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Honored Advisor

Cultural question

I unwittingly got into a very heated discussion on WIA page on FB last week.  A lady who, like myself, has a 40- year marriage, had posted that she was "surprised" that she felt a twinge of jealousy on a trip to the field.

 

Evidently, a cute young lady hopped out of the combine cab, where she has spent at least 45 minutes (she noted they were in the long rows).  Turned out she was wanting to knkw where they sold crop, was nice, but unfamiliar to the wife.  

 

She said her husband called her on her way home, and " sort of apologized."  She asjpked what our reaction would be, in the circumstances.  

 

I evidently have the " archaic" notion that men and women who don't know each other being in such close quarters for so long looks inappropriate.  We don't raise those kinds of crops, and the " trend" as I describe it doesn't affect us. 

 

It sounds a lot like the " pretty drug rep" practices of pharmaceutucal companies to me.  I know many of you farm crops in areas where I was told this is becoming common practice, and that I am an ignorant dinosaur.  

 

My husband, for reasons of his own, has always insisted I be around if a strange woman shows up, so it would have to be a really pushy chick to end up in a cab with him.  Also, my father made it a point of yeaching me what does and doesn't appear quite right....

 

I honestly blame the husband in this incident, for not calling ahead and giving his wife a heads up.  I wasn't saying the young ladies aren't just doing their jobs, just that it wouldn't be acceptable here. 

 

Just asking: Would this be typical in your area?  Would you welcome a strange young lady along fkr a combine ride?  How foes or woukd your wife feel, if she drove up to find a strange car at the rnd of the field, and was confronted with a woman she didn't know prkfessionally hopping out?  

47 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Cultural question

This is why wives should never ever visit their husbands in the field  Smiley Very Happy  ..just kidding.  Here`s the problem, I don`t like to do business with an attractive woman, because I`ll tell you flat out that I can`t be mean enough if I need to be..it`s just biology. 

 

But I get this women`s rights stuff about a woman reporter has to have equal access to the locker room a woman executive has to be allowed in the golf club where the deals are made.  And I suppose a woman in agri-business thinks that she needs access to the combine cab to make deals.  Salesmen always knew that if they wanted access to the farmer`s ear at harvest, they would have to be up to climbing in the cab and talking while the farmer worked.

 

I sure that nothing happened in the combine cab, but it is inapproperiate, because I guarantee you the farmer though pure as the driven snow I`m sure, had impure thoughts the rest of the day.  Smiley Happy   I`d rather just stop what I`m doing and give a few minutes out in the open and take the pertanent information...oh I`d still have the impure thoughts the rest of the day, I`m not dead yet  Smiley Happy

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Senior Contributor

Re: Cultural question

I wouldn't let a woman other than a close relative ride in the combine with me. And my imediate family lives 70 miles from the farm. I'm with BA, I can't buy a vehicle from a woman salesmen. I just can't bring myself to be even a little bit "mean" when negotiating.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Cultural question

Guys, I am 61 and was raised Southern, which means certain things simply aren't done.  My take initially was totally negative, I am sure defaulting to my father's impressing that upon me young, and Mike's requests to me for over forty years to " be around when the new serviceperson comes...it's a female this time".  

 

After we get to know a woman, and have eliminated the nut-case factor, meetings are okay.   Mike still would not have a woman other than me or our daughter in the cab.  He said it would just look inappropriate to him.  

 

This discussion has been picked up from the original thread, even reaching one ag magaxine, via a blog.  I do not apologize for adhering to my upbringing, when a viable alternative exists, like chatting a few minutes at the end of the row. 

 

Thanks for letting me know I wasn't all wrong. 

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Cultural question

I really can believe this post. In this day and age who cares if its a man or woman a farmer has to deal with in dealing in production ag. I have had 2 woman ride with me in a combine this fall. One is my seed production agronomist that wanted to see a new soy variety I was growing. The other was a engineer from Chicago that wanted to talk to me about putting her companies windmails on land I own. If a man has to worry about what his wife thinks about dealing with a company who happens to have a woman employed he has to do business with, he has other issues with his marriage. Ag is not dominated by males anymore. 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Cultural question

We have more and more women, mostly young, in the ag fields.  I buy most of my seed from one.   She's engaged to a local banker.   The local extension agent is a young married woman.  One of the ISU professors who provides support for one of my crops is a youngish married woman.  Our state's best soybean pest expert is a youngish woman.  One of the top enntomoligists is a youngish women.

