Reality tv is everywhere. Like it or not it’s there and it’s something a lot of people are obsessed with. I won’t lie I’ve always been one to watch the Bachelor and Bachelorette —not exactly sure why I continue to, but I do.
However, when flipping through the channels the other night “Real Housewives of Orange County” popped up. I didn’t watch it that night but I had listened to an episode while cleaning the kitchen one day (one of the kids was asleep on the floor and I didn’t want to risk waking them up by changing it). Seeing that on the screen though triggered something in my weird mind. I wondered what it would be like if a film crew followed a group of farm wives or moms around and called it the “Real Farmwives of Rural America”.
The real show is filled with dramatic scenes, makeup, hair and alcohol. I guess all things that make up reality tv.
But what would it look like if a crew followed a group of farm women around, on a daily basis?
First off you wouldn’t find women decked in designer clothing and makeup caked on their face. You would find women in suitable attire for the current season. Flannel, work boots, gloves–their hair pulled back in a ball cap or stocking cap.
You wouldn’t find them spending their days at a spa or shopping until they drop. Instead, you would see them waking up at the crack of dawn–getting their kids fed and on the school bus then tending to the livestock and crop–or in some cases headed into work their full or part time job in town. They do say behind every successful farmer is a woman who works in town. Those that do work in town or somewhere off the farm will come home after getting off to take care of their kids and whatever needs to be done on the farm.
You won’t find these women in BMW’s, Limos or Lexus’. You may find them in an older farm truck that smells like silage and cow manure. You may find them in an SUV that can also double as a parts truck for their farm because it’s carried more parts for repairs then it has people. Or you may find them in a truck that the contents of the back of their trucks makes you think they are in the rodeo business. In my case you find a truck with two car seats, pounds of dirt and manure, various farm supplies rolling around on the floor board and enough crumbs to feed a family of four.
Their weekends won’t consist of costly nights out or fun vacations. It may consist of preparing an enormous amount of meals that will be easy to transport to the men in the field during planting or harvest. It may consist of dragging the kids out of the bed at all times of the day or night to check on heifers calving. It may consist of running to the feed store to pick up feed or doing the grocery shopping with kids in tow. Or it could simply be enjoying a fire and watching the sun set over their farm.
I have nothing against the women on the real show. Everyone is entitled to live the life they want and that is the life they live.
I often what the people who have long passed would think or how they would react if they awoke one morning and were tossed into todays world. It’s mind-blowing the amount of change that has occurred over the years. Heck, just from the time I’ve graduated high school to where I am now I am amazed. It is troubling the types of things that are okay in todays society that weren’t in years past.
I think as farm women or just moms in rural America we can be seen as living a boring life. We live in areas where it takes an hour plus to get to a town large enough to have a selection for shopping. We spend our days working hard to provide for our family beside our husbands or in some cases on our own.
I’ve recently become obsessed with the show Farmher on RFDTV. If you haven’t seen it you should check it out. You can check them out here—>FarmHer Website
A woman named Marji has started this brand to update the image of agriculture and shine the light on women in agriculture. This show has inspired me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. To know there are women out there who are strong enough to run farms, start farms, and stand up for agriculture. I guess in a way this is the show that shares with the world the Farm/Ranch Wives of the agriculture industry. I have added multiple of these women on snapchat and it’s so fun to follow them on their everyday adventures.
One woman in particular Meredith Bernard who has a blog, a photography business, and home schools her children on top of the everyday farm duties. Her blog can be seen here —>Meredith Bernard. I love following her story. I love following her mishaps and daily struggles as I can relate to her in so many ways. I think it is great that technology can unite and be a way of connecting with other women around the country.
I guess in my mind if you followed a group of farm women on a daily basis and created a reality show you would find women devoted to their faith, their family, and their farm. You would see women who struggle and continue to go on for the sake of their family. You find women who aren’t afraid to share with consumers at the grocery store why they shouldn’t be scared of GMOs or non organic products. You would see women who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and play their role on the farm. I think the key thing you would find is women who instead of breaking each other down, you would find women who build each other up.
We have so much in common. We all struggle during harvest and planting season because we basically become single moms. We all have to deal with explaining death of animals and the process of reproduction to our children. We have to pull corn and soybeans out of the washer during harvest. We have to know that our men want to be there at events that they often have to miss due to their job. We have to realize family vacations may not ever happen because livestock have to be tended to. We have to settle with date nights in tractor cabs. Most of all, we have to realize we have each other. We are one big community of women across the country that have so much in common.
So, no our show might not be as exciting as the Real Wives of Whatever County or City. One thing for sure is that our show will be REAL. We are real people living a fulfilling life feeding the world.
So to all the other farm women reading this—know our life may not be as fancy as most–but it’s still as fun filled, exciting, and wonderful. We witness the birth of baby calves. We witness our corn crop poking up out of the ground and being harvested in the fall. We witness our babies learning about the realities of life and building strong work ethics. We witness the magic of feeding the world. In my eyes, we witness the best life there is to raise a family in.
So fellow farm women……..
We may not be fancy. We may struggle to keep it all together. We may have dirty hands and hair that hasn’t been washed in days under a ball cap (or maybe that’s just me). We may spend more time at the parts store then we do with our kids at the park like other moms. People may think we are single because our men are never around. We may think we are doing a crappy job because you feel like all your attention gets poured into the farm instead of your kids. You may get aggravated at a consumer who bases their judgement on misleading information. You may feel alone and overwhelmed (maybe that’s just me too). Just know though…… you aren’t.
All across America you will find women just like you. All taking part in the reality show of farm life. Keep on keeping on. We are all alike no matter how far away from each other we may be. We should use resources like snapchat, Instagram, facebook and twitter. The closest we may ever get to having our own reality show is FarmHer…..and that is fine by me. Their crew has done an amazing job empowering women and shining the light on women in the industry.
So no I don’t think E, USA, or Bravo are going to pick up a show called “Real Farmwives of Rural America” but I do know FarmHer is a great step in the right direction of showing America how much women do contribute to the agriculture industry.
P.s. Follow me on snap chat at britlyn88 and on twitter at WilbanksfarmHER
Very well written as usual Brittany!
Amen and amen!!! Everything you said is true…and I chuckled at the “seems like we are single” statement, along with the everyday hat wearing. Here here!!! I’m so glad the interwebs has brought people like you in my life, too. Reminding me I’m not alone and we are all in this together. Thank you for sharing your story (and part of mine!) I’m so touched. xoxoxxo
As always, a wonderful read! Nice work Brit!!