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Farm wife contributions

Contemplating my role on the farm as a traditional farmwife, I am appreciative for my lifestyle. My family is now six generations of agricultural producers in Fall River County, South Dakota. In a day when folks move about frequently, this fact almost shocks some people.

I prepare the noon meal for my husband and nearby married son as his wife works in town. This meal is where discussions are held and plans are bantered about. The guys often have community news to share. Three grandchildren join us in summer and during school breaks, totaling six for the meal. The three grands are now teenagers. Need I say more about the amount of food that is prepared and consumed?

I work at home with my writing so I can run for parts at a moment’s notice, help move machinery and vehicles to farm units and of course, take snacks and coffee to the field once or twice a day, depending upon the farming process that is underway. It worked out well when I ran Sanders Shuttle Service, transporting grandkids to swimming lessons and other activities.



Now that the grandkids are driving, they do many of the jobs I used to do. The time I used to do those errands, I now spend cooking and baking. They also do most of the machinery moving to various fields as needed.

When I take afternoon coffee to the field, often with cookies or fruit, I sometimes ride a round or two on the tractor with my husband. Tractors now have comfortable buddy seats so I don’t have to try and half-stand, half-sit in the cab. Thanks, John Deere.



I know that the farm is the priority. During haying season, we “make hay while the sun shines,” and I would also add, when it’s just right to bale. Weather is chiefly the deciding factor of the day’s work. During busy seasons farmers cannot work by the clock and must be flexible. Farm wives too. In fact, that is our farm motto. I plan meals that can be ready at 11 a.m. and hold nicely until 1 p.m., even knowing that I might be called at the last minute to take a meal to the field. Since many recipes are not conducive to picnic-type eating, I have a back-up plan in my head, as well as my refrigerator.

As for our home, the kitchen is the first room anyone enters. That’s where we gather around our corn stove on cold days and cool off on hot ones. It’s the room where we bring cold baby calves to warm when they were chilled. The kitchen/dining room is where my grandkids learned how to measure ingredients, make cut out cookies and appreciate riding their little cars around and around and around the Ranch Oak table. Now these same grandkids participate in planning work, while we eat our meals.

In short, my job is that of a traditional farm wife, which is a support system for the family and the farm.

Sanders can be reached through peggy@peggysanders.com.

Peggy Sanders

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