Looking for a man? Well, it’s not too difficult if you don’t mind the dung on his boots

CoupleA rather familiar figure within the expat community is the woman who’s here from Norwich, Nijmegen or Norrkoping hoping to find a man. It’s not easy but there’s a ray of hope. France’s farmers offer a buyer’s market to these looking-for-love ladies. According to Ministry of Agriculture figures one-third of agriculteurs are single and would do anything not to be. As one man told a radio interviewer recently, “If I meet a woman and tell her I’m a farmer, she’s usually off like a shot. They don’t like the sound of the life: it means isolation and likely sharing in some very hard and boring work. But for the right kind of person it could be the right kind of life.”

So if you’re on the hunt for a man think about meeting a farmer. The simplest way is to go on one of the several dating sites. Among the most popular are www.atraverschamp.com (France and Canada), www.vachement.fr and www.agri-dating.fr. Luc Gagnon, who founded the first of these three, explains, “It works like any other dating site but it’s very specific and female members get informed very quickly about what sort of lifestyle it would lead to.” Another possibility (involving heavy public exposure) is to get on the M6 show l’Amour est dans le pré (roughly translated: “the way to marriage is across the meadow”). This brings with it all the drawbacks of reality television (over 6 million viewers regularly tune in). Those who wish to take part are carefully vetoed and given a psychological examination. As she looked back recently on the show’s seventh season producer Marie Genest insisted, “Most of the time things work out well with the encounter of town girls and country boys offering good entertainment. Having someone from the UK or the Netherlands would add something interesting to the mix.” To find more see “Programmes” at www.6play.fr/m6.