Twas the weekend before Christmas and people filled the stores, yet the farmers were still completing their chores.
Unlike many industries, livestock farmers do not get any days or holidays off. Livestock needs to be fed and watered daily. Due to the nature of their livelihoods, many of the farmers on your nice list this year may appreciate useful items that can help them on the farm. Christine Gelley, Extension educator in Noble County, compiled a list of material gifts you might consider for your farmer if you are looking for last-minute ideas this year:
· Flashlights — You can never find one when you need one, or the battery dies halfway through your project. There are so many styles to choose from: magnetic bases, hanging, minis, dual-purpose, etc. Don’t forget the extra batteries.
· Headlamps — If you know the experience of holding the flashlight for a farmer, you’ve probably been yelled at a time or two for pointing it the wrong way. Headlamps can help you by giving them control of where the light goes and also keep two hands free while doing any job. Again, extra batteries are a must.
· Tow Straps — Can you ever have too many? Pick a set in their favorite color, the sturdy kind that can survive being pitched off the truck bed on a highway, whipping in the wind on the interstate, and survive to tow another day.
· Shoe Goo — Farmers use everything until it is completely worn out. Shoe goo can help their favorite boots last another three months and costs a lot less than a new pair. Use a new pair of socks as the bow for this gift.
· Snacks — The kind you can leave in the truck or tractor for six months and still eat without fear of food poisoning.
· Caffeine — Whatever mode of delivery they like: coffee, tea or soda pop. Keep them fueled and happy. Purchase in bulk if you can.
· Degreaser Spray — Depending on where they get their oil and grease, get them the grease blaster product to match, the kind that is safe for hands, surfaces, and laundry too. As the wife of a tractor mechanic, I 100 percent recommend these products.
· A Watch — Waterproof, shatterproof, backlight options. You know they’ll be late getting back from the field or barn, maybe with a watch you’ll get a better estimate of how late that will be.
· Touchscreen Compatible Gloves — Keep your farmer tech-savvy, even when it’s cold out.
· Record Books — Stop by your Extension Office and pick up a farm record-keeping book, just in time for the New Year. Someone may also be there to give you ideas for other practical gifts, too.
However, as we all know, the best gifts are immaterial. Spending time with your family, friends and faithful, four-legged companions truly makes the holiday season brighter. As I finalize my holiday wrapping, I have found that my family’s nine-month-old Collie puppy has a spectacular knack as a wrapping assistant. While I may have to wrap each present multiple times in order for it to resemble a decent package, Coco and I are having a grand time in preparation for the holiday season. May you and your family have a joyful holiday season filled with good health and lasting memories.
For more information about OSU Extension programming, contact the Highland County office at 937-393-1918.
Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification will be held on Jan. 15. Applicators who need to renew their certifications will be mailed a letter from the Ohio Department of Agriculture in December. Registration for the recertification course is available through the OSU Extension, Highland County Office. The cost for both pesticide and fertilizer recertification training is $40, pesticide recertification only is $35, and fertilizer recertification only is $15. There is an additional licensure fee that is paid directly to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Exploration of International Agriculture – Ireland
Learn more about Irish agriculture and how you can implement agriculture tours on your farm. This program will include samples of Irish products. This program will be held on Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of the Highland County Administration Building. The cost to attend is $5 per person. RSVP in advance to the OSU Extension, Highland County office at 937-393-1918.
Ag is Everyone’s Business Breakfast
Hosted by the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, the annual event will be held Feb. 25 at Southern State Community College. The cost is $20.
Tickets can be purchased through the Highland County Chamber of Commerce at 937-393-1111.
Brooke Beam, Ph.D., is an agriculture and natural resources/community development dducator, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension Highland County.