Morgan Welper didn’t join FarmersOnly.com thinking that she would find the love of her life and future husband. She thought it would be a fun way to meet people and maybe date a little bit. Instead she found Nate Kliebenstein, a young farmer from Darlington who became her husband and the father of her child.
Morgan grew up on her parents’ farm in Waukon, Iowa, and went off to Iowa State University where she got a degree in dairy science. Eventually work took her to Ithaca, NY, where she first joined the site after a friend showed it to her. Morgan put up a profile and photo, but didn’t have much luck or time and eventually took her profile down. But then, when she moved to Shawano, Wis. for work, she decided to give the site another try and reactivated her profile.
Meanwhile Nate was growing up on a dairy farm between Truman and Darlington. He earned a degree in political science from UW-Platteville and had plans to go to law school, but when his dad sold the cows during his senior year of college, he decided to buy the farm from his parents and work on building it back up. For the next several years, all of his time, energy and focus went into working on the farm, so much so that he didn’t have time for going out and dating and his mother eventually suggested he join FarmersOnly.com in order to meet someone.
After both individuals had been on the site for a few months Nate was drawn to Morgan’s profile by her photo, which was of her hugging a dairy heifer she had shown in college. He decided to message her. It was March of 2010.
Morgan checked out Nate’s profile after receiving his message. “I was very pleased with what I saw,” she said. “Shortly after that I made messaging him my main priority on the site.” Morgan, who didn’t have internet service at her home at the time, would drive to the local Super 8 and sit in the parking lot to use their wifi.
The two continued messaging each other for about a week and a half and then started with the phone calls, which happened about every other day and lasted for up to two and a half hours at a time.
Soon they were ready to meet in person. They decided that Morgan would stop by Nate’s farm on a Saturday when she went home to Iowa for the weekend.
Morgan and Nate met for the first time in person in the driveway of his farm outside of Darlington where they shook hands and Morgan changed into her boots and got a tour of the farm.
When Nate’s friends found out that Morgan was coming to visit for the first time, they took pity on him and a major, several day cleaning took place at the house.
“It was like I moved in myself that day,” said Nate, who had previously been mostly living in the basement of the house, where there was a small living space, bathroom and a microwave. “I had everything I needed,” he said laughing.
After the tour of the farm, their first date consisted of the typical dinner and a movie. Nate showed Morgan some of the sites in the area, including the big M on Mound Rd. Afterwards they went back to Nate’s place and played Wii.
It was going well, but then Nate ended up getting food poisoning shortly after they returned. Nevertheless the date was considered a success and Nate ended up going to see Morgan in Shawano three weeks later.
From there on out, Morgan started making the three and a half hour drive down to see Nate every other weekend.
“As things got more serious, it was harder and harder during the times we were apart,” said Morgan. “We were both miserable.” Soon the every other weekend trips turned into an every weekend thing.
At first Morgan avoided telling her family that she was developing a relationship with someone she had met over the internet, as she didn’t want her family to mistrust Nate because of that.
“Initially, I was slightly ashamed that I had to resort to finding someone using the internet. I thought that meant that I wasn’t special enough or interesting enough to meet anyone in the ‘organic’ sense. But now I’m really happy.” said Morgan.
Things continued to develop and Morgan and Nate got to know each other more and more, mostly on Nate’s farm, since that demanded most of his time. But luckily, Morgan didn’t have a problem with that.
“There’s no going back,” said Nate of making the decision to start farming. “Once you’ve made that choice, you have to find someone to accept that.” And find that someone he did, in Morgan.
Eventually, they developed a routine. Morgan would show up for the weekend with groceries and beer—as Nate rarely had much in his fridge, unload her stuff, change her clothes and head out to the barn to help milk. And that’s typically how they would spend the weekend—doing chores and just hanging out.
In November of 2011 Nate proposed and Morgan said yes. They were married in a hayfield at the farm belonging to Morgan’s parents in September of 2012.
Then almost exactly a year later, on Sept. 23, 2013, the couple’s daughter Evelyn Kay Kliebenstein was born. “Now it’s just about work and her,” said Nate.
“It still kind of blows my mind,” said Morgan, of what a simple profile on FarmersOnly.com led to.
“I’m really happy we both did it,” said Morgan. “I feel like I would be married to a used car salesman and be living in town and be somewhat unhappy, and not have this much of a fulfilling lifestyle as I do now.”
Extraordinarily enough, Nate and Morgan came very close to meeting years before they connected online.
Morgan was interning with Genex, the company she currently works for, in the summer of 2008 and was actually just minutes away, breeding cows on other farms in the area. But looking back, Morgan thinks that at the time, it wouldn’t have worked for them.
“I think God had a plan. It wouldn’t have worked out very well at that point in time because Nate was still in full expansion mode. He wouldn’t have had time for a girlfriend at that point,” said Morgan. “We were two people at completely different points in our lives and not ready to meet each other yet.”
But after a few years, life decided that they were ready to meet and two people living hours apart connected on FarmersOnly.com, developed a relationship and ended up getting married and having a child.
The Kliebenstein’s success story from FarmersOnly.com has led to significant interest in their tale. In fact, CBS recently traveled out to their farm to interview the couple and get some material for a short segment. The couple hasn’t received word yet on an air date. They’ve also talked to the FarmersOnly site itself regarding a promotion about the success of the site.