everyone on the same page, and it shows your partner that you appreciate their patience.

2. Build a solid routine. Although farming is unpredictable, a solid routine at home can make it easier to manage the unexpected. Keeping a calendar with kids’ schedules, planned grocery trips, meals for the week and visits to town can help couples and families build a foundation for their routine that will keep them on track during planting season.

3. Make moments together special. When you do have a chance to spend some time with your partner, it’s important to find ways to maximize that limited time. For me, that means making a sweet treat or nice meal for my fiance. If I don’t have time for that, it could come in the form of picking a movie to watch together and making some popcorn. Simple gestures can help make the most of those few moments together during the busy spring.

4. Understand your partner’s job. If your partner has an off-farm job, take the time to learn more about what’s on their plate during planting season. It may be a busy time for them also, so showing them that you care about what they’re dealing with can cultivate more understanding and patience between both of you.

5. Plan something for later. Looking past planting season and finding something fun to do with your partner can help you both stay patient and focused during planting. For me and my fiance, our fun event to look forward to is a day trip to the zoo. As silly as it might sound, knowing that we have that day coming up right around the corner helps us stay patient and know we’ll get a chance to do something different and exciting when the crop is in the ground. It’s almost like a light at the end of the tunnel.

I have so much to learn, and I know that my advice may shift after a few years of marriage. Additionally, different practices work for different farm couples; no two couples are the same! Take what you think could help and see what happens. Most importantly, give your partner and your family some grace during this planting season.

About the Author(s)

Allison Lund

Allison Lund is a staff writer for Indiana Prairie Farmer. She graduated from Purdue University with a major in agricultural communications and a minor in crop science. She served as president of Purdue’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. In 2022, she received the American FFA Degree. 

Lund grew up on a cash grain farm in south-central Wisconsin, where the primary crops were corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Her family also raised chewing tobacco and Hereford cattle. She spent most of her time helping with the tobacco crop in the summer and raising Boer goats for FFA projects. 

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