Socializing as a Farm Wife

I think some times being a woman who works in the field of agriculture can be hard. It can be challenging mentally, physically and emotionally. Long hours, hard physical work, then there’s all the stress coming from about fifty different directions (finances, time, working with your spouse/family, etc). However, I think one area that can be especially challenging is often over looked. The social aspect.

I’m not someone who suffers from a lack of socialization from the farm. I get out and about. I’m a semi-professional soccer mom these days. Which means I encounter a lot of other moms. Herein lies my problem.

I know a great group of moms. They are funny, friendly and have a nice bunch of kids. Here is my problem. I can’t get past small talk with any of them. I get lost in “mommy chat”. Truth be told, I’m just no good at it. This leaves me struggling to make conversation. While everyone is talking about crafts or coloring, I’m more comfortable discussing how the last index adjustment made bull proofs plummet. Great conversation topic when you are the only one who even knows what that is.

I’ve actually sat at home before and pondered what to talk to other moms about before going to a play date. I know, I’m crazy. In an attempt to avoid awkward silence, I’m scouring social media to see what other moms are talking about. Here’s a clue, it’s not the best remedy to treat a scoured calf.

My husband and I joke about how anti-social our middle child is. I’m starting to believe the apple may not fall far from the tree. I don’t consider myself anti-social, more socially challenged. I don’t have strong opinions on cloth diapering, breastfeeding or screen time. I’m not following trendy things. Some days I feel like I need to in order to converse long enough to actually enjoy a play date. After all talking tummy time is a little more socially acceptable than asking someone what they did to improve their conception rate.

I enjoy small talk. Honestly I enjoy spending time with other moms. But it would be nice to get past small talk some days. I tell my kids to go play and make new friends all the time. Maybe it’s time to start taking my own advice, even if they aren’t worried about their calving interval.

About Jodi McDonnell

Jodi is a 3rd generation dairy farmer, farming with her family in northeastern Ohio. Along with milking 120 Holsteins, they also farm 350 acres of crops to feed the cows. There are currently 4 generations living on the farm.


  1. Look to see in your state if they have a program for older farm adults, in MO. it is called ALOT (Agricultural leaders of tomorrow) I met some of my best friends there and when you need to have a lunch date with a friend who “gets it” It makes you not feel so out of place. Most of my time is spent around women who are the typical soccer moms, but it helps when you can have a conversation with another woman who understands where you are coming from.

    • I think it’s helped me some to talk to other women who don’t farm. It’s helped me better understand some of the concerns they have about how their food is produced and allows me to share some basic knowledge. I’ll have to look in to some women’s groups, sounds fun!

  2. Melissa Bockman says:

    i really loved reading your post. I have my own seed business on the farm and help my husband with the feedlot. I completely identify with your blog I really struggle to develop deep friendships beyond chit chat with the other moms. Thanks for sharing.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post! It’s so hard to find topics that everyone is interested in. I do have some great ladies I talk to, but I’m so glad I have a great friend I met on college who also has a dairy. Mommy chat’s great, but I need farm talk too!

  3. Carolyn Frank says:

    and then I´m ALSO 20yrs than the “other” moms. Sometimes before a social event, I find myself repeating in my thoughts “maybe that cow will finally calf just then, but I really DO need to get that canning, etc.” so that I won´t have to force myself to be socially uncomfortable

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