Marrying my farmer 10 years ago was by far one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made in life, but having not grown up on a working cattle farm, I was ill-equipped for what was to come. So here’s to you other farmers’ wives just getting started on this wonderful, sometimes stressful, different lifestyle.
1. Cook a good meal every night, but don’t expect your farmer to be there when it comes off the stove.
Calves go through fences and bulls are stubborn and so your farmer will be happy to eat a full meal just as soon as he gets things settled with the livestock.
2. Have a door you can close to your laundry room.
The smell of manure and diesel fuel has a way of seeping into clothes unlike anything you can imagine. That smell will permeate throughout your home. And don’t be surprised if after you’ve washed those clothes on the two rinse cycle and dried them with a dryer sheet if they (and your dryer) still smell like diesel.
3. Keep your muck boots close at hand at all times (along with your cell phone).
At any moment you will receive a text needing help getting a calf in the barn or needing a gate held open. It doesn’t matter if you’re in pajamas or not. It’ll only matter how fast you can move in those muck boots.
4. Develop a good system for storing farm receipts for tax season.
If your farmer is left to his own ways, you’ll be collecting greasy, muddy, crumbled, faded farm receipts from cup holders and glove boxes for days and reading those months later will prove to be nearly impossible.
5. Be ready for a detour to the local farm store.
Any trip to town isn’t just for your hair appointment or groceries. It will also likely come with a phone call to go to the local farm store for something you never knew existed. You will ask a sales clerk for this mystery item that feels like you are speaking in code and they will know exactly what you’re talking about, except such said item comes in three different varieties. You’ll have to call your farmer three times (he’s on a tractor, of course) while standing in front of the clerk to ask which one he really needs to only get frustrated and pass the phone to the clerk to work it out.
6. Download a good weather app.
The weather is checked multiple times a day and your weather app will be compared to his and a debate will ensue as to which app is usually more accurate.
But most importantly be prepared for your farmer who’s been up since sun break to come in at evening and share with you the joys of new spring calves being born, the excitement of the first hay crop, and his excitement of his newest farming endeavor that he wants you to be a part of. There’s no other life like it and I wouldn’t change a thing.