What do farmers like

Interview: "Women find farmers very attractive"

When he was a child, you had to watch out for Martin Richenhagen when he was on the tractor. Not just once did he accidentally roll down a fence. Today, the 54-year-old still likes to take the tractor to the sunset to relax on the weekend. For Richenhagen, farmers are heroes of work. He could very well have imagined a life as a farmer because "you can see how the stuff grows".

Welt am Sonntag: That's a top service car, Mr. Richenhagen. Many boys and girls big and small will be very jealous now.

Martin Richenhagen: You can assume that. This is the new Fendt 936 Vario, with 360 HP the largest wheeled tractor in the world.


Richenhagen: You are probably not a tractor fan, what a shame.

I can't say. I never really understood what men find so fascinating about tractors and excavators.

Richenhagen: There's an incredible amount of technology in there.

That's all? And I suspected it was the power and brute force of these monster machines.

Richenhagen: There is definitely something to it, but I'm not the violent type.

Good for me, but asked theoretically: Could we run the small car over there?

Richenhagen: Should go, but I haven't tried it yet. There is a lot of power and weight in these vehicles. Something can happen quickly if you don't deal with it responsibly.

Do you speak from experience?

Richenhagen: Of course. I grew up on the outskirts of Cologne and our neighbor was a farmer. Sometimes I was allowed to drive around with his tractor and have already riveted one or the other fence.

And then you thought: I'll be a tractor seller later on?

Richenhagen: (laughs) No, as a child I wanted to be a journalist, but then I didn't dare.

You did a good job of that, the pay is not so great.

Richenhagen: I know my daughter wants to be a journalist, and I told him that it wasn't that lucrative. But it's a very exciting job, isn't it?

Sure, you can drive a tractor, for example.

Richenhagen: Very funny. I often drive around with the tractor on weekends and mow hay. For me, this is an ideal way to balance my desk job. It is a feeling of deceleration that you hardly get anywhere else so quickly. I have something to do, sit comfortably and leisurely stroll into the sunset.

I'm not sitting so comfortably.

Richenhagen: Well, that's just the emergency seat for the children or the woman who brings something to eat.

I have to disappoint you, I don't have anything to eat. Would you have liked to have become a farmer in retrospect?

Richenhagen: Yes, I would like that. However, it is difficult to get to a farm in Germany. You either have to be a farmer's son, that's not me, or marry a farmer's wife. I didn't succeed (laughs).

Farming is a real tough job. What is so appealing about it?

Richenhagen: Being a farmer is one of the last jobs in which you really generate something through your own work. You can watch the production process and see how the stuff grows. I imagine it to be nice. Many people now work all day, sit in conferences, make phone calls, email, write concepts and never see the result.

Still, hardly anyone wants to become a farmer anymore.

Richenhagen: Agriculture is struggling with recruiting problems, that's true. The job is very time consuming. You have few opportunities to go on vacation, you can't go to work when the eight hours are up, but are dependent on the weather. There are many people for whom this is too strenuous.

Have we forgotten how to work?

Richenhagen: Yes, I think so. Physically, there is hardly any work anymore. To do this, you run to the gym in the evening. That's pretty nonsense when you think about it.

Hard-working men don't seem particularly attractive to women. There is even a TV show in Germany in which lonely peasant sons are desperately looking for a wife.

Richenhagen: Yes, I know them. But I do believe that many women find farmers very attractive. You just have to get to know them first, which is of course difficult because the farmers hardly come down from their farm. There is also a website, landliebe.de, which is a marriage agency for farmers. It should be very successful. If you want a woman, you will find one.

Hm, do women really want men who smell like cow dung?

Richenhagen: It doesn't smell that bad anymore on farms. Many women find country life very romantic.

What is still missing in our homeland romance is a little music like "Resi, i collect you with meim tractor".

Richenhagen: (laughs) That's right, farmers usually also build stereo systems in their tractors. Unfortunately, it is not included as standard, sorry.

It's a shame, but back to the romanticism of workers and peasants: Are peasants the last heroes of work?

Richenhagen: Not the last. For me, real heroes of work are, for example, nurses who have to work night shifts with miserable pay, but do it with enormous motivation. I once worked as a student in a retirement home and have had a great deal of respect for such people ever since. Heroes of work are people who actually get off badly, but are still enthusiastic about what they do.

But you probably didn't want to swap anyway.

Richenhagen: You can't say that. I really enjoy my job, and I would never do it just for the money. In the past few decades there has been a change in values ‚Äč‚Äčthat I don't like. My grandfather was a carpenter. He wasn't particularly rich, but it made him proud and satisfied when he built a particularly beautiful closet. Today work itself no longer plays a role, only earnings. If someone has become a millionaire through pimping, then they are TV-compatible. Why? Because he has all the symbols of prosperity, big car, big house and so on. Money is not everything.

Mr. Richenhagen, what do you actually earn?

Richenhagen: It's not a secret. In America, executive salaries are eventually made public. Well, I earn a million dollars a year on a fixed basis, and if I do well, I can get up to four million more in addition.

Already clear. And of course you would do the job for less?

Richenhagen: Yes, because I enjoy it.

If the shareholders read this ...