Dr. Val Farmer
Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships



* “Congratulations on your years of writing your wonderful, inspirational articles. Week after week to come up with something to catch people’s attention to stop and read would be a hard thing to do. My husband and I are in our mid 50's.



“Honestly just this last 3 years have slowed down enough to look for and find your articles.  Then we were hooked and which ever one of us first got to it first would say, ‘That’s a good one.” or ‘Hey, you need to read this one.’ ‘What is he talking about this week?’


“You wrote about how to raise teenagers, keeping their interest in farming yet their responsibilities with school and friends. It really hit home and we agreed with everything you said. Your articles on marriage and the farm wife, on how to give on both ends on farm and family time. There are so many that touched us.


“A week ago I ran to the table when my husband said ‘What?! He’s going to quit writing.’” “Good for him,” I said. So when I came this week again, he said, “He is still in here!” Then I told him you are planning to continue for another three months for so.


“I planned to write you and then this week when you invited us to, I had too for sure. So I grabbed a Kleenex and started this letter. I’m letting you know how you touched us in our lives these past few years.

“We will miss your articles. We will look back and at some we kept and thing of the ones I passed on to others that had problems in those areas. Thank you and good luck to you and your family.”- an Iowa reader


* “Thanks for your column. During the 80’s I worked my way through a Chapter 11 and saved my farm and family. It was a comfort to read your column and gain from your experience.  So once again thank you and enjoy your retirement.” - a farmer’s email.


* “I was very sad to hear you are retiring from your column writing. I have tried to live by your advice over the years and it was always so helpful! I know we all reach a point where we have to give up doing some of the things we have done for years but please know you will be missed.


“You have touched the lives of many rural couples who find the ranch and farm life a struggle at times. Lifestyles in general have changed so much over the years and sometimes it is so hard for us to change with the times. We raised our family on the ranch and it was such a wonderful place to keep our children safe and enjoy all of God’s gifts at the same time.


“You seemed to always keep your advice well within the boundaries of God’s love and help.


“Here’s hoping you will enjoy your retirement with your family close by. So long, friend.” - South Dakota reader.


* “Your columns have given me strength and insight over the years....I have read them in our local paper regularly. When I made the switch from the ‘dead tree’ version of the paper to online, I made sure to continue to receive the paper version on weekends, one of the reasons was that I often cut out and saved many of your columns....several I gave to others whom I believed would benefit from your wisdom.


“I was married to a rancher....and after 10 years, decided to divorce that same rancher as well as the lifestyle. My self esteem was shattered during that time.....But your columns showed me that I was not the only female who could not support the endless demands of time and money and energy needed to keep a failing ranch alive. Your columns gave me solace and helped in my healing.


“I later gave several columns to other ranch wives who also felt overburdened. I also remember the columns that talked about how the holidays add so much to the female workload and how guys often have no idea how much energy it takes to ‘Do Christmas’ or ‘Do Thanksgiving’ right. Later on, you wrote meaningful columns on how to handle grief and loss.


“Your columns have helped me be a better mom, and a better person overall. They have made me feel less alone during times when I thought I was the only one who ever felt this way.


“The fact that you are a guy, and from a rural area gave me hope that not all rural guys are clueless....but far too many are. They also made me wake up somewhat and realize that sometimes it's not the other person that needs to change...sometimes, it’s me.


“Anyway, thank you for all your wisdom and caring....it shows in how you write and what you have chosen to write about.” - South Dakota reader.


* “I just wanted to thank you for helping my Dad in the 80’s. He was an ag banker and feeling the oppression of the times. His depression was crippling. I suggested that he see you. Your advice and help was a Godsend for my father and he enjoyed some healthy happy years of retirement.


“You are one of God’s special people. Thanks for sharing your gifts. I pray that you and your wife find happiness and fulfillment in your next journey/chapter.” - a South Dakota reader