Do not marry a farmer

Friday, 13 November, 2020

By Johann Muldoon McCloskey


Do not marry a farmer they said,

He will never be about.

Only interested in the price of cattle feed,

And the weather, it’s all they want to know about.

Do not marry a farmer they said,

It is not the life for you.

You'll be bored and unsettled,

And ultimately repentant, and that was not for me.


So instead I married a man fluent in banking,

Investments and shares.

A man who could innovate and foresee new advances,

Allowing us to take informed chances.

Do not marry a farmer they laughed

Unless you like calving cows.

Unless you like baking apples,

And wellies are your closet attire.

Farmers, they said, will not spend money,

Unless it is for a tractor or a plough.

They are only interested in land or the price of a pedigree cow,

Silage or slurry will be your main conversations and forget anything remotely intellectual.


So instead I married a business man with an entrepreneurial foresight,

He studies the markets, global fluctuations and the direction of nations.

He cares for our children, he was there at their birth, he even takes them to his work,

He teaches them lessons and life skills, instilling independence, away from dreaded iPads.

Do not marry a farmer they cried,

For you are not suited to that farming life,

Not destined to be a farmer’s wife.


So instead I married a man well-travelled and read,

Driven and motivated and supportive instead.

He invents new machines and gates and the like,

Is an expert in genetics and post-natal care, and he is always there.

Do not marry a farmer they repeated just once or twice,

I listened intently to those words they would echo.

Analysing and considering the implications,

Which were many.

Do not marry a farmer was strong advice,

But it was singular and misguided and lacked an understanding of the life.

Of the people who live it and the skills they possess,

Of their intellect and ability and the detail of life.

So instead against the advice,

I became a farmer’s wife.

Dunlop’s are outside the door in our hall,

Although I will not be calving many cows, baking or sewing.


I decided instead that a man who was clever, interesting and kind,

Who could manage our family whilst keeping his business in line.

Who was diverse and well-travelled, clever and smart was a better route to follow,

So I ignored all the advice, which knew little about a farmer and his life.

So when I hear the statement about marrying 'well',

My story is quite different and so is my advice.

I would not tell them how it might be,

I simply tell them how it is for my farmer and me.