When soft-spoken chaplain Keith Ineson started a gay farmer’s helpline in the Cheshire countryside, he expected the worst. And yet, after three years, 40 radio interviews, and dozens of stories in the local, national, and church press, Ineson has received only 13 negative reactions. The average kitten video on You Tube earns more vitriol.
“Rural England is quite a few years behind in terms of progressiveness,” he said.
A divorced, female friend was having trouble meeting men while working long hours on her farm, and found suitors on other dating websites didn't have a clue about what her life was like.
Miller started promoting his new business with flyers at feed stores.
Which was ironic, because my friends exclusively identified him as “The Farmer.” There’s a lot of romanticizing that happens around the idea of being a farmer — hell, enough so that betrothed couples across the country are banging down the barn door to get married on mist-laden agrarian dreamscapes.
We talked a fair amount about his farm, roughly two hours from the city, but it always felt like it existed in a sort of alternate universe that didn’t have anything to do with the one in which we drank beers at pool bars.
And as young people tend to be discouraged from the long, hard, and not exactly lucrative work of farming, the average age of the American farmer is only rising.
As farms have disappeared and consolidated across the country, small towns are clearing out in favor of big cities — shrinking the rural dating pool considerably.
But when the shit hits the fan and I’m working 70-80 hours a week, all the time, and I’m not around, it gets hard.” In the agricultural world, the standard challenges of finding one’s soulmate are only compounded by the fact that the number of farmers in the United States has greatly diminished.
For a man who remembers when being gay was a crime, the overwhelming support has been a bellwether.
“I suppose I didn’t realize just how far we’ve come,” Ineson said.
Relationships often started through YFCs and colleges.
Those from outside farming backgrounds need a willingness to learn and understanding that the farm always comes first.
Daniel Seitz was at home on his family's farm in southeastern Saskatchewan, watching a TV agriculture report, when an ad popped up on the screen and tugged at his lonely heart.