the farmer's wife

Transcript of the Yahoo! Chat with Juanita...September 7, 1999

Yahoomc asks: Did you have any idea your own struggles could touch others in this way?
juanita: No, I really didn't
pbs_online_host: I am
pbs_online_host: Hello everyone and welcome to the Farmer's Wife chat!
pbs_online_host: Hello and welcome to this PBS Online chat with Juanita Buschkoetter.
pbs_online_host: Start sending in your questions now.
pbs_online_host: Juanita, the farmer's wife, is here to speak with all of you.
pbs_online_host: You can learn more about Juanita and Darrel at PBS Online at www.pbs.org
pbs_online_host: Welcom to The Farmer's Wife chat on Yahoo! chat.
pbs_online_host: Start sending in your questions now.

emma_kate_1999 asks: I just learned of your story this weekend and watched the film. My biggest question is to ask for an update on the family, farm, etc..
juanita: Juanita: Things are much better
juanita: we are farming 1200 acres, and I have beenpromoted to farm manager

sgroffbison asks: juanita, how has your family reacted to your unexpected success?
juanita: Both of our families were amazaed
juanita: me and my sister get stopped for autographs
juanita: I pretty impressed because we are just hick farmers

howpro asks: How has the fame affected your life Juanita
juanita: It really hasn't except time wise
juanita: the phone still rings constantly

howpro asks: How has the fame affected your life Juanita
juanita: the mail we haven't gotten a chance to answer
juanita: many speaking engagements
juanita: we have turned down a lot speaking engagements
juanita: we got burned out traveling
juanita: last july we had never flown before
juanita: now we have been on 28 flights

i_need2bdrmapt asks: Juanita, HOW did you folks get picked for this documentary?
juanita: The film producer
juanita: wanted to do a film on rural people
juanita: so he contacted farm aid
juanita: and family farm coalition
juanita: they put him in touch with the Nebraska Farm Crisis Hotline
juanita: where we had been frequent callers

KEdwards69 asks: How did your children feel about the three years you were being filmed and how do they feel about it now?
juanita: During the filming
juanita: the film was actually a distraction
juanita: they were able to think about other things
juanita: then what we were going through

emma_kate_1999 asks: J & D: What was the hardest part about having a film crew living with you, viewing your private moments, seeing you at your best/worst?
juanita: Simply that
juanita: We were able to tolerate it
juanita: because the film crew was such good bunch of people
juanita: we are still friends with the film maker and his wife

trillium64_3 asks: How have the people of Lawrence responded to your and the town's new-found fame?
juanita: We probably now have more and better friends now
juanita: we had more negative reaction then expected in the beginning

donkrob asks: Would you allow us back into your home?
juanita: (she laughs)
juanita: No.
juanita: I don't regret it but I we could never do it again

sandra_l_99 asks: Juanita, do you and Daryl expect to have a good harvest this fall?
juanita: Not as good as we were hoping
juanita: the corn yield but the milo should do pretty good
juanita: it's just the prices

Pink_N_Dizzy asks: Juanita, how did you find the strength to take care of Darrel, the girls and still go to school?
juanita: I was young and dumb
juanita: I sometimes feel I get more credit than I deserve
juanita: I'm just like many people who have to do what they have to do

Moozy99 asks: Are Darrel and his Dad getting along better since the show?
juanita: In the beginning it was weird
juanita: the film was a strange form of family therapy
juanita: things were confronted in the film]
juanita: that they never would have sat down and talked about
juanita: at the kitchen table

jdywst asks: Has the publicity from the documentary brought any monetary gifts to make life easier for you all to farm?
juanita: Yes. We have openly admitted people sent us money
juanita: but that's not why we did it

currant2 asks: Does your family have a web site where we can get updates ?
juanita: we sent some out to other farm groups
pbs_online_host: Yes. Please go to PBS Online. www.pbs.org

tomdoyle51 asks: I would like to know what Juanita's mother thought of the series.
juanita: At first
juanita: she came across to harshly
juanita: she sees it in a different light now
juanita: she enjoyed being a celebrity

kdando asks: To both of you: can you talk about meeting Prince Edward?
juanita: We met Prince Edward
juanita: at the PBS press tour last year
juanita: in Pasadena
juanita: a reporter took our picture
juanita: we were thrilled and I asked when his show came on

emma_kate_1999 asks: Juanita: How are you and Darrel doing? I mean really doing. I admire your ability to open up the way you did. I am sure it has had its disadvantages at times.
juanita: We are doing better
juanita: as any farm couple would
juanita: it wasn't a happily ever after ending
juanita: we have our rocky moments
juanita: we have learned a lot

