the farmer's wife


general comments

Dear FRONTLINE

I'll begin by saying that I'm only 18 years old and when first hearing that this program was to be televised, I didn't want to watch it. However, it only took the first 5 minutes for myself to be glued for each of the three episodes, switching plans for the night to revolve around the programs schedule.

I have lived a wonderful life and it pained me to watch the struggle the family went through. As Darrel and Juanita continued to work to the extreme I felt myself become drained as if I was in their place. It really has made myself review my life and not take it for granted. I had not known how difficult a farmer's life could be and it is truly love and determination that has kept the family together.

The girls are beautiful and intelligent and continue to never give up, but to strive to accomplish your dreams. I'll leave by saying a quote that keeps me going through school and life overall: Without failure,one can not know success.

Amanda Copenhaver
Santa Barbara, CA

Dear FRONTLINE

I have to say that after watching this series I have a completely different outlook on the plight of our farmers.

I was raised around farmers and their kids but never realized the struggles. Also, after struggling with thoughts of giving up on a relationship because I felt it was getting to hard, I have renewed myself to trying harder to make it work. As Darrell said at one point, it seems everyone jumps on the divorce band wagon without really trying--you know taking the easy way out.

His faith in his wife and himself and doing what it takes to keep what is so dear to him has inspired me to look hard at myself. I didn't like some of what I saw. Thanks to the both of them I don't think it's too late.

I also had a father a lot like Darrell's so I understand where he is coming from with those issues also. I could go on and on but I just want to say I hope all works out well for the family. My daughters would do well to watch this series. PBS, this was one fantastic series and the next time it airs you will have my whole family's attention.

Bill Freeman
Shelby, NC

Dear FRONTLINE

This was the best and truest program I have seen on TV.

In an era of MTV, hype and exaggerated violence where people can't see beyond their own flash, it is refreshing to see honest people. People who are working to create something beyond their own shadow. The Buschkoetters are real Americans. If we could all be so real, we would not be subjected to the "Real World".

Please air this show again so I can show it to all my friends, and remember better times from my childhood on the farm.

Eric Dahlstrom
Novato, CA

Dear FRONTLINE

What a beautiful story, and eye opening account farm life. I don't think we all knew the WHOLE story. This is the second time I've seen the series, I would watch it again, I was stuck to it like glue. Its just drew you in. Thank you very much.

Diane Jennings

Dear FRONTLINE

For the past several months, I have been watching large segments of this film. It truly is impossible to change the channel. It is rare in this day and age to see such nobility. A woman with extraordinary strength and dignity and a man who truly is one of this country's only "real men".

I greatly admire thier way of life. They live with what they have and make the best of what they earn or are given. They don't spend their time complaining about what they don't have. My hat's off to them and their family. They are what America is all about. God bless you and your family. We watch you because we admire you!!

Jacob Parsons
Edgewood, Washington

Dear FRONTLINE

I am a 24 year old college grad who just moved to Florida after working a grueling year in retail In Des Moines, IA.

Darrell, I don't know how you find the motivation. Definitely a role model as far as I am concerned. I actually grew up in Fremont, Nebraska, where my father was the minister of a church. Though I grew up there I did not ever really have a true understanding of what a farmer's life was like. I have been absolutely moved and enlightened by watching this series. I have watched it every Sunday for the past 3 weeks.

You both define dedication and what for "better or worse" truely means. Juanita, you are such a great mother! Your children are truely priveled, especially in a society where broken families are almost the norm. I tip my hat to you.


And Darrell, you have got to be one of the toughest people I have ever known. Anyone who can admit that they need to seek help to make everything in their life work together, is truely a man of wisdom and courage. Too bad more fathers can't understand this reality.


Christopher Pavey
Vero Beach, Florida

Dear FRONTLINE

Watching the family struggle with their problems made me reflect on my own situation and tightin' my boot straps.

I, like Darrell, have a hard time expressing my appreciation for the importance of my relationship with my wife. As I watched another person struggle, I saw myself. Iwanted to pick up the phone and call the guy and say"...."

I hope I can take the message they gave me and continue to be strong when my little world starts to crumble. I will always think about the courage they showed and the passion they had in their commitment.