 

The main feature of a woman coming to visit me on my farm is that it is much less likely that they will have a filthy mouth as most men seem to have to have.  How refreshing to talk with people who converse without all the four letter words.

 

The fact is that every one of the women I mentioned above is as good or better than any man in her field.  I have more confidence in them to either kinow the answer or admit they don't and look it up.  They are all hard workers.

 

OK, so this is not riding wiht me in the combine.   I really don't like anyone riding with me in my combine - I'd rather stop and talk with them.

 

I can tell a female salesman "no" as quickly as a man.  I find less "chit chat" to talk about with the women.  No sports, hunting, car, etc.  It tends to be more business.

 

It is a non-issue.  If my wife worried about that I'd tell her she had little to do.

Honored Advisor

Re: Cultural question

Jim catches the politically correctness..

 

For me. She never gets in the cab.... I don't do interviews at work.  I don't even like the liability of non employees in the workplace.  I do business in the office, preferably theirs.  I like to do business with the businesses I chose. But a cute young female, I would hope even my employees would know better than to put themselves into a position where they could be accused.  

 I'd probably cross the company off my list. Just like I did a local coop whose representative offered to bring a case of beer to the field.

It is business... first and foremost "Know your customer" and represent your company with integrity..

 

But as denny says "in this day and age" it doesn't suprise me to here of a long term marriage dealing with immature issues... 

 

Veteran Contributor

Re: Cultural question

So my question is -if she is not attractive it is ok for her to ride in the combine? Or what about a female farmer-Would it be ok for a man ride with her? Or are we saying no business period riding in the combine

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Honored Advisor

Here`s the question..

..and I hope it`s received in the spirit that it`s intended.  Okay, would you rather have a attractive female saleslady with you in your combine cab or a gay seed salesman? Smiley Very Happy  

 

Years back there was a very attractive insurance sales gal and boy could she sell insurance.  I remember all the farmers that got taken out to lunch by her, they bought all kinds of insurance.  She had a women`s lib shtick to pacify their wives, who probably thought it was a good idea they needed more insurance anyway.  She exhausted the county`s insurance market, got a divorce and moved on to greener pastures.  When the big goofy guys took over her clients, many of the policies got promtly dropped.   

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Honored Advisor

Re: Cultural question

I see that there is as varied a point of view among you men as there was amongst us females.  We actually brought up the gay guy scenario, too, as in, " If this is all about ablility, where are the black seed sellers, and how would a gay male be taken, in terms of the welcome to ride along?" 

 

I am also well aware that the best Extension agent I have worked with was a young lady, and they are taking more and more of the " ag" positions now, instead of being relegated to 4-H and what we used to call " home extension".  I never questioned that the females were capable, just posited that the situation is not very respectful of the feelings of the wife in question, and of wives in general.  

 

It seems disingenuous to me that it is so necessary to pin a farmer down in his confined cab space, right during his busiest time of year, and basically trap him into listening.  I see that most of you agree.  I think the liability issue might be a concern, too, although no one really brought that up.  

 

My training, from an early teen age, was that things that don't look right are largely what ruins reputations.  My parents had to approve of guys I dated.  My father also left me in situations with hired hands that made me very uncomfortable once or twice...and, we had one come to our door one day when Mike was gone to work on the railroad, trying to force his way in.  Let's just say I have dealt with that inpmbalance of power....

 

My real discomfort comes from Mike's own request that I be there, as explained.  He is unfortunate enough to share his grandfather's name with a pedophile uncle...so already has felt his whole life that  some people expected bad behavior with females from him....  

 

I am expected to be around to protect my husband's reputation.  It isn't a matter of jealousy.  I trust my husband.  The potential for " being accused of something" is real.  

 

My final take is that this sounds an awful lot like the cute reps that push pills at the doctor's offices.  That insurance story makes me even more convinced that the seed companies are exploiting these young ladies, at least in some instances.  Possible?  

 

And, as mentioned, some wives just don't appreciate it.  The female driving the combine with a male rep was mentioned, too.  I see neither one as a particularly good idea.  

 

I really enjoyed the replies.  I didn't think this practice was as widely accepted as I was being told.

Would love to hear your second round of thoughts.   

 

 

 

 

 

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