spiritual_man asks: What has been the most important thing to come out of the program's broadcast for you and the family?
juanita: the fact that we know
juanita: that there are some many good people out there
juanita: who didn't know a lot about farming

jbtomlin asks: Can a young couple realistically hope to get their own farm in todays world of high land prices?
juanita: Not realistically
juanita: the income is so low
juanita: the margin of profit is so narrow
juanita: it's hard for an established farmer
juanita: to make a go of it
juanita: I don't think there is any way
juanita: a young farmer could do it

sgroffbison asks: Darrell, have you had to diversity your farm (other crops or livestock,ect.) due to current low prices?
juanita: We have always been diversified
juanita: you have to be so specialized
juanita: being doesn't help out anymore
juanita: being diversified doesn't help out anymore

volsfan1 asks: It seems to me that milo isn't a real big money maker. Why do you guys devote so much resources to it instead of another crop? Or, am I wrong altogether?
juanita: because of a year like this
juanita: the heat hurts the corn
juanita: and milo is a much
juanita: more tolerant crop
juanita: for Nebraska weather

sophie99336 asks: Would Daryl ever consider doing something else?
juanita: I don't think so

bmiltimore asks: Would you encourage any of you girls to be the wife of a farmer?
juanita: Probably not
juanita: I'm not a very materalistic
juanita: but the stress level
juanita: I don't want my kids to go through that

lhatfield_99 asks: do you still want to go to vet school or has that changed?
juanita: That has pretty much changed
juanita: I would like to go into computers
juanita: politics still interest me

don5x asks: Truthfully, is Darrell even there, or is he out in the fields right now?
juanita: Just about to go back out into the fields

keachybean asks: was there a lot of footage that you didn't like when you saw it for the first time? Or footage that warmed your heart?
juanita: There was a lot of both
juanita: there was a lot I had forgotten

trillium64_3 asks: Juanita, one of the guest essayists was wondering if the reason you stuck it out with Darrell was because the cameras were filming. What do you think of this?
juanita: Who knows
juanita: I do think it was an incentive
juanita: that we were gonna make it through together

kidkirst asks: what advice do you have for young couples starting out?
juanita: if your talking farmer couples
juanita: have another option
juanita: so you don't feel your trapped
juanita: people offer jobs to Darrel
juanita: it's just a sense of relief to know
juanita: that you have options

Vicki409 asks: How are the girls? How old are they now?? Are they still in 4-H?
juanita: the girl are great
juanita: Audrey is 13
juanita: Abby is 12
juanita: Whitney is 8
juanita: and yes they are in 4H
juanita: every year at fair time
juanita: I say,"We are never doing this again"
juanita: and every year we do

thulani454 asks: How long did it take for you to become accumstomed to the camera, if you ever became accustomed to having it there?
juanita: it didn't take long
juanita: we had so much to deal with
juanita: we didn't even think about the cameras
juanita: and by the time
juanita: we did have time
juanita: we were used to the cameras
juanita: it was never very obvious that they were there

riverratz_2 asks: Does your family miss the Sutherlands now that they aren't around?
juanita: yes, we do
juanita: but we talk to them weekly
juanita: we still correspond often
juanita: but we don't miss the cameras

nicsmath asks: How did it feel to be able to pay back the one creditor who was so hateful to you when you went to speak with him?
juanita: Darrel and I fought
juanita: about who got to pay the creditors
juanita: and we split it up
juanita: except that one we put in the mail

pbl53 asks: Did you recieve any money or any type of payment for agreeing to do the documentary?
juanita: No.
juanita: we were never paid for it

SlackerACE asks: My mother and I were discussing your family's strength and courage for having your life and its imperfections televised. How did your in-laws and parents react when they saw themselves either in person or being spoken about?
juanita: both sides of the family
juanita: re-acted positivly
juanita: it was a big concern
juanita: the closer it got to air time

busterdixie asks: Did you have any say in wht footage was selected?
juanita: No.
juanita: No say in any of it
juanita: and believe me there are parts
juanita: I wish was not in there
juanita: we would probably been more apt
juanita: to sugar coat it then David was

busterdixie asks: Did town members think you guys were sorta odd for doing this? or did they sorta admire you two?
juanita: yeah, I think they thought we were kinda weird
juanita: we didn't get a whole lot of support
juanita: while it was going on
juanita: the night the film was on
juanita: I think the whole town was glued to their t.v.
juanita: to see what going on during the three years

frugalkraut asks: Did you and Daryl ever completely take over the father's farm?
juanita: Yes.
juanita: we cash rent the farm from Darrel dad
juanita: we rent the ground from the landlord
juanita: and we bought his dad's share of the equipment

katskreit asks: Did you have any hesitation about doing this? Did you think it would create such a stir?
juanita: yes.
juanita: I initially didn't want to do this at all
juanita: because David wanted to get so up close and personal
juanita: I finally decided to do it
juanita: because I had worked with other farm families
juanita: who also felt that they were the only ones
juanita: going through it

ms_camille98 asks: Could you have stopped the filming at any time or were you obligated to finish the project?
juanita: we could have refused it
juanita: although I was angry at different times
juanita: for saying this is as much your film
juanita: as it is ours
juanita: there was no good ending point

dicorn902 asks: Will there be future TV sessions?
juanita: I don't think so

bjkeil asks: My husbands family farms in Western Kansas, always have to work off farm jobs to make ends meet. I was wondering how you are maintaining your life with the changes that the Freedom to Farm Act has brought to bear and the poor commidity prices that farmers are now receiving for their crops and livestock, Thank you and Good luck
juanita: that's probably one of the hard adjustments
juanita: I love my job
juanita: and it gives me a sense of accomplishment
juanita: I'm starting to feel
juanita: a sense of detachment from the farm
juanita: we have weathered the last years of record low prices
juanita: by contracting our grain
juanita: but something needs to be done
juanita: in terms of farming policy

shartrue asks: Were you and your husband surprised to see how you related to each other compared to how you seemed to think you were relating to each other?
juanita: That
juanita: is definitely true
juanita: I saw myself as not being as compassionate to Darrel
juanita: as I think I should have been
juanita: and he said he never realized how much he complained

pharm76 asks: have you had a chance to splurge a little on yourselves, like replacing your vehicles
juanita: Yes.
juanita: when people ask us how things are going
juanita: with my job and all we have learned
juanita: I'm able to pay
juanita: for all the basics and sometimes buy
juanita: things that aren't necessary
juanita: and plus with some the money
juanita: we now can do things we weren't able to do
juanita: like go out to supper

sarahelm asks: I read that a viewer made it possible for you to get braces. Are they off yet, and if so do you feel a lot better?
juanita: I just got braces in Feb.
juanita: I can't believe the difference they make
juanita: I'll have to have them on for a year or so
juanita: I hate the fact that I don't know the person who gave the money
juanita: to have it done
juanita: they sent the money to the orthodontist

incharge_99 asks: the Fmha employee is the film was really rude to you - have you written your Congressperson to have him fired?
juanita: Definitly not
juanita: we get along with him very well now

dfebles asks: Juanita and Darrell - how were you selected to be featured in the documentary over the thousands of other farm families in this country? Do you believe you typify the small (?) American farm family?
juanita: Yes. I do.
juanita: but from what I've heard since the film
juanita: I think we are typical

tomdoyle51 asks: I would like to know what Darrel's father thought of the series.
juanita: We have never heard anything negative
juanita: I think he feels a sense of pride in Darrel
juanita: although those words have never come out of his mouth

may123_2000 asks: Are you both closer to your parents since the airing?
juanita: Yes. I think we are
juanita: closer to our families now
juanita: my family have always been supportive of me
juanita: I think the film was enlightening for all of us

ms2b4me asks: Was it hard for Darrel to accept monetary gifts from strangers?
juanita: It was hard for the both of us
juanita: a lot of people were determined that they were gonna send us a gift
juanita: I had a retired professor tell me, "Juanita, you never turn down money."
juanita: some people have sent money for specific purposes

thejunkboy asks: how's Rascal
juanita: dead
juanita: he was chewing on the sheep
juanita: not just the cats
juanita: so we had to get rid of him

sgroffbison asks: I noticed that one of the girls had a t-shirt that referenced "Marriage Encounter". did you go to that? My wife and I did and it was a good experiance.
juanita: we didn't get as much out of it
juanita: we were dealing with to much
juanita: at the time
pbs_online_host: Is there anything that you'd like to say generally?
juanita: I can't think of anything off hand
pbs_online_host: Is there anything that you'd like to say to viewers and people who've shared their stories?
juanita: I'm grateful to David and PBS & Frontline
juanita: it's made me feel better hearing from so many people
juanita: I hope everybody realizes how grateful for all their generosity
pbs_online_host: Thanks so much for coming.
pbs_online_host: Sorry we couldn't get to all your questions.
pbs_online_host: Please take a look at The Farmer's Wife Web site at PBS Online. www.pbs.org
pbs_online_host: You can get updates on Juanita and Darrel on their Web site. www.pbs.org
pbs_online_host: Take care and good night.

Thanks to Yahoo! Chat for hosting this chat.

navigation

 
This guide was created for use with the program "The Farmer's Wife," a
co-production of David Sutherland Productions,Inc. and FRONTLINE in association
with the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

home . behind the film . letters . essays . pictures . david sutherland
guides . synopsis . resource list . press . tapes & credits

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS