Editor’s Note: Dr. Val Farmer shares with us his varied reader reaction to the news of his retirement:
"Thank you for sharing your talent with me for many years. God has truly blessed you with a wonderful talent. I feel as if I know you and your family. What a blessing you’ve been to your wife and children.
"These columns have meant so much to me and I know there are many, many other readers that need them as much as I do. You’d have a thick book if you reprinted all your columns. They all have a special place. I’ll miss reading your column. I wish you and your family much happiness." – an Illinois reader
"Oh how I’m going to miss you. I think I am so busy I don’t read books like others do – but I never miss a column of yours! It was all interesting and uplifting." – a Minnesota reader
"Dear friend, thank you for all the encouragement and time you put into your column. We women needed that – and we will miss it." – a Minnesota reader
"We will miss your column. I can’t recall when I first began to read it back in the eighties. It has kept me sane, helped me raise my family, and addressed many issues we were dealing with." – an Iowa reader
"I want to wish you the best of everything that retirement has to offer. Congratulations on a job well done. I have been reading your column probably for 28 years. I heard you speak at the Richardton school several years ago. I did not know you are Mormon. (I am Roman Catholic of course.) I really admire the Mormons for their good values in life. At least the few Mormons that I know personally.
"About 15 years ago you devoted one column to your mother. That was so very much like my own dear mother. I made copies of that column and gave it to each of my 12 siblings. Our mother died at age 100 in 2002. Thank you for the good advice, etc.
"God Bless you and yours. Oh yes, the Abbey went out of farming as of Jan. 1, 2012." – Sincerely Bro. Placid Gross, Assumption Abbey, Richardton, ND
* "It is with much sadness that I learned you will soon be retiring your weekly column. I can’t tell you how much you have helped me through the years. I often cut out your column so I can refer back to it.
"Particularly the columns on marriage and personal growth have challenged and encouraged me. You seem to articulate some of the problems that my husband and I experience. It helps me to better understand our situation and take positive action to improve our marriage.
"God has used you to help me in so many ways. Regretfully I must say I understand your retirement and wish you the best. We know that everything must end but it’s not always easy to accept that reality. Thank you for investing in my life." – A South Dakota reader
* "First of all, I’m depressed that you are retiring (as I’m sure many others are). I don’t think you should retire! Why? You still got it. Your articles are insightful, full of wisdom, discernment and great advice!
"You still have much to give! Don’t give in to age or that nasty word ‘retirement!’" – Austen Schauer, TV news broadcaster in Fargo, ND
* "Just want to congratulate you on your retirement but will miss your very interesting and true to life articles. We will miss your voice but do want to wish you best of luck and enjoy many great days with wife, family and friends traveling and enjoying life." – an Iowa couple
* "I read with mixed feelings your article this weekend. It is wonderful that you have decided to ‘retire’ and support your wife in her endeavors as she realizes her dreams. However it is very sad for those of us that read your column and have gained so much insight and knowledge from you over the years.
"You have blessed many lives, including mine. May God continue to bless you and your family on the next leg of your journey!" – a South Dakota reader
* "I was sorry to read about you quitting your column. I enjoyed reading it each week in our farm paper. It was the first article I read every week. I used many articles to help raise our children and even have some I clipped out and saved.
"I wish you the very best in the next chapter of your life. Thank you very much for using your talent and helping people." – an Iowa reader
* "I always grab the farm paper and head right for your column. I have a real love/hate relationship with it. I love it because it hits home so often with real issues we face here on the farm. I hate it because I have so many torn out pages stashed in so many places. When I try to thin them occasionally, I can not part with them.
"I wish you, your wife, and family all the best in your next adventures. You will be missed." – an Illinois reader
"I’m sorry you’re leaving for my own selfish reasons. You have guided me thru difficult situations. Your column has probably saved my 50 year marriage. I tell my kids that when I die, and they go thru my ‘stuff’ they can read the Val Farmer columns I saved. God bless and thank you." – a North Dakota reader
For more information on farm marriages, visit Val Farmer’s website at www.valfarmer.com. Dr. Farmer’s book on marriage, "To Have and to Hold" can be purchased for $8.00 each plus $2.95 for shipping and handling for the first book and $2.00 for shipping and handling for each additional book. Send a check or money order to: JV Publishing, PO Box 207, Grover, MO 63040. A second book, "Honey, I Shrunk the Farm," can be purchased by sending a check or money order for $7.50 (shipping included) to the same address.
Val Farmer is a clinical psychologist specializing in family business consultation and mediation with farm families. He lives in Wildwood, Missouri and can be contacted through his website.
2012 JV Publishing