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The funny side of life on the farm

Marvin Jensen of Kensington is a farmer by day and a humorist by night. Jensen recently compiled his years of farming into a humorous book called Country Humor and Mostly True Stories from the Farm. (Courtney Bitzan/Echo Press)1 / 2
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According to Marvin Jensen, you know you’re a farmer when…

● the high point of your social calendar is coffee after church,

● you think forty hours a week is a part-time job, and

● you drive a $275,000 tractor and a $500 car.

Jensen, who has been farming since 1965, has gained a lot of insights into the profession over the years, including the financial and familial hardships that often accompany it.

He recently decided to shed some light – and a lot of humor – on those insights in a book he titled Country Humor and Mostly True Stories from the Farm.

The book contains short stories of life on the farm and local lore from his hometown.

Jensen wanted to record his experiences, but he wanted to do it in a manner that did not take life too seriously.

“I was tired of the gloom and doom farming books,” he stated in a matter-of-fact tone. And so, the humorous Farmer’s Bathroom Book was born.

A bathroom book is defined as a book that can be read for a short period and then put aside until next time, making it ideal for farmers who do not have time for lengthier pieces of writing.

“I wanted to write a book that someone could read for a little while, and then set aside for a later time,” Jensen rationalized.

The book includes tales of The Brunette and The Blonde (Jensen’s wife and daughter), the reason farmer’s pickup trucks are never stolen, thoughts on Minnesota cowboys and more.

The book contains pencil-sketch illustrations by artist Michael Rose and collections of one-liners, such as “You know you are a farmer when…” and “Your banker doesn’t know much about farming when…”

Jensen offers advice, such as: “do not buy a pickup bigger than your garage,” and “when stealing a bee hive, never put the hive in the back seat of your car.”

The book is available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the author’s personal sales page


Jensen, 73, owns and operates a 1,900-acre family farm near Kensington. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering from North Dakota State University and agricultural education from the University of Minnesota. He also has a Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota, specializing in farm management and marketing.

When not farming or writing, he enjoys collecting classic cars and beer bottles, traveling and climbing mountains, and playing with his grandchildren.

Jensen and his wife, Marlys, have three children and four grandchildren.