Dan O'Sullivan
Durham, NC

Dear FRONTLINE

Thanks for bringing real tv back to the american family. the Buschkoetters story is perhaps the best show ever aired on American television some other pbs shows are close thanks for deviating from the norm, and bringing us a story so emotional, almost everyone viewing it cried along with the Buschkoetter's or lied about it

this level of TV has again prompted me to write a check to PBS to support this kind of great programming.. If you're listening, this is how i'd like my money spent!

also, if the buschkoetter's agree, i'd like to see a follow up show in the future.

thanks again to you both.. pbs & the buschkoetters

scott t. martin
phila, pa

Dear FRONTLINE

"The Farmer's Wife" is the best documentary in years.

What a shockingly candid look into the life of family farmers! My husband and I watched with our five youngest children, and all were mesmerized. Thank you for sharing your lives.

Pat Byrne
Sicklerville, NJ

Dear FRONTLINE

Thank you for sharing your experience. I find myself absolutely enthralled by your story.

We non-farmers often take for granted the various foods that are available to us at the supermarket. We know that someone grows and tends them before it comes to market but we don't really see the hard work and dedication that is involved.
Thank you for bringing this relevation to light.

I have so much admiration for your perseverance through the most difficult times.

Maniphet Xayavong

Dear FRONTLINE


thanks so much for presenting such a wonderful documentary film. it should become a requirement for every classroom in America!!!!

chet kyle
DeSoto, MO.

Dear FRONTLINE


I want you to know that this was probably the most touching documentary I've ever seen and I hope PBS reruns it so that I can watch it again.
I never realized what hard work was involved in farming and what the small farmer has to go through. Your story has really changed my ignorant
opinion on supporting family farms.

I have no doubt that this documentary will touch many other people's hearts as well -- maybe this will lead to some positive changes from Congress. In any case, good luck to you and your three wonderful daughters.

Diane Westerfield

Dear FRONTLINE

I have not watched TV, 3 nights in a row in a very long time. However, your story was so intriguing and genuine - I could not pull myself away. My mother's parents were sharecroppers cotton_in the 30's & 40's. I've been told many heartbreaking stories. Seeing your story on TV really touched me. By the 2nd night my husband and 2 sons13&10 were watching.

The 3rd night was football practice - I chose to stay home and watch the last part. As soon as my family came home that night, they almost all said at the same time, "What's going on with Juanita and Darrel? How are the girls, is Whit still sick?"

Your story has made us all realize how blessed we are and how we take for granted our easy living. We were so happy when things on the farm turned positive, but even more happy when we realized that your marriage was going to be okay.

Juanita, your
faith in God, your dedication to Darrel and your daughters made a definate impression on me my husband too. We pray that God continues to bless your marriage, your family and your farm.

Stacey Lein
St. Charles, MO

Dear FRONTLINE

In this day of junk on TV, I'm so proud that my boys will sit with me to again watch this show. I pray that Darrel and Juanita with succeed with their dream and that they will be blessed for having the stick-to-itness it takes.

They are such a role model for the children of this world to show that sometimes dreams you want take alot of work to accomplish. Thank you again for this second showing.

terri furfaro
troy, illinois

Dear FRONTLINE

I saw Part I of the Farmer's Wife tonight. My eyes were glued to the television set the entire evening. Interestingly, minutes before the start of the documentary, I was lamenting on how my family did not have cable. However, I am now thankful and happy to know that sophisicated and thought- provoking shows/films/documentaries like the Farmer's Wife is aired on public domain television, for all of America to see.

As a second generation Taiwanese-American, residing in heart of Silicon Valley CA, I have always known that my American reality was not typical. Yet, I wondered how other Americans lived?

The Farmer's Wife has given me a bird's-eye view into an America that I only knew about through Lois Lenski's books and my own imagination.
I am thankful for this new perspective on who I am, who you are, and who we are as one as one people under God.

Praise God for the Buschkoetter's faith! Although I have not seen Part II or Part III of the Farmer's Wife, I will not be surprised if the Buschkoetter's faith in God is one of the uniting and waivering forces in their family life.

Lily Hsueh
San Jose, CA

Dear FRONTLINE


My husband and I watched your story together and we both were very moved. It reminded us both how often we become blind to the things that matter most, how all too often we fail to savor the most important relationships we share with one another.

Your story helped to put our own daily melodrama in perspective and realize that with love and dedication the American Dream still exists. We hope things continue to improve for you, and we thank you for sharing a piece of your hearts with us all.

Denise Farrell

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