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AGRICULTURE REPORT - Lonely Farmers Look for Love Online

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This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

The Web site FarmersOnly.com calls itself an online dating and friendship finder. The idea started in the mind of a man in Ohio. Jerry Miller wondered how farmers could meet new people who understand the life of a farmer.

Jerry Miller is not a farmer. He works in advertising and public relations. But he represents a lot of farmers.

FarmersOnly.com
FarmersOnly.com

As he tells it, the idea for the site was planted when a farmer told him one day that she was recently divorced and would like to date. But she already knew everyone who might be a possible dating partner.

And the men she met through dating services did not understand the difference between city life and rural farm life. Someone would invite her to meet for coffee at nine o'clock at night, when she had to start her day at five the next morning.

So, in two thousand five, Jerry Miller launched his Web site. Yet the name is a little misleading. "You don't have to be a farmer to be on FarmersOnly.com, but you do have to have the good old-fashioned traditional values of America's Heartland." That is what it says.

You also have to live in the United States or Canada to be a member of the site. Some services are free, but a full membership costs fifty dollars for a year. As of last week the site listed more than fifty-eight thousand members.

Many of them are among the two million farmers in the United States. Others are students or workers involved in some way with agriculture. Still others are people who have said goodbye to farm life but would like to return.

Jerry Miller tells us about thirty marriages in the last year have resulted from his Web site.

Some farmers have also found love through a group based in Illinois. Singles in Agriculture was formed as a nonprofit organization in nineteen eighty-six. It organizes gatherings that usually end with a dance, but is not a dating service.

The purpose is to support educational and social activities that offer people a chance for friendship, travel and activities like camping. Its Web site, singlesinag dot o-r-g, says there are more than one thousand members across the nation and as far away as France.

Someone who says she might try singlesinag.org is a middle-aged woman in the Midwest named Linda. She raises goats and milk cows in Michigan. Her husband died several years ago. She wishes that she had more time for a social life, but says she is not looking to remarry.

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. I'm Steve Ember.

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