Farmer Personality Types

It’s been raining a lot here, and the primary reason I dislike rain is because it’s wet. I hate being wet. It has something to do with the childhood trauma of my mom insisting I get clean. Getting clean was a huge waste of time because I’d just get dirty again the next day. Sometimes I tricked my mom by letting the shower run; meanwhile, I’d sit beside the shower and read a comic book until the mirror fogged up, which indicated an adequate amount of time had passed. Then I’d sprinkle a few drops of water on my head and presto–all clean!

When tomatoes took over the porch.

Perhaps my favorite reason to farm is the tan. Grease, oil, dirt, manure, and all-around general barn grime have a way of clinging nicely to farmers and giving our skin a natural patina. Back when I used to plant a half-acre of tomatoes each summer, my skin would be tinted green when I came in from picking. My wife would banish me to the shower, and the runoff would actually glow with chlorophyll, which was pretty neat. Seeing how dirty I can get shower runoff is now the only good reason I know of to plant a half-acre of tomatoes to pick myself. 

Truth be told, I hate being wet almost as much as I hate being cold. And if I’m wet and cold, I might as well be hot, which I abhor. You might think that someone who hates rain and temperatures hot and cold would be a pretty bad farmer, and you’d be right. But rest assured I’m a bad farmer not because of atmospheric predilections, but solely because of my personality. 

Recently I took the Myers-Briggs personality test, and the results confirmed my suspicions after ten years of trying to farm. It had a list of careers to avoid for my personality type, and “farmer” was at the top. If only I would have taken the test ten years ago, I would have saved myself a lot of misery (I’m thinking, just off the top of my head–the barbed fencing staple in my foot, an embarrassing wrestling match with a pig, and my personal record of twenty-three bee stings in one day.) 

According to the test, I’m an INFJ, or what’s known on the internet as a Creative Nurturer. According to said internet, INFJ is the rarest personality type (we’re not benefiting from the whole survival of the fittest thing) at a mere 2% of the general population. My research indicates few scientific surveys have been done of personality types at the sale barn, but my own anecdotal observations suggest very few Creative Nurturers leave the sale barn alive. Case in point, once I tripped and nearly fell off the catwalk and plummeted into the bovines below. Furthermore, I only know of one other possible INFJ in agriculture around here, and he works at a beet farm as a cult leader. If he walked into the sale barn, he’d probably be stoned to death.

So to sum up, the point here, of course, is I farm not because I’m genetically predisposed to be good at it, but because I don’t like taking showers. Being dirty makes me content, at least when I’m not hot, cold, or wet. 

What Myers-Briggs personality type are you? Is it a good fit for farming? Do you hate certain atmospheric conditions?


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22 thoughts on “Farmer Personality Types

  1. INTJ, and the implication from that is I think I know everything. Somewhat accurate, but always willing to be proven wrong. While I love beekeeping and growing things, I’d make a lousy farmer. Too lazy, and I don’t like getting wet or cold either. And if our bees stung me 23 times in a day, they’d be gone by the next. 🙂

    1. Yeah, it was a bad situation. It was a huge mean hive, accidentally dropped the top brood box, only had a veil on and had to get box back on. Had to decide whether to run or go ahead and put the box back on. Put the box back on then ran. Took most of the stings in my back through my shirt and on arms. Not sure how many it was really but it felt like 23.

  2. INFP – looks like the ‘IN’s have beekeeping and reading in common. 🤗 Otherwise, I don’t mind getting dirty as long as a nice warm bath awaits!

    1. So far we’ve got two INFJs, one INFP, and one INTJ. This is interesting. Introverted makes sense I think on a farm. Intuition comes in handy at times, but at other times I overlook important details to sometimes comic effect.

  3. According to an abbreviated version of the Myers-Briggs test I found online, mine is INFJ. I like beekeeping, as this is a solitary outdoor activity I can enjoy by myself yet still talk about with others. Gardening and farming….not so much my forte, even though I like the idea of it.

    1. Yeah, that’s one of the main reason’s I like beekeeping and farming is because they’re mostly solitary pursuits. In that regard, I think INFJs are pretty well suited for farming cause being alone usually doesn’t faze us.

  4. I am an INFJ as well. The interesting thing is back in my twenties when I first took Myers-Briggs I tested as an ENTP, which is what my mother is. The more I learned about it, it depends on how old you are as when we are younger we often answer the questions on how we think we should answer them, often influenced by how we were raised rather than who we actually are. My E and I were very borderline both times, and I like to say that this explains why my paid work was in human resources/recruiting has been so easy to do from home, where most of my colleagues would say they have to be in an office feeding off of other people.

    They say the INFJ is best to be in a counselor/teacher or writer role. As a blogger you can end up being both, so I guess that makes sense for the many of us who are blogging 🙄

  5. INFJ here as well, and LOVING my new life on a homestead! Nurturing plants and animals can be very fulfilling. And it’s fun to have my chickens follow me around and “talk” to me. Maybe in spite of MB assessment that farming is not good for INFJ’s, MAYBE they are wrong and it’s the very nature of our personalities that sets us to farming – at least on a small scale. And blogging lets us share a bit of ourselves without going too deep and really letting people know who we are – it’s SAFE. Love your sense of humor! I always get a few good chuckles when I read your posts. 😀

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Being an INFJ on a farm is fulfilling and at times quite comical. My wife’s poppaw Lowry has more or less been my farm mentor over the years, and he’s a take-charge John Wayne personality type. He loves farming too and sometimes seems so much better suited for it, but he’s an extrovert and sometimes I think staying around the farm all the time is kind of lonely for him.

  6. Absolutely terrific article. I worked on a dairy as a kid. Sometimes a cow would chase me through a low point on the pasture where a “mud” puddle of cow urine and dirt existed. My mother would make me strip down and hose off before I came into the house.

    1. Thanks. My wife’s actually leaves sticky notes on the door saying “boots off!” (emphasis hers), and if my clothes are bad, I have to strip down on the back porch, which is kind of demeaning if you ask me.

  7. Unless I’ve changed over the last 20 years, I’m INTJ. I enjoy alone time, planning out projects and believing my own ideas are the best way of doing anything. My husband is the same and we have learned to stay in our own lanes rather than collaborate too much.

  8. I don’t know which type I am…. or I don’t remember. I took *a* test a little while ago, but don’t remember the results.
    I hope farming works for my personality type though. I don’t farm yet, but I want to, and am looking forward to it 🙂

    1. According to the test, farming is not recommended for my personality type, but I still like it, so I say just jump in and see how you like it.

  9. I am an INTP. While I am fascinated by practice, and I have what I think is the most suitable personality trait for farming (Si, introverted sensing), it is still too often overwhelmed by Ne, which hinders my ability to be effective.
    Therefore, I sometimes may get overwhelmed by questions such as “should I give 2 or 3 spoonlets of Potash to the apple tree?” or “is it OK to apply the vine weevil killer on the blueberries preemptively, as soon as I see some bites on the leaves”?
    But, as a whole, I think experience and someone who is able to teach you something would be the main key to success. Theory is great, but you need to watch:

    1. Thanks for reading. As an INTP, one day you’ll have to explain to me how logic works. My INFJ brain hates it and would rather just go with my gut.

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