At our house growing up, Santa came in the form of our milk processor, veterinarian, equipment salesmen and more. These individuals were like a part of our extended family, and they would treat us like family — dropping off gifts in the barn office as a thank you for our farm’s business over the past year. It was always a treat to see what was delivered, from stocking caps to calendars, to blocks of cheese and gloves.
No matter what the gift was, it was the thought behind it that counted. Whether you are looking for a gift for a farmer in your life or to say thank you to your customers this time of year, here are some ideas to get you started:
Chores don’t stop when the temperatures drop and the snow falls. A farmer living in areas with cold temperatures will appreciate any gift that will help keep them warm and, more importantly, dry. And it’s not just the cold that can be a challenge. Wet conditions and lack of daylight hours can make a farmer’s job more difficult. Consider gifting items that will make some of the small tasks a little bit easier. One of our favorites is a waterproof notebook, but warm sweatshirts, socks, gloves, hats and boots will also do the trick!
Farming can be a dangerous profession. Give a gift that shows you care about farmer safety. It’s practical and personal, and if it prevents even one close call, it may be the ultimate gift. High-visibility gear like hats, vests or shirts are always a great go-to gift idea.
Farmers are not typically a materialistic bunch. A gift that helps others or makes an impact in the agriculture industry may mean more than something they can unwrap. Volunteering or making a monetary donation in their name can make a lasting impact — for the organization and the gift recipient. Check out our list of agriculture nonprofits for inspiration.
Not every gift has to be farm related. It might not always feel like it, but farmers do have a life outside of the barn or field. And they don’t often splurge on “fun” things when farm items take priority. Get to know their interests and hobbies and gift accordingly. Or, consider an experience gift, such as tickets to a sporting event.
Time with family.
When asking farmers what they want for the holidays, the most frequent answer is time off. It can be hard to get away from the farm, even for just one night. For those close to you, offer to pitch in yourself or hire a relief milker, so they can enjoy a night off. Go one step further and give a gift card to a local restaurant, so they can use their time off for a meal with their family.
So. Many. Tools. There’s a never-ending list of things that need to be fixed around the farm. And tools often break, need replacing or get lost. A simple pocketknife is a farmer’s go-to tool or go all out and invest in the power tool they’ve had on their wish list. If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a gift card to your local farm store (Farm & Fleet, Fleet Farm, Tractor Supply, etc.), so they can pick out exactly what they need.
Need more inspiration? Here’s a list of gifts for farmers curated from our team, friends and social media followers:
- A donation of milk or meat to a local food pantry in the farmer’s name
- Rain gauge or thermometer
- A halter that even the craftiest bred heifer can’t slip
- Heated lawnmower or ranger seat
- Headlamp (with extra batteries)
- Boot dryer
- Hand warmers
- Snacks for the barn or truck (homemade snacks earn bonus points!)
- A personalized calendar with pictures from the farm
- Collectibles (antique farm equipment, sports memorabilia, toy tractors — whatever they’re interested in)