Farm and ranch dating

But then, they probably haven't been looking around rural Nebraska.

This is a region where a few local people - and there are only a few local people - like to quip: ''It isn't the end of the world, but you can see it from here.'' Mr.

The town of O'Neill, with 4,100 people, is about 40 minutes away unless snow makes the trip impossible. Adair drives there to a bar, the Elbow Room, hoping to find a nice single woman. His father died in 1972 and his mother died last spring.

The ratio of single men to single women in O'Neill, he said, is about 10 to 1. His brother, Richard, lives on a farm about 30 miles away. Adair attended a three-room elementary schoolhouse in Amelia, with 3 other pupils in his grade and 30 in all. He graduated from Atkinson High School, about 18 miles away, where there were 80 students in his class. Adair knows that he has been left behind by the exodus from rural communities.

''There's got to be someone, somewhere, for me,'' he said.

When he read about Country Connections in a farm journal, he sent in a description of himself: Six feet 3 inches tall, 198 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, high school graduate, rancher, Catholic.

Unlike his father, however, he likes to crank up the volume on the rock-and-roll tapes in the truck.

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'Bored,' but 'This Is Home' And it has been more than a month since anyone knocked on Mr. But the old grocery store has long been closed, though the post office is still operating.

Blauvelt, publisher of Country Connections, a newsletter based in Superior, Neb.

''And with all the chores and responsibilities, it's hard for a person on the farm to find the time to go around looking for a date.'' In Amelia, where Mr.

Several houses here sit empty, up for sale for years. Adair does not want to leave, he says, because ''this is home.'' He says he is carrying on the tradition of caring for cattle here -''Come and see this calf that was born this morning'' - that began at least five generations ago.

In this solitary way of life, he said, it sometimes seems ''you live for the cows.'' He has names for some of them, like ''Big Eyes'' and ''Shorty.'' And he says they are friendly, even the frightened calf that kicked his knee a while back and sent him to the hospital.