When you marry a farmer, you marry the farm

In late summer 2019 I was sitting at a kitchen table interviewing the man I would marry two years later. I wrote about him then with the byline Newlin and I’m writing about him now with the recently acquired surname Vilhauer. Marriage is always a significant commitment, but to enter into holy matrimony with a farmer is something different altogether. As many farm wives know, when you marry a farmer, you also marry the farm in a sense.

When I said “I do” under that waning Oklahoma sun, I was agreeing to love, honor and cherish, but I was also consenting to late nights during harvest, long days planting fields, working cattle and praying hard for rain. From now on when his crop fails, mine fails as well and when the price of wheat jumps up $0.20 I’ll be celebrating right along with him. When we sealed our vows with a kiss on our wedding day, we were agreeing to share the weight of the worries associated with the unpredictable nature of farming, but also the incredible satisfaction that comes with binning the last load of wheat for the summer or watching a newborn calf begin to nurse on its own. That’s a level of fulfilment that only comes from a labor of love.

With agriculture, the goal is often to build. Cattlemen build their herd numbers up with solid genetics to produce their ideal calf crop each year and farmers build their soil quality to produce the best crop yields they can harvest. Marriage is similar. We started out with a strong footing in our Christian faith and as a married couple we will build our relationship through the highs and lows—and I am certain there will be many of each living on the farm. Agriculture teaches us the lesson of resiliency and perseverance when life hands out hardships and that mindset of withstanding any storm is one of the most valuable tools any marriage can possess.

I know marrying a farmer is not for everyone. There are sacrifices that must be made as a farm wife, but I don’t know if any way of life can be more rewarding than working on a farm and raising a family in rural America with the church as a foundation. There’s no place I’d rather be and I’ll be almost as proud to wear the farm wife badge of honor as I will be to take his last name.

To read the article that brought this union about, read "Called to farm."

Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected].