SIA was formed in the mid-1980s after a single farmer sent a
letter to Farm Journal magazine expressing the difficulties of meeting
single women interested in a rural lifestyle. His letter prompted Farm
Journal staff writer Meg Gaige to pen several articles on the social lives
of single farm people. In one of her columns, Gaige asked single readers to
send in their name, address and a 50-word biography. The national magazine
received more than 2,700 responses.
During the summer of 1985, these submissions were compiled,
printed and mailed to all those responding. The magazine's project sparked
the interest of an Iowa woman and - due largely to her efforts - Singles in
Agriculture became a national organization. Iowan Marcella Spindler
volunteered to handle correspondence from those interested in forming a
singles organization. By the summer of 1986, the project had generated so
much interest that 23 people met in Peoria, IL. to take the necessary steps
to make SIA an official organization.
In October of that same year. Singles in Agriculture was
chartered as a non-profit organization. The nationwide organization boasts
members in 41 states, including Alaska, and as far away as France, for a
total membership of more than 1,000.
The purpose of SIA is "to promote educational, recreational
and social opportunities for singles who have an agriculture background, ag-related
occupation or are actively farming...to offer friendship, fellowship,
travel, inexpensive events and a chance to get together with other, 'country
folk '" Even though we have had people meet and marry, that isn't the main
purpose of the group. At almost all of our get-togethers we end with a
dance. We don't promote smoking or drinking.
There are three national SIA events held each year,
including an annual convention, an anniversary celebration and a summer