What is Farmhouse?

FARMHOUSE is a fraternity dedicated to the building of men

FarmHouse is found on college campuses throughout North America, from coast to coast, and is a fraternity dedicated to our motto – builder of men. The fraternity is a college home in which a man can be: creative, share responsibilities, make lasting friendships, express his inner self in an atmosphere of trust and understanding, learn lessons in living in a community of which he is an integral part, be accepted as a participant, learn the essence of brotherhood, and learn the caring of one man – and of a community of men – for the individual, the brother, for the community, and for the mutual welfare.

FarmHouse promotes the growth and welfare of our members through a four-fold focus of intellectual, social/moral, spiritual and physical development. Such occurs when brothers – both students and alumni – gather together in a learning environment which inspires continued improvement as a scholar and as a gentleman of high character. Such affiliation encourages success in one’s career, in one’s personal relationships and in one’s community and civic engagement.

FarmHouse sows the seed today which will, with time and nurture, produce the leaders of tomorrow’s world: the researchers, the teachers, the academics, the statesmen, the farmers, the business executives, the community leaders, and the professional men of the future whose task it will be to solve societal challenges.

To build men during their collegiate experience and throughout life, the Fraternity promotes members to live our principals in our daily actions, as reflected in our name – Faith, Ambition, Reverence, Morality, Honesty, Obedience, Unity, Service and Excellence – FARMHOUSE.

The goal of a member should be not only to uphold these principals and the ideals and reputation he inherits, but to improve and expand them, for to stand still, to maintain status quo is to take a step backward.

FarmHouse:

. . .is dedicated to promoting the moral and intellectual welfare of its members, to creating an atmosphere of learning which all will inspire men in their scholarly endeavors, to continuing growth through new avenues of learning when school days are past.

. . .encourages social growth and an awareness and practice of the conduct of a gentleman that will become so much a part of the man that he is no longer conscious of effort in achieving social amenities.

. . .stresses faith in God and urges each man to worship in the tradition of his own Church and in accordance with his own beliefs with tolerance for his brothers.

. . .stresses loyalty among its members to: their country, their community, their university, their fraternity, their families, and each other.

. . .strives for: excellence in scholarship (knowing that scholarship is the key which will open many doors later in life), the doors of the mind as doors to fuller appreciation of life, to answers to ethical and practical questions, and to success in industry, business, and agriculture.

The 4-Fold Building Process

The university environment is one that promotes growth - through academic study and through personal development. Enhancing and supporting this growth, is the FarmHouse chapter member experience, which is grounded in the Fraternity’s commitment to helping young men develop through a four-fold focus of intellectual, social/moral, spiritual and physical growth.

Intellectually

Intellectual growth is promoted as the prime objective of the college student. So too is it the belief that it becomes a primary responsibility of the Fraternity. It is the aim of FarmHouse to amplify the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the university, by providing surroundings conducive to study, by offering counseling to students who require assistance, by helping a man to plan his time, by encouraging each man to apply himself to his primary goal with diligence.

The Fraternity supports this aim by providing an arena for discussion of current topics, related to areas of common study, to politics and current events, all within the boundaries of friendship and brotherhood. Further, chapters have a faculty advisor and chapter advisory committee who help support student success through their relationships with the community and with the university.

New members who join the fraternity are often assigned an upperclassman, often known as a big brother, whose responsibility is to give counsel and help orient the new student to campus academic life. Additionally, new member education during one’s first semester of membership helps students learn about campus resources, time management and study skills to aid their academic pursuits and success.

The commitment to the intellectual development of our members is reflected in the high academic marks our chapter’s records each semester. FarmHouse often leads all fraternity’s in academic standing both locally and at the national level.

Spiritually

When a young man goes to college he is often taking a first step toward independence. At this time religious convictions and feelings toward morals and customs he has previously shared with family or friends often undergo personal reflection. He may build on these foundations, or he may, consciously or unconsciously, drift away from his previously held convictions. FarmHouse encourages their members to grow in the exploration of their faith.

In the words of one FarmHouse man, “Faith, while an intimately personal thing, is to be nurtured, not diminished, by the common life of the brotherhood. It is ever an object of concern and respect; never one of ridicule or of superficial pretense. Depth and diversity of conviction lend richness of color to the spirit fabric of the chapter’s life.

“The very essence of fraternity is the bond of the spirit. A spirit consciously and subconsciously woven of confidence, helpfulness, forgiveness, joy, respect and trust represents the material of which fraternal life is made in helping influence one’s health of mind and body.” (Kleis, page 6).

