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So you think you want to marry a farmer?

CeeLee Photography, Hoopeston, Ill Darren and Kendall Riskedal wedding
WEDDING BLISS: Darren and Kendall (Herren) Riskedal were married in August on Kendall’s family farm near Sheridan, Ill. Thanks to CeeLee Photography, Hoopeston, Ill., for allowing use of this photo.
Joy’s Reflections: Here is advice for any young lady who’s in love with a farm boy.

“If you marry a farmer, you can expect to also be married to a slice of land. You can expect that your man will not only be committed to his job, but also be in a relationship with it that is so deep and complex that you’ll find the three of you dwell together much more harmoniously if you attempt to see all the tremendous blessings throughout the seasons and years.”

That’s my summed-up advice for a new bride preparing to take the journey with her farmer-husband. I’m certain that one day she will take inventory and consider herself one fortunate woman.

He’s going to be busy. He’s going to work ridiculous hours for three seasons of the year. He’s going to be showing his children what a good work ethic looks like. He’s going to be devoted to making straight rows in the spring, and at just the precise time, he’ll be forging through those same rows in the fall.

What other job of his would allow you to ride along or work alongside him? What other job would bring opportunities to operate implements and machinery most women don’t even know exists?

You will be surprised at how much your farmer knows. Your children will learn about biology, science, the reality of life and death, and all the cycles in between. Their ongoing classroom will never be dull or boring, and it will birth in them an appreciation for miracles most people never get an opportunity to experience.

2-way street
Your farmer is going to need you. You might be working just as hard as he is, keeping the same long hours — maybe even more so when there are kids involved. But he’s going to appreciate some understanding, cooperation, compromise … because sometimes you can’t wait, because the weather won’t let you. Calving doesn’t always happen when it’s convenient. Equipment breaks down — all the time.

He needs to hear that you think he’s a stud sitting in his truck or on the tractor seat. He needs to hear you say how proud you are of him and to teach that ongoing respect to your children. Of course, he’s not perfect, but he is your farmer.

You’re going to discover that you have ready-made romantic backdrops like the sun slipping over the fields on a summer evening. Hushed and dimly lit nights in a barn present the perfect time and place to talk. Rainy days and winter stretches might bring freedom to steal away or take a nap — something you don’t get with a regular 9-to-5 job.

It’s every day and all day that make up a farm life. It’s a way of a people that you’ll learn to love and long for if you’re ever away from it for any length of time.

It’s a community of co-ops and Farm Bureaus, Extension agents, 4-H and fairs, grain elevators, fertilizer and seed distributors, and men and women who are passionate about what they do with a fiber that’s woven with honest work, commitment and a passion for feeding the world. It’s hard and it’s wonderful, and it’s a glorious way of life that you won’t regret.

McClain writes from Greenwood, Ind. She is a farmer’s daughter!

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