When Jerry Miller launched the FarmersOnly.com dating website in 2005, he filled a niche for people to connect to others in similar circumstances. Farmers, ranchers, and folks who live in the relative isolation of small towns can browse hundreds of profiles of people just like themselves.
These country folks seem to be caught up in endless chores and don’t take time to socialize or frequent the bar scene like their big city counterparts.
So how does a guy or gal who works and lives in the hinterland connect with others that might want to go on a date? What Miller, a former ag marketing rep, found is that people who work in the dirt, raise livestock, and spend lots of time outdoors want to meet others of the same ilk.
Agricultural workers, who help farmers maintain crops and livestock, marry others with the same job 27 percent of the time — and agricultural managers, such as farmers and ranchers, do so 20 percent of the time, according to statistics gleaned from 2010 Census data in a study published by Priceonomics.
That’s more than doctors, lodge managers, service workers, or any of the other of the top 10 workers who are inclined to marry someone in the same profession.
“Farmers live miles and miles away from their nearest neighbors and that hurts their chances of finding a compatible partner through traditional methods,” Miller said in a 2012 Business Insider article. “Farmers have a less materialistic view than their urban counterparts. There is definitely a divide between people in the corporate rat race and those in rural areas.”
All the early company promos featured the tag line: “City folks just don’t get it.”
Riata Ranch connection
That virtual divide between city and country is fueling lots of sign-ups at $15.95 per person just to browse hundreds of profiles of singles looking to share the country lifestyle. What better place to film a little slice of country than at Riata Ranch in Three Rivers?
The film crew previously filmed a spot at the not-so-romantically-named Dead Rat Saloon in Redbanks (west of Woodlake), poking fun at country folk trying to meet their match at the Rat.
The Riata Ranch spot is a tongue-in-cheek look at what happens when a city girl, played by Riata Ranch Cowboy Girl Sarah Thompson, auditions to be a farmer’s best gal.
Sarah, 23, from New South Wales, was trained at Riata Ranch and won the 2013 trick-riding championship in Australia. In the FarmersOnly.com commercial, she plays a naïvely “hot city chick” trying to impress her rancher date by riding a horse in a dress and five-inch high-heel shoes.
As her trusty mount sbreaks into a gallop in the arena Sarah falls off — she’s actually executing a perfect Suicide Drag that in the video spot looks more like she’s about to be trampled to death. It’s obvious this girl from the city ain’t no country girl.
Riata Ranch’s Chad Nicholson, a professional rodeo announcer, does a voice-over for his Australian Shepherd “Moose,” bantering back and forth with the farmer that Sarah just won’t cut it, and that the farmer might want to expand his search.
It’s all in hilarious good fun and will no doubt drive hundreds more to join the thousands already on FarmersOnly.com.