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Dating site for lonely farmers now targeting Canadian market

National Affairs Contributor

You can sort of see the ad: Lonely farmer seeks country girl. Must know her way around a combine harvester and not be put off by the smell of pig manure.
The advent of the Internet has made finding romance a lot easier and the web now features an increasing array of specialized dating sites.
When it comes to people who make their living from the land, apparently the big player isFarmersOnly, which claims to have 1.5 million paying members. It's slogan is "City folks just don't get it."
Founder Jerry Miller, whose headquarters are based in the wonderfully named down of Pepper Pike, OH., told The Canadian Press he set up the site in 2005 after a divorced female farmer friend had a frustrating time finding suitable men to date on other sites.
He started by posting flyers in local feed stores and at one point had to redesign the site because most farmers only had dial-up Internet connections. That's changed, he said, and now many farmers browse the site from their cellphones while riding on their tractors. (Wonder if that's considered distracted driving.)
Miller told CP about 10 per cent of its members are Canadian and it's made 300 successful matches in this country.
They include Daniel Seitz, who runs a family farm in southeastern Saskatchewan and saw one of FarmersOnly's ads during a TV agriculture report.
He's now married to a horse-riding farm girl and has a baby on the way, as well as a four-year-old stepdaughter, CP said.
“There’s two different types of people,” Miller, who's launched a Canadian ad blitz, told CP.
“There’s people in the major cities in the corporate rat race. And then there’s people who are just more down to earth and easy going and like to be outdoors more. It’s just a different lifestyle.”
The site's corny ads are popular on YouTube and have spawned their share of parodies.
Partners4Farmers, based in Britain, claims more than 500,000 members. It's not clear how many, if any, are in Canada. MuddyMatches is another U.K. site aimed at "anyone who leads a muddy-boots lifestyle and wants to meet like-minded country people," but it appears oriented only to Brits.
FarmersOnly has a Twitter presence and media-savvy Miller quickly posted the CP story on his site's blog.
As for Chelsea Seitz (née Henderson), she's a satisfied customer. She became engaged to Daniel five months after they met and the couple was married last September, after her family's annual horse sale. They mucked out the riding arena, then said their vows there, still wearing their cowboy boots.
“Daniel is just the most sincere, genuine man any woman could ever hope to find,” Henderson toldCP. “And there’s lots more out there like him.”