BEEF Daily

BravoTV Should Make A New Reality Show: Real Ranch Wives Of Rural America


My hat goes off to farm and ranch women today.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit this but, on occasion, I tune into BravoTV’s reality series featuring the Real Housewives of New York, Beverly Hills, Orange County and New Jersey. The show features women who live lavish lifestyles -- their glitz, glamour, diamonds, sprawling mansions and extravagant events are a far cry from my modest life in rural South Dakota.

As I’m writing this, I’m covered in mud and straw. My life these days feels a little like musical chairs. I sit down to write, get up to check cows, pen up a calving cow, make sure her baby is up and sucking, lay down fresh bedding, haul away manure, haul water, feed hay, check cows again, run to the house to blog, clean up and make a quick dinner, go back outside -- you get the picture. My boots and coveralls go on and off me repeatedly throughout the day as I try to manage my calving responsibilities with my writing deadlines.

It’s days like this when I’m covered in the muck of calving season, my hair is a mess, and makeup and perfume are long forgotten that make it blatantly obvious to me that I will never be a real housewife of Beverly Hills. I’ll never have the free time to plan elegant dinners, tan by my pool, get my nails done, drive my Escalade down Rodeo Drive, sip martinis with my girlfriends, be pampered with leisurely facials and enjoy fresh-cut flowers in every room of my home. And, although all of these things would be nice, I wouldn’t trade my rural lifestyle for anything in the world.

So, BravoTV, if you want a suggestion for a great reality show -- unlike any you’ve ever produced in the past -- consider this idea: The Real Ranch Wives of Rural America. The women on the show know how to drive a tractor and a four-wheeler. They can saddle up a horse, rope a calf, run through the snow and mud, work through any weather condition, and care for their livestock. They can also put a hot meal together in less than 20 minutes; do loads of laundry in record time; maintain a clean home even when family members are dragging dirt and straw in the entryway every time they come in the house; raise a family; keep a job in town; and look good doing it all, too. These are the real women we should be featuring on television; they are super heroes.

Admittedly, I don’t know if I have this whole ranch wife thing down yet. However, I have generations of women in my family who have successfully managed it over the years, so I certainly have good role models and mentors to learn from.

I could probably write more anecdotes about the unsung heroes of women in agriculture, but it’s time for me to head back outside and check cows again. My hat’s off to you today, farm and ranch women! Thank you for everything you do!

Are you a farm and ranch woman? What is your best advice for other women to keep everything in balance and accomplish the many tasks you have to do throughout the day? Do you have any favorite quick go-to family meals? How about tricks to get mud stains out of coveralls? Share your best tips in the comments section below.

By the way, for a good read on this topic, check out USA Today's, "Breaking The Glass Ceiling: More Women Are Farming."


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Discuss this Blog Entry 58

Tether Lundberg (not verified)
on Jul 27, 2013

I can relate to the becon call, and we don't even have radios.

JEANIE BRAUN (not verified)
on Apr 8, 2013


Tallie Lundberg (not verified)
on Jul 27, 2013

My mom so understands that with three kids like us, animals to take care of, and haying in the summer.She's always moving and doing something.

Susan (not verified)
on Aug 1, 2013

I almost hate to bring it up after Charlie's dissection of the reality TV industry. Much of what he says is true...on some shows but not all. Our new show "Family Beef" is about three-generations of cattle farmers and is as real as it can be. Authenticity is critical to the National Geographic Maybe you can watch and judge for yourself. Premiers next Wednesday, 8/7, at 9 p.m.

Danielle Beard (not verified)
on Aug 1, 2013

I'm on the less than 5 months countdown till officially becoming a Farm/Ranch wife, so I'm here soaking up others advice.
I will say, there is a "Naturalizer" that is technically supposed to be used for cleaning grease off of heavy equipment that I use for laundry. It will take the toughest of cow manure and grass stains out of jeans. Plus it smells like oranges, it's a miracle in an aerosol can.

on Jan 8, 2014

I am not a ranch woman but I have an uncle who owns and works on a farm practically all his life. Thus, I totally understand your take on living the rural life. It will definitely be an eye opener for many viewers out there, who have seen only the easy side of life being covered on TV. What they need to see now are those things that need sacrifices both physically and emotionally, especially by a woman. Dealing with cattles, storage barns, mud and everything unfeminine would be a great story to cover.

on Jan 22, 2014

I think if the media were to cover the story of living the rural life, it would be such an eye-opener for the viewers out there. This is because what we have been watching on TV or read in magazines are mostly stories of the lavish lifestyles of people who gained success the easy way. I think it is time to let people soak into the stories of people who had to take the hard-earned way like clearing up stables and storage barns just to put bread on the table.

on Feb 25, 2015

A comment has been posted to BravoTV Should Make A New Reality Show: Real Ranch Wives Of Rural America:
'Crock pot recipe. Roast, potato's, baby carrots, cover with one med jar of salsa. Everyone loves it. Brings everyone in from the barn!'

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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