Savannah Valley District

Christmas Gifts for Farmers That Promote Farm Safety

Marion Barnes Senior County Extension Agent – Clemson University

When choosing Christmas gifts for a farmer, think of farm safety. Protecting their health and safety is a priceless gift that one can give in the form of safety equipment for use on the farm. Small items that make a farmer’s life easier and safer include a pair of quality work gloves, ear plugs or earmuffs for noisy work environments, and eye protection. Also consider items farmers use on a daily basis, such as pocketknives, multi-tools, and small compact flashlights that will fit in the pocket. A lightweight headlamp can illuminate low-light working conditions and leave both hands free to complete the task.

Personal protection equipment (PPE) should also be at the top of the gift list. Slips and falls are a leading cause of non-fatal injuries in agriculture, so start at ground level with a pair of work boots with anti-slip soles. Don’t forget socks with reinforced toes and heels for added comfort. These items will be very appreciated after a long workday. If your farmer applies pesticides, consider PPE like chemical-resistant gloves, aprons, and or respirators to make handling, mixing, and applying pesticides safer. Good quality masks will reduce their exposure to agricultural dust and promote respiratory health if they work in dusty environments. Check with your local Agricultural Extension Agent or chemical dealer for pesticide PPE suggestions. A wide-brim