THEY come from Texas, Wyoming, California, Vermont and Columbus. They’re grandparents, college students and single parents. They have alpacas and Holsteins, organic fruit and 3,500 acres. Some like John Deere, others prefer horses and four-wheelers.
These people are different in so many ways, but two things tie them together: They like the country life, and they are sick of being single.
Finding each other out in that big, busy world has been hard, though. Until now.
Farmersonly.com. Jerry Miller had been married 27 years and didn’t know the first thing about online dating. But when a woman he met through his Cleveland-based advertising agency for the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association said she was having trouble, he took notice.
She had turned to the Internet to find men but none of them understood what it was like to farm, she complained to Miller.
His curiosity piqued, he started digging. For six months he delved into the online dating world and finally concluded there was no help for her. None of the sites was exclusively devoted to farmers or ranchers, Miller said.
So he developed one on his own – www.farmersonly.com.
Fitting a need. Although the woman couldn’t find anyone who understood her on the other dating sites, there are more than enough eligible farmers here.
“I don’t meet a lot of people out here on the farm, so I’m looking for that special woman who understands the farm life!” writes a 25-year-old from California.
“I am a single guy looking for a single woman. But she has to like milking cows, and living in the country,” says a Minnesota dairy farmer.
“I’m just a hard working farm boy looking for a nice girl to go to the fair with!” writes a man who goes by milkman80.
Farmers need a site like this more than anyone, Miller said.
It’s harder for people in the country to meet someone, he said, simply because there aren’t as many people around.
City folks work in big companies, have more places for entertainment and meet more people. But many farmers are in small towns where they’re stuck dating someone from high school or the next town over.
“If that doesn’t work out, then you’re in trouble,” he said.
Plus, they have to find someone who enjoys – and just as importantly, understands – the rural lifestyle.
But on this Web site, it isn’t a problem.
Screen names like jerseycowlover, ATVgurl, DairymansDaughter, deereboy, milker, winemaker, and JDeere24-7 fill the more than 700 postings.
And their headlines say it all: Countryboy seeking Countrygirl, Dairy Man At Heart, have tractor need rider/driver.
Back to the country. This isn’t just for farmers. It’s also for men and women who prefer a quieter life, spending time in the country and being outdoors.
This theme is especially heavy in the almost 400 women’s postings.
“In Northern NJ, yes we do have farms here. I just dont have one yet. Searchin for the cowboy to build one with,” says a 36-year-old New Jersey woman under the headline “Misplaced Cowgirl seeks Cowboy.”
CountryintheCity writes in her profile, “I am a farm girl making her way in the city – but would love to be back where I belong.”
Up and up. Farmersonly.com started in May and it took a month for the first 20 people to sign on, Miller said. But since then, the site has multiplied each week, sometimes daily.
And the more people who log on, the more likely it is that they’ll find their match, he said.
As one farmers says, “I am just a good ole country boy looking for a good ole country girl to have a little fun with and get to know better.”
Miller hopes he’ll find her here.
(Reporter Kristy Hebert welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419, ext. 23 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
* * *