From City Life To Farm Wife With Denali Gillen @freshfarmwife


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by sarah elrod

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Denali was born in Alaska and raised near Salt Lake City, Utah. She has no previous experience with agriculture and spent her life growing up in the city. Denali met her husband after hearing about him from her brother who then introduced them. After the two met, they became inseparable. They did a long distance relationship for a while and then the day after they got married, Denali moved out to the farm and instantly became a farm wife.

She explains that living in rural America is vastly differently from just visiting. For a while, she convinced herself that she was not cut out for that kind of lifestyle. Denali even tried to convince her husband to move back to the city but it was not a realistic thing for them to do, leaving the farm behind. So instead of being negative about the situation, Denali decided to embrace it.

These days you couldn’t convince Denali to move anywhere else. She loves living on the farm and being out in the middle of the country.

What Has Been The Biggest Struggle For You To Overcome?

Denali says that she really struggled with her husband’s schedule in the beginning of their marriage. When she first got married she had expectations that her husband would be with her all the time and when he wasn’t, she would get upset.

Her husband would have to leave to go feed cows and Denali said that she refused to go with him for a while. Slowly the Farm became a thing that separated the couple instead of unifying them.

About 3 years into their marriage, Denali decided to participate in the jobs around the farm and join her husband as a team. She said that when she did this, her whole perspective changed. After a while, she fell in love with the farm and could appreciate it through her husband’s eyes.

Another hesitation that Denali said she had about working on the ranch was that she was afraid to fail. Her worries revolved around not wanting to break something and not wanting to hold her husband back on the job at hand. But her husband, Jordan reminded her that Farmers fail too. They just learn from those mistakes and use it to grow and get better.

That helped shift Denali’s mindset and now she is much more open to the idea of failing, and trying again.

Did Your Family Approve Of You Moving To The Farm?

Denali said that her move to the farm was very exciting to her family. Her dad has always been a farmer at heart and really loved the idea of his daughter getting to live out that dream he has always had. However there were still adjustments and reality checks to be made. Denali says that her mom has always been the person she would turn to when she was lonely, and when she heard that Jordan was gone all day long, they both just couldn’t fathom it.

But other than a few learning curves, the family has fallen in love with the farm and wants to even move out there themselves. Her parents can see the lifestyle through her eyes and how important the lifestyle really is.

How Do You Balance Farm Life And Being A Mom?

The keep word to balancing a busy lifestyle is Grace. Denali says that it’s impossible to give 100% of yourself to multiple things and you have to learn to accept that. Once she was able to give up some of the control and just let it be, she was a happier person.

As a farm wife, Denali is at home 50% of the time and working on the farm the other 50%. Being a farm wife is kinda like being on call whenever her husband needs her, she needs to be ready to go. Whether that be to pick up a part in town or to go help get the cows back in.

What Is Your Favorite Part Of What You Do On The Farm?

Denali loves that she gets to raise her kids out on the farm. She started to appreciate farm life before having kids, but once her babies were born she says that appreciation grew. Her kids get to live a lifestyle that is rare these days.

They get to go outside and work with their dad, and occasionally their grandparents. They get to grow things, and raise animals. Farm life has taught her kids so much patience and respect and Denali wishes more kids could experience this rewarding lifestyle.

As sad as it can be to watch your kids fail, it is such an important part of them growing up and learning about life. Out on the farm, kids will get to experience failures, hardships and let downs. Sometimes on a daily basis. Denali says that she really finds so much joy in watching how resilient her kids have become and how much stronger they are because of the things they have experienced on the farm.

How Does Instagram Play A Role In Your Farm Wife Lifestyle?

Denali says that Instagram has become a place where she can connect with other people, specifically women, who have shared similar experiences with her. It is a place for community and creativity and has become a way of an outlet for her.

She has been able to find humor through her mistakes and loves sharing them with the world to see who has been through similar things. Overall, Denali loves the women that social media has introduced her to and the conversations she has been able to have because of it.


Check Out Denali On Instagram:

Other Episodes You Might Enjoy:

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070: Girl Chat about Dating, Relationships, and Jesus


I'm Sarah Elrod

The Podcast

Rural Lifestyle



I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.

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