But for these rural couples, FarmersOnly. I know her through email only, and she knows her husband, a man named Matt, because of the dating site FarmersOnly. We seemed to have a lot in common and talked by phone for hours. I lived in remote central Montana, and he lived an hour drive away in Nebraska.
Instead, I have several part-time gigs, along with motherhood — i. I knew the workload would increase for me — moving cows to cornstalks, feeding bulls and replacement heifers and trying to prepare for winter. The quirky ads seemed somewhat out of place during flashy post-season commercial breaks of a national TV event.
Ads typical of FarmersOnly depict a farmer-rancher or otherwise down-to-earth kind of a guy taking a city girl on a date going fishing, horseback riding, etc. After all, Yankeedom and The Left Coast never seem to get the rural picture quite right. The look of the site appeals to the jeans-and-flannel bloc, a people more or less located everywhere but owing their heritage to the bucolic Atlantic Tidewater, to the Deep South, through Greater Appalachia, the Midlands and to the Far West.
The welcome page opens to an image of a traditional marriage: It exudes classic Americana though FarmersOnly has enjoyed a surprising amount of Canadian press, too. Blue jeans and starched shirt required. The clipart is kitschy and tiny. The site is about as sexy as an agricultural commodities futures page. Users have access to the basic profiles of contenders, including their bio.
That said, when it comes to love, Miller is far more inclusive than the common city slicker. From the Guardian piece: Miller himself bucks one stereotype of rural people. His website is for all rural dwellers, including gay and lesbian ones. It seems the days of Brokeback Mountain are long gone. My cousin Calvin was the first person I knew in my small-town community in western Kansas who dated someone online.
He wears overalls, just like he always has. He started dating online in the very early s, meaning Calvin was an internet pioneer. She Carol answered his emails, and at some point, she decided to move here from the Rockies, and they married. She brought her daughter, and they were having the time of their lives. They even adopted four sibling orphans from the Carolinas and brought them to the middle-of-nowhere Kansas to live on the farm and help Calvin with his cows.
Then, as tragically as possible, Carol died of cancer three years later, age The whole thing was maybe five years. The most painful kind. The pastor, myself and the boy closest to my age walked along the sun-bleached barns and cattle pens, completely hopeless. That, of course, is nuts. Online dating was made for someone just like Calvin. Most of the kids did some prison time at one point or another. Last September, Jerry Miller told the Future of Agriculture podcast that the inspiration for starting FarmersOnly in — a year after the launch of OkCupid — was based on the emotional stories he heard when talking to farmers about their experiences in dating.
He danced and carried on until the women there asked him what he did for a living, and they laughed him out of town when he told them he was a farm boy. It really disgusted me hearing this story. Soon, Newsweek got ahold of it, USA Today did a cover story and Miller started making the rounds on the talk-show circuit. The TV audience of mostly city-dwellers laughed, cried or completely dismissed the story about lonely farmers finding one another.
Miller laughed right back at them: Until a couple of years ago, I inhabited a city, Chicago, where more people resided on my block than the entire county where I live today — the middle of the vast empire of dust and wind between Kansas City and Denver.
My wife is an import from a more populous part of Kansas. Her hometown is 10 times the size of mine, yet both of them are barely blips on the map. The tiny wind-battered town of 1, is called Dighton, in the west central stretch of the Kansas flats, 90 miles from the Colorado border.
I used to tell people I could see the flames of hell from my house. But mostly, I can just see about three miles in the distance before the curvature of the earth cuts off the view.
The community exists to support the export economies of cattle and small grains like wheat and sorghum. The county seat is a minute ride in my pickup truck. The town has the basics of what we need to be connected with the rest of the world — an internet provider, a bank and a post office. There are so few people here that you could say the solitude connects us. They have to be able to make shit happen, e. Working rural pairs see each other as a piece of their version of the often high-debt, low-gains life of commercial agriculture.
Or they once taught you math. In short, the list is lean in the country. Plus, social differences are amplified in dating for people who, by way of geography and population density, spend a great deal more time by themselves.
When you work in an office or restaurant in a city, you can clock out of work, cross a street and find yourself in a dating situation in two minutes if you like. In other words, I believe Miller when he says FarmersOnly has 6 million active members. The worst you get is a collection of people who also heard the twangy call of the country. Who gives a shit what you call it?