In the interest of full disclosure, I did not grow up on a farm. I did not grow up surrounded by farms. And I did not grow up planning to be a farmer. The nearest dairy farm was 60 miles away and across two bridges from the perfectly manicured lawns of my suburbia.
When Chris and I started farming I had every intention of being the farmer he was. Five years later, I have learned many things, including that I am not the farmer.
Can I milk cows? Absolutely. Can I check cows? Sure. Move pasture fence? Yes. Do I run screaming from our chickens because they look like baby dinosaurs? Maybe…Am I able to perform routine animal care on our animals? Not without supervision, and even then, I would rather not. Do I like to get up at 5:30? Absolutely not.
I can run the farm alone for a few days. I can give our animals the same care he does. But my strengths are better used in paying the bills, managing our website, keeping the business side of our business running. I’m happier coming in from chores 20 minutes earlier and getting dinner ready than I am cleaning up the milk house. I can be the farmer that Chris is, but it doesn’t serve the best interests of the farm for me to be so. The role I have settled into is one of a farm wife.
While I hate the term, it fits. FarmHer sounds silly to me. Woman of agriculture is too long for everyday use. Dairy girl makes this fully grown woman feel small. Farmer is inaccurate.
As I have grown into my role, I have met some exceptional farm women from around the country. We all do it differently, but we all do it. We support our family, our farm, and our communities. We can all choose our own titles, but, for me, I will stick with farm wife because that is the quickest way to say: my husband and I have a farm, I work in town, manage farm finances, take care of our daughter, run our CSA, and do most of the administrativia.