PEPPER PIKE, Ohio — We have all heard the expression “love at first sight,” but what about “love at first (dating) site?”
Dave knew from the moment he ended his first phone conversation with Alicia she was the woman he would marry. Alicia was the first person he met on FarmersOnly.com, a dating site for farmers, ranchers and country folks. And FarmersOnly was the first and only site he joined.
A college graduate with a degree in agriculture, Dave is a full-time produce farmer from western Pennsylvania. He is now a partner in a fourth generation family farm and lives in a small town with barely 1,000 people.
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Despite the farm’s proximity to Pittsburgh, Dave found it hard to date anyone from the city.
“Every girl I dated did not understand my lifestyle, my hours or my work,” says Dave.
As anyone in agriculture knows, farmers work from dawn until dusk, or longer, every day, and for most of them, farming is not just their livelihood. It’s their way of life. It’s a crucial part of their values: hard work, integrity, serving the needs of others, and staying connected to the land.
Late one night, after another exhausting and fulfilling day of work on the farm, Dave saw a commercial for FarmersOnly.com.
“It just blew my mind! I never would have thought there would be a dating site for farmers. I told myself, ‘I’ve got to check this out!'”
FarmersOnly.com was founded in 2005 by Jerry Miller, an advertising executive in the agriculture industry.
Miller’s close friend, a farmer, could not relate to the people on mainstream dating sites and was about to give up on finding love. Miller recognized that this problem was true for farmers all across the country.
FarmersOnly.com now boasts over 1 million users. It’s tagline is “City folks just don’t get it!”
Alicia is a farmer’s daughter, and was raised on a beef, hog and grain farm in a small town in southern Ohio. After graduating from college, she returned home to obtain a degree in nursing.
“I was faced with the fact that I was moving back home, and back home dating was an absolute nightmare. The pool was very small, but I did want to marry a farmer.”
So Alicia did what all of us now do when we face major life decisions. She searched Google.
“I went to Google and typed in ‘I want to date a farmer.’ I found FarmersOnly and I joined. It was that simple.”
A few days later, Alicia received a flirt: “You have a great profile.” It was from Dave.
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Dave and Alicia spent weeks talking for hours on end. Because of his farm work, this meant Dave had to talk to the woman of his dreams until 3 a.m. and wake up again at 5 a.m. to start his work day.
After two months, Dave decided it was finally time to make the trip to southern Ohio and meet Alicia in person. Dave met Alicia and her entire family upon his arrival.
For their first date, Alicia took Dave on a hike through the pasture to look for the cattle. Of course, if she wanted to find the cattle, she could have just called them in with a bucket of grain. “Whoops!” Alicia laughs.
Alicia’s father was very apprehensive about the whole idea.
“My dad was terrified about me meeting this guy I had found online.”
After meeting Dave and concluding he was who he said he was, her father’s tone changed.
After Dave left, Alicia’s father told her, “Now, Alicia, I don’t want you dating this guy just because your mother and I really like him.”
“Dad, how about I date him because I really like him?” she responded.
The second time they met, Alicia had a break from school and drove the eight hours to stay for a week on Dave’s farm. It was August, and Dave was in the middle of his busiest time of the year.
Dave told Alicia, “You realize that I am not going to be able to spend that much time with you, right? You pretty much are going to have to be my sidekick, working on the farm.”
“We were on the back of a tractor planting zucchini and he was talking to me about his family,” says Alicia.
“And just as a side comment he tells me ‘Oh, ya, and just so you know, I tell everyone that you are my girlfriend.
I hope that is okay with you.’ So that was the start of our relationship.”
It came down to a big decision shortly after that.
“I had already paid to take the nursing boards at home in Ohio. So my choice was to take the boards, sign a contract and be stuck in Ohio, or I could transfer my boards to Pennsylvania and move, without a job, without friends, without family, in the middle of Dave’s busy season — all for a guy that I had only met twice.”
“It’s either going to make or break us. Let’s do it!” said Dave.
So they moved Alicia to Pennsylvania in just one day. In April 2013, Dave finally popped the big question.
“Will you be my best friend for the rest of my life?” Alicia replied, “Only if you will be mine.”
The couple were married this January. The reception was at a local barn. They danced their first dance to the song Loving You is Fun,” by Easton Corbin.
Dave and Alicia join the growing community of farmers, ranchers and country folks who have found love on FarmersOnly in small towns across the U.S.
According to the FarmersOnly.com blog, where many more similar success stories are posted, FarmersOnly is now responsible for more than two marriages every week of the year.