The High Tech Dating Game

I thought I had seen it all, but now there is a matchmaker Web site for isolated single farmers. You may laugh at this, but it’s a serious issue facing the sustainability of many agricultural and rural businesses.

In my seminars I often discuss that when a person hires an individual they directly or indirectly hire the spouse also. As farms and ranches become larger and more isolated, these are some of the major issues now being discussed in farm family business meetings and lender strategic planning sessions.

Recently I was conducting a seminar in Kansas where I met a crop farmer who was 28 years old. He lives within 10 miles of a town of 300 that has only 15 single people, of which only three are women.

In Saskatchewan, many producers are now abandoning the farmhouse and moving to town to accommodate family activities like school, after school activities and social interaction. The farmhouse becomes the hotel room or the weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of a time crunched society.

These trends combined with the demand of intense seasonal work, often 24-7, create an imbalance that can cause havoc on the best-laid business plan.

In the coming years with more family farm transitions and recruiting and retention issues, this must become a high priority issue with rural institutions and businesses.

I’m sure you are wondering, “So, what’s the website?” Click on www.farmersonly.com.

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

This online exclusive is brought to you by The Corn and Soybean Digest