Hey guys, did you know tomorrow is Proposal Day? If you need some sweet ideas, check out our post from last year:

For those of you who don’t know, today (March 20th) is proposal day. This also happens to be the first day of spring. FINALLY! I was beginning to worry…

To be honest with you, my lovely readers, I have no idea why there is such a thing as “proposal day”. I would be less than thrilled if my soon-to-be fiancé decided on such a cliché day to pop the big question. We want to be surprised and completely oblivious to the time/date/location. Am I right ladies, or am I right?

Regardless, proposal day is quickly approaching and I wanted to give some pointers to all my fellow farmers out there who are planning to propose in the near future. If you need a little inspiration, you came to the right place!

Top 5 ways to propose to your lovely lady: Farm Kid Style

1.)    Take her for a ride on your big GREEN tractor. I’m serious; if your tractor is red this is no good. She will most likely decline your marriage proposal and you will be left with a broken heart and an unimpressive piece of farm equipment.

Okay, okay. I was mostly kidding. Any tractor will do, I suppose. Spend the day with just the two of you in the combine and take some time to tell her how special she is to you. Just when she’s wondering what you are up to- park that bad boy, get on one knee, and ask that pretty girl to spend the rest of her life with you!

tractor ride

2.)    Take her fishing or hunting for the day. Or for a walk in the country if killing Bambi and Nemo isn’t your thing.

 If you have been together for a while, you probably have similar interests and like to do these things together. It is a great way to have some alone time and easy to plan. She will be too busy enjoying your time together to realize that anything is out of the ordinary.

fish hook

3.)    Make your livestock ask her to marry you. Yes, I’m aware that this sounds extremely silly and most of you are probably wondering if I am insane at this point. The answer to that is of course no, not officially anyways…

But seriously, most of us who grew up on a farm have a profound appreciation and love for livestock. Maybe your girlfriend has had a specific horse her whole life or has grown considerably close to one of your heifers; use this to your advantage! Hand make a sign to hang around the animals neck that says, “Marry Me?”, then lead her to the barn where her favorite animal with the sign will be waiting for her! She’ll love your creativity and be excited to see her four legged friend.

ear tag proposal

4.)    Make her search everywhere for that ring! I’m not kidding, literally make her find it.

Create some sort of meaningful scavenger hunt around the farm or town where you are from. Have various clues or notes placed in meaningful spots. For example, up in the hay loft where you had that ever-so-awkward first kiss; lead her there and have a clue that will bring her to the next place. The last clue should lead her to a spot of your choosing where you will be waiting on one knee and ready to make a new memory with her!

kissing by the barn

5.)    Put her in the truck, do NOT tell her where you are going, and drive to a secluded back road in the middle of nowhere. Contrary to where you think this is going, I can assure you I am not about to tell you to murder the woman you are thinking about marrying.

This is a cute one, I promise. Country girls love to sit in the bed of our boys trucks and just have life chats. If it’s a hot summer night and there are tons of stars that’s even better! Bring her out on a back road or somewhere you two can be alone. Pack your truck full of blankets and make a night of it. (Word to the wise- check the forecast beforehand. Mother Nature does not care about your proposal plans.) When you feel like the time is right, bust out the bling you stashed in your pocket and ask her to spend many more summer nights with you!


One more quick tip before I cut you all loose: HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER! Shoot, they don’t even have to be a professional. Make your mom do it or even your cousin’s ex-husband’s sister do it. Just have someone there to capture this moment; the proposal is almost as important as the wedding day. We want to look back at pictures from this day and if you can set up a secret photographer to capture all the tears and excited expressions we will love you for infinity!

In all seriousness, I hope you gained some helpful tips from this list or at the very least got a chuckle in. I’m a wedding-obsessed, twenty-something year old with a passion for the agriculture industry that came from my small farm town upbringing. It was fun to bring those two together in this blog post. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a very Happy Proposal Day, whatever the heck that is.

ashley wagnerAshley Wagner
Illinois State University Student


They say February is the season for love … and we’re celebrating by giving you a glimpse of five Illinois farm couples throughout the week!  These couples practice their love for each other and the land every day on their farms.  Get to know them and the work they love to do!

farm wedding, valentine's day, illinois farm familiesJim and Nancy Rapp were “re-rapped” (reunited in marriage) on Sept 16th 2012.  Their story actually began over 35 years ago when they met at a small restaurant where Nancy was working while she was going to  school to earn a nursing degree and Jim was a young, eager farmer.  They fell in love and were married June 3, 1978.

They were very busy for the next several  years raising 3 children, a daughter, Amy and two sons, Nick and Ben.  Sadly, the marriage ended after 18 years.  Jim and Nancy always maintained a good relationship by being together with the children for all significant events and holidays.

In 2012 the communication between Jim and Nancy became more frequent with Jim making more phone calls “just to talk.” During one of those phone calls, Jim suddenly invited Nancy to join him in Portland, OR in July for a little vacation while he was attending an ag meeting.  She accepted the invitation.  While in Portland, Jim and Nancy enjoyed the time they shared while dining, shopping and sight-seeing together.  After several days, Nancy confronted Jim by asking him “what is going on?”  They were having a wonderful time together.  He had been very thoughtful, kind and generous. Jim responded by saying that he just wanted to be with her. Of course, that just brought Nancy to tears and they  hugged each other. That was when their relationship changed and they reconnected by daily phone calls after their trip.

In September, Nancy returned to Illinois  to enjoy the Homestead Festival in Princeton with family and friends. On the first evening in town, Jim and Nancy got together, when Jim popped the big question – “Would you marry me again?” – and Nancy replied, “Of course I will.”   They both decided to keep their relationship a secret until they could tell the whole family  when they were all together during the Festival weekend. They were really going to shock them by telling them that they were planning on tying the knot again.

Illinois farm family

To  surprise the family, Nancy planned to get the children and grandchildren together for family pictures. When Jim walked in for the family pictures, Nancy announced that she wanted Jim to be in the picture – because he was in the picture again.  Everyone had a confused look on their face until Jim walked over to Nancy and presented her with a beautiful engagement ring. The room exploded with happy tears, shouts of joy and many hugs.

The wedding was planned for one week later at the family home with a very  happy family present. Two months later Jim and Nancy celebrated their happy reunion with their family and friends for a “Re-Rapped Celebration.  The celebration was a time for Jim and Nancy to show their appreciation to all their family and friends for their love, caring and support of their reunion.

Nick and Ben have joined their father in the farming operation and now their family is a true “farm family.”

The Lord truly works in mysterious ways and in His own time.

This wonderful story of love submitted by Nancy Rapp.  THANK YOU NANCY!


illinois farm couple, valentines love

Bart and Glenna were high school sweethearts.  They dated for six years and were married while Glenna was in college. During those six years, they had a lonnnnng time to think about what month they might get married.

Both coming from farm families, they knew to avoid planning a wedding around spring planting, summer spraying/mowing/baling or fall harvest; so, they planned a winter wedding.  Bart suggested February and the Saturday in February that worked happened to be the twelfth.  Glenna says she assumed that putting their anniversary so close to Valentine’s Day would be an easy way for Bart to remember their special day and agreed to the date.

A Valentine wedding would be romantic right?  And, it was.  Glenna imagined the romantic anniversaries that they would celebrate over their lives….Paris, Rome, Venice….

Fast forward 19 years:  February 12th-17th, 2013, Bart and Glenna will be on their yearly anniversary trip….to the National Farm Machinery Show and Championship Tractor Pulls in Louisville, KY.  And, as per every year, Glenna will tear up as Lee Greenwood sings “God Bless the USA” to a video montage of farm life, not because she is sad to be celebrating her anniversary at the NFMS and tractor pulls but because she feels so blessed to be celebrating her anniversary and way of life with her husband and best friend.

Glenna said, “I wouldn’t trade our anniversary week tradition for anything.  It’s so perfect; it’s like it was planned.  Hmmm……”


They say February is the season for love … and we’re celebrating by giving you a glimpse of five Illinois farm couples throughout the week!  These couples practice their love for each other and the land every day on their farms.  Get to know them and the work they love to do!

illinois farmers, love, valentines day, farm families

Justin and Rachel Durdan were married on March 19, 2010.  They have two kids, Ella and Ian, and enjoy travelling together.  In fact, they have just enjoyed a recent visit to Mexico!

The couple live in LaSalle County, IL where Justin has farmed since he was a little boy and finally joined the partnership in 2004.