Dr. Val Farmer
Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships

Readers Express Appreciation

September 18, 2006

Over the past few months I have received several e-mails and letters from readers expressing appreciation for my column. Some have felt with my impending move to Illinois that I will be discontinuing my column.

Don’t worry. I will be continuing to write the column along with starting a consultation practice to farm families regarding family business conflict. Not exactly retirement but a schedule and pace more conducive to visiting children and grandchildren.

Here are some excerpts from letters and e-mails I received.

Retirement advice. "Thank you! Your advice column has been a great source of information for dealing with life and all the things that come our way. I’ve enjoyed it for years and this week’s article on retirement is very fitting in our life now. Your announcement of plans to leave Fargo to be closer to your family seems like a good plan but you will be missed. There are many who need your wise words - there are many of us who truly appreciate you."

Ardent fan. "I have been an ardent fan and follower of your writings through the years and am enriched by every one of them and so admire your talent and wisdom reflected in all you columns! Being I have five children who live all over the United States, I send them your column religiously. Please know we, (EVERYONE), will miss you and your wonderful expertise in writing your columns every week. Your writings are phenomenal!!

A counselor’s thoughts. "I have just finished reading about your plans for the future. Thank you for sharing your story. I am inspired by the fact that you will not simply be rocking grandchildren, but that you will also be opening a new phase of your professional life.

The main purpose of my writing is to thank you for the inestimable help your columns have been to me in my work as a counselor. I cut out and save probably 4 out of 5 of your columns. When I work with couples, copies of your columns are usually sent as part of homework assignments.

Someday you will be greatly blessed and rewarded for all the good you have done to help couples protect and improve their marriages. The research you do for your columns helps me in my work immensely, and I am happy that you will be continuing to write them.

Concerned grandma. I read your column in the paper often and know you have a considerable amount of knowledge regarding "humanity". It is always nice to know there is someone out there with a special gift.

Rural reader finding courage. I wanted to thank you for the article "When Nice isn't so Nice." This article is tucked into my Bible to read whenever I am at a crossroads and feel I must speak out to try to right a wrong or confront a school board, or complain to or about someone who is not doing their job... I just wanted to let you know that article continues to help me to bring out into the open topics that need to be dealt with and corrected.

A farm wife. I just read your article on "Fathers are key to teenagers' attitudes about household chores". Gosh, there are so many times that I think you have been living in our house. It is so "right on". This e-mail is long over due. ...Over the years, I have appreciated your many insights to living on the farm. We have stayed married - not sure if that is a good thing or not - it's been way too tough. Several columns over the years were again so "right on", I couldn't believe it. I still have them and read them occasionally.

Column clipper. I clip the column out of the [name of newspaper] to send copies to my five children... I am amazed when I read you columns (second only to the Amish cook) at how many other farm families there are with the same problems as I observed over almost 50 years of living in farming country.

So impressed. I have never written to the author of a column before but I was so impressed with "Women, sex is important" I just had too. I don't know what to say other than the words you wrote felt like they came from my head, my experience. Thank you for writing this article. I was looking for a letter to the editor in the edition after this article appeared because I thought someone would protest, but didn't see one. Thanks again.

Christian values. We have been readers of your column for many years and think that your advice is sound and applicable. We also appreciate the Christian basis for your thinking and advice.

Counselor at law. I began writing my "What is the Law" column about the same time Dr. Farmer began his column. I have followed his column weekly and found it to be a great source of help for my clients. Of all the materials that we utilize in our office to help people in their problem-solving, his is the best .- Rollyn H. Samp, Counselor at law, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts. Come November, we will be pulling up stakes and beginning a new adventure. I will continue to chart that course for you.