Dr. Val Farmer
Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships



            “There an old country song called ‘Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life.’ Well I can say to you, Val Farmer, you wrote my life.

            “I was a city transplant to rural Iowa 40 years ago. I sometimes thought I was the only person in the world dealing with certain issues, and then, voila, they would appear in your column. So many of them were so right on, so insightful.

            “Please know that there is a lady in Iowa who thanks God for you and your work. I wish you the very best in your new endeavors.” An Iowa reader

            “I first met you in the 1990s in my farm paper. I was immediately attracted to your writing spirit and philosophy. In fact, I started saving them into a file. From Sept. 1990 through 2011, I have collected over 20 years, 52 weeks a year, to a total of around 1040 articles. Does that surprise you? Or make you wonder where all that creativity came from? The presence of God in your life is evident and your writings reflect how that spirit can impact our lives.” - A farmer from Iowa

            “We read all of the testimonials of what your words have meant to so many people. We too will miss all you have said over the years and the ideas you have put into our heads that have made our farming operation run smoother and more enjoyable.”  A farmer from Iowa

            I received a letter from a prisoner in the Minnesota correctional system. He thanked me and wished me the best in the rest of my adventures. He asked me for a column that someone had sent to him that he has since misplaced. “Forgiveness is given, trust must be earned.” He wrote, “Your articles have helped me out a lot. You will be missed.”

            “As you may recall, I’ve been a fan of your column since 1984. We shared a common experience as our law firm emerged as one of the leaders in dealing with the farm crisis. I regret your decision to retire and will be excited to read your successor. You made wonderful contributions to everyone who read your column.” - Sioux Falls attorney

            “You have been a great help to me/our understanding of ‘family dynamics’ over the past years! My husband’s family values work - often working 100 + hours per week. There is no balance. We have plenty of money, land, etc, but what good is it if you can’t get off the farm, enjoy the company of others, church etc. I am so lonely.” - Anonymous

            “I have looked forward every week to reading your column when the our farm paper came in our mail. I am not a Mormon but have respect for your beliefs and feel your religious background has helped shape your thoughts and opinions, which make them very acceptable. I have gained much from reading them and thank you for your insight.” - Iowa farm wife

            “I have read your columns for years and get so much out of them, especially as I believe you live the way you teach.” - South Dakota reader

            “I want you to know that I didn’t start taking the farm paper until 2 years ago at age 60. Once I read 2 or 3 of your articles I wonder about who was this guy. I must say you got me hooked.

            “I couldn’t wait to read each week the wisdom, knowledge, and insight you were going to share about living life. What you shared were qualities that I have been working on since 1984 when I went through a depression as a feed man.

            “Your material has reminded me how to find happiness in life, how to work through hard times, keeping communications open with wife, children , community members, and business clients. I especially liked the way you used your religious skills in your articles when needed. I know I’ll miss your articles, but I praise you for looking out after your wife to help her develop her dreams and goals.

            “I know you are a long way from being completed with the gifts you’ve been handed. My dream will be to meet you in our travels to thank you for you touching my life in the short time I’ve known you!” - Iowa farmer

            “I love the articles on marriage, family, teenagers, teaching, and family farming as they are ingrained with aspects of faith. You certainly have touched on the arteries of my life. I have learned that everyone has areas where they need help and the best way to deal with those issues is to be willing to work on them.

            “I have read your article on ‘crisis’ and I know I have learned a lot from reading your column and going through these experiences. You can see that you did have a purpose and your column has blessed many lives. I thank you.” - Iowa reader

            “Thanks for all you have done for so many people like me who were floundering. You have left your mark on the world in such a wonderful way.” - North Dakota reader

            “We appreciate your column in our farm paper. I even look for your column first. We are horse and buggy Amish.” - This Iowa reader goes on explain she is the grandmother to 42 children.

             “Dr. Farmer’s articles were so helpful to my husband and me in raising a loving family.” Iowa reader

            “Like so many others who have already written, we have saved and been blessed by so many of your columns. For me the Bible is the highest source of authority, but where you agree with its principles, your articles have a huge encouragement. - Iowa reader

            “I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your articles over the past year and a half.” (The writer then describes a wrenching personal problem.) I found your article, I think with the help of God, because I had been receiving the paper for a very long time and never read it. Each week I looked forward to reading your article like it was my own personal counseling session and many things you wrote applied to my life.

            “Thank you for helping me through one of the most difficult things I have ever dealt with when I didn’t have anyone else. I am very sad to see that you are retiring, but I can tell from your articles that you are a family man and I am wishing and hoping you have a wonderful retirement with them. May God continue to bless you in the many years to come.” - reader from Missouri

            “There is no greater gift in all the world than the ‘Gift of a Loving Heart’. Have a good retirement, stay well and be stay well and be happy.” - Your friends from Iowa