Brandy Phelps-Vaughan tells Country Woman how her matchmaking website helps country people connect.
CW: What is Ag-Personalities.com?
Brandy: It’s a website I launched almost 5 years ago aimed at bringing together people with an interest in agriculture and country living. There are lots of online dating sites out there, but this one’s different. Ideally, it will help people find love or a good, lasting friendship.
CW: Is your matchmaking site geared strictly to farmers and ranchers?
Brandy: When I say “ag,” I’m talking about people who fish, hunt, camp, raise crops and livestock, ride horses and 4-wheelers, and love tractor pulls and NASCAR. Many of the gals on my site are strong, independent women, looking for someone who respects where they come from and where they stand. Plenty of the guys want to find a girl to share his hobbies, one who’s not afraid to get dirty. Some urban people join my site, too. For most of them, life in the country would be a dream come true.
CW: Do you have a country background yourself?
Brandy: I grew up on a farm where faith, family and good manners are important. When I moved to the city to attend college, my roots held onto me for dear life! Now, I’m back in a rural area with my own veterinary practice, Hoofbeats Equine Service. I’ve delivered foals, treated colic and handled vaccinations. Recently, I became a certified animal chiropractor, which I plan to make a focus of my work.
CW: What inspired you to take up rural matchmaking as a part-time job?
Brandy: I’d experienced the frustration of trying to find nice, country-minded men, and heard similar complaints from friends and my younger sister. I couldn’t believe such great girls were having difficulty meeting guys who shared their interests and values. At that point, the wheels started turning. I studied everything I could find about website development. Ag-Personalities.com took off from there.
CW: What does membership in your matchmaking Web site provide?
Brandy: We offer a free trial period for people to test out the site and see if it suits them. That includes access to our chat groups and blogs, a personal profile and the chance to read other members’ profiles. After that, they can join the site for a month or more, with varying prices for a year’s membership. I’ve even involved my cousin, a marriage and family therapist who grew up across from a cornfield. He writes a monthly column for the site, with everything from advice to friendly quotes to live by.
CW: Have you met your own Mr. Right?
Brandy: Yes! My husband, Winston, and I have been married for 3 years, and met through friends who are horse people. He team ropes, and we’re both avid rodeo fans. Winston and his brother are partners in the family farm and raise cattle and crops. He makes a living with his hands in the dirt, which demands long hours, sweat and help from me. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
CW: Has your site made many perfect matches?
Brandy: Connections are being made every day. One success story hits close to home. A good friend met a super guy on the site, and they’ve been dating ever since. Seeing them together makes me smile inside!