Socially-Morally

We are judged in society by our manners, by our attitudes and by our behavior. As members of a group we have come to realize that the group is often judged by the actions of the individual, as the group with which he associates judges the individual.

It is the aim of FarmHouse to create opportunities for its members to develop social refinement. Chapter functions often include dances, exchanges with sororities and fraternities, Parents’ Weekends, Founders’ Day celebrations and Homecoming festivities. Through social engagement with fellow students and community members, our men practice the social skills necessary for personal success in life.

Friendly and constructive criticism is part of the plan of FarmHouse living and is designed, in part, to help each man to achieve ease and poise at social functions. It is recognized that the ability to accept constructive feedback and to profit by it comes with maturity.

Our love for our fellow man demands discipline and concern for our every act, that we do not blindly step on others on the way to the top, that we do not sweep aside unconcernedly the basic truths. Respect for ourselves and each other demands that we behave with intelligence and with regard for each other, to the best of our abilities, in a controlled and considerate demean.

Physically

To be mentally alert, productive, and a contributing member to the Fraternity and society, a man needs to be in good health, in mind, body and spirit. It is essential to a student’s well-being that he learn the healthy habits of balanced meals, receive adequate rest, be active and be supported in his emotional health by his brothers.

A major lesson that every university man must learn is how to plan his time so that he is able to study, to rest, and to pursue recreational interests in proper relation to his responsibilities to the university, his chosen field, and his family.

There is a saying in FarmHouse, “One cannot build men by tearing down boys.” FarmHouse is opposed to hazing and harassment and any and all activities designed to degrade the individual or cause embarrassment.

The promotion of well-being and health is done so in a supportive manner through campus intramurals and recreational center for brotherhood events. In addition to organized chapter events like camping, fishing, skiing or bicycling trips. And in-house activities such as a weekly basketball game or ping-pong and pool tournaments. Such encourage the pursuit of personal hobbies while enabling brothers to enjoy each other’s fellowship through a shared common activity.

The Central Attributes

Be a Leader

University activities provide many opportunities for young people to assume leadership roles. Additionally, the Fraternity provides unique opportunities for leadership within the chapter and association by holding an elected officer role or appointed position.

Members are encouraged to be selective in their activities so that they choose projects of merit and groups of worth with which to associate. They are urged not to join everything available for the sake of accumulating great lists of involvements. Members should recognize that some projects have merit; some have none. Some are appropriate for one man. Some for another.

“Progress is made by men and fraternities who set objectives, lay out courses of action, and move in straight lines rather than circles. There is a powerful distinction between business and busyness.” (Kleis, 1964)

A man is encouraged to do no more than he can do well. The emphasis is on excellence of purpose, excellence of choice and excellence of performance.

Academics Above All

Universities provide the atmosphere, the faculty, the staff, the classrooms, the libraries and references, and the laboratories where the formal learning experience may take place. They set the scene for the student, who wishes to learn.

FarmHouse places emphasis on excellence in scholarship and has established a record of high scholastic achievement. It is intended that the environment of brotherhood in FarmHouse will provide a home-base for the scholar while he searches for the truth, that he will be strengthened in his desires to seek the ultimate, and that his relationships will encourage him in no way to deter him in his goals.

Year after year FarmHouse chapters across the United States and Canada have remained at or near the top scholastically among all fraternities on the campuses where chapters are located. It is important that every member consider the difference between “gradesmanship” and scholarship. In an effort to preserve one’s scholastic standing, it is often easy to concentrate on getting the grade rather than pursuing knowledge that will be valuable later. If one is to be a true scholar, a FarmHouse man should discipline himself to study for the sake of knowledge rather than memorizing facts to parrot back to the professor.

More Than Just Four Years

Universities provide an atmosphere to create community and to help a student become part of something larger. The Fraternity and the member experience provided is one such community allowing for individuals to be part of a group – working together and as a result experience and enjoy the fellowship of their fellow students. A benefit of lifelong affiliation with FarmHouse is the fellowship afforded. Meeting, interacting and gathering with men from various backgrounds, with diverse interests, to learn, grow and socialize together.

“True fraternalism means giving of one’s self for the betterment of others through personal sacrifice,” from The Charge, read to newly initiated members during the Fraternity’s Pearls Ceremony.

“Fellowship is intrinsic to fraternity. Fellowship has its highest expression in volunteered conformity. It attains its lowest expression when likeness and uniformity are prerequisite to admission as well as requirements of day to day life in the chapter. It is the symbiotic relationship of men of varied talents, divergent backgrounds, and differing views, engaging in honest and earnest quest, sustaining and challenging themselves and each other, that the full meaning of fellowship can be known.” (Kleis, 1964)