Nothing has changed more dramatically in this country in the last century than where and how we live. At the dawn of the 20th Century, 40 percent of all Americans lived on farms, 60 percent lived in communities of 2,500 people or less. At the dawn of the 21st Century, the number of us actually living on farms is 1 percent. It used to be the farmer‘s son met the farmer‘s daughter maybe at the county store and they either took over one of the family‘s farms or they got one of their own. Today, what does the farmer looking for a date do?
Naturally, he or she goes online to www.farmersonly.com. The site went up in May, inviting farmers of both genders to post personals seeking others who are also, as the corny joke goes, outstanding in their own fields. It is not strictly limited to farmers though. Other residents of rural areas are welcome. They even have a horse dentist.
It isn‘t just about the geography of the farm or of rural America, it‘s also about the hours and the mindset. So far, 1,800 people posted profiles but no marriages yet.
One member just relocated from Tennessee to the vicinity of Columbus, Ohio. She describes herself as “humorous, life of the hoe-down, easygoing, slowpoke and romantic, let‘s watch the sunset together, any man who thinks I would like a fancy supper over four-wheeling in the mud is definitely crazy.”
Blain Newsome, who‘s getting her Master‘s Ag Communications at Ohio State, talked to MSNBC-TV's Keith Olbermann about how the site has helped her.
To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.
KEITH OLBERMANN, COUNTDOWN HOST: Has a Web site, this would seem no more unusual than one that might specialize in, I don‘t know, fans of the Beatles or left-handed people or whatever. But I gather that the country versus city thing really matters to you, why?
BLAIN NEWSOME, MEMBER, FARMERSONLY.COM: Definitely, because, you know, being someone that has their life involved in agriculture that takes up a lot of time, and you know, city people, they just don‘t understand and appreciate the kind of life that I like.
OLBERMANN: Any hesitation to go online for this? Is that not always a risky thing whether you‘re from the city or the country?
NEWSOME: Definitely. I definitely agree. Yes, there‘s definitely some hesitation, but I‘m taking my time. I‘m not going out and meeting, you know, hundreds of boys, you know, right off the bat. You know, I‘m still on e-mail. I‘ve haven‘t gone on a dates with anybody yet so.
OLBERMANN: I gather though that you‘ve previously dated city men. What was the worst thing that happened on one of those dates?
NEWSOME: Oh, this is a good one. When I was in college, I was dating a guy who was from the city. You know, never been out to a farm before in his life. And I was showing an Angus heifer, and she parked out her legs and she used the restroom right there in front of him. And he pointed his finger out and started laughing at her because she was using the restroom. And, no offense to you city guys but I thought, what a moron! I mean, I couldn‘t have that. So needless to say, he got dumped pretty soon.
OLBERMANN: Now don‘t assume anything here. I got my degree in communications at the agriculture college at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. So I may be a city guy but I went to an aggie school, so I know my stuff here. Is it possible for some guy to have the attributes that you want and still be a city guy? Are the two things completely mutually exclusive?
NEWSOME: You know, for me personally, yes. I mean, because if he‘s a city guy, he‘s much more concerned about what kind of bar he‘s going to go to or what he‘s wearing or his hair. And I‘m not trying to stereotype everybody. I‘m just saying all of the city guys that I‘ve met are like that. And that‘s just not the kind of guy I‘m looking for. I don‘t really care about that. That‘s stupid to me.
OLBERMANN: Tell me about the farmersonly.com site. You mentioned that there haven‘t been dates here. But have you found the thing worthwhile? And has it lived up to your expectations?
NEWSOME: Yes, definitely. You know, I‘m already kind of a picky person anyway. And you know, my friends back home in Tennessee would always tease me because I always told them, you know, I‘m not going to date somebody unless they‘re agriculturally oriented in some way, form, or fashion. And this site lets me be really picky. And there‘s all kinds of people with all kinds of interest in agriculture. So it‘s pretty neat.
OLBERMANN: Is there anybody on there who is not agriculturally oriented?
NEWSOME: There are some people that are leaning on the city folk side but I‘d say 95 percent are all people that have been raised on farms or are some way involved in agriculture.
OLBERMANN: All right, last thing here. It‘s not the Web site, but we‘ve got a couple hundred thousand people watching. For any farmers out who might want to sign on and send you a message, what would you like them to know about you, Blain?
NEWSOME: I‘m down-to-earth, I‘m not hard to please, and I like to talk agriculture.
OLBERMANN: Is that in fact—I mean, is that the long-term goal with this, you want to go and talk agriculture and live on a farm with somebody who has the same approach as you do?
NEWSOME: Yes, I mean, I want to—you know, I'm not in a hurry to rush into anything. But when I‘m looking for someone to date, I want someone that‘s going to like the same things that I like and enjoy the same things that I enjoy and appreciate those things. And yes, that farm life is the type of thing that I‘m looking for.
OLBERMANN: Blain Newsome, who is looking for no hat, all cattle at farmersonly.com. Thanks for your time.
NEWSOME: You‘re welcome.
OLBERMANN: Good luck with the service and all the best generally speaking.