We ran an article back in October about the difficulty Texas Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE) president Pat Jones was having stirring up interest in the organization. She expressed a bit of justified frustration at the series of events that have led to reduced participation in this and other farm organizations.
Perhaps we hit a nerve. A few nano-seconds after the article appeared on our Farm Press Daily Web page, we began hearing from folks (mostly women but a few men as well) interested in WIFE. Quite a few were unaware of the organization, which, by the way has been around for more than 25 years. Many said: “Where do I join?” We heard from the Deep South, the Midwest, the Southwest and several locales in between.
Seems that apathy has not taken hold of the farm sector after all. Respondents expressed continued frustration at the deplorable state of rural America, but they also showed a bit of backbone and a fierce determination to make their case for a strong agricultural economy.
A few examples should illustrate the commitment.
Patsy Bard of Lawton, Oklahoma wrote: “I was just reading a article about farm wives wanting the U.S. public to understand farm economics. This was by Ron Smith of the Farm Press. I would like to join the farm women…. If you don't mind, send me some information.”
“I read your article in the Southwest Farm Press. I would love to join this organization. We have been farming/ranching for 50 plus years. Have two sons that would like to stay here. Not because they can't do any thing else. They are college educated. Thanks.” Ruby Urban, Dilley, Texas.
“I read your article in Southwest Farm Press about Texas Women Involved in Farm Economics. I would like to read more about the organization. Do you have a website I could look at? My husband has been a farmer all his life and I have been a farm wife for almost 14 years. We farm and ranch east of Lockney (Texas) and we have two elementary age children.” Beth Bramlet.
We also heard from women in Florida, Tennessee and Nebraska interested in learning more about WIFE and working to inform the public and legislators about life on a modern farm.
And finally, a word from Pat Jones, who inspired the article.
“Ron, thank you for going the extra mile for WIFE, it is appreciated. It has been truly amazing the results the article has created. Maybe the author added a little pizzazz to it. Just from the online I have had contact with ladies in four states interested in WIFE and one man in Calif. I have been able to mail out information to these prospective WIFE members and that is what we need – more interested people. Again, my gratitude.”
Anyone interested in getting involved in this grassroots organization can call Pat Jones at: (806) 745-2719. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. And if we can help, call or keep those cyber letters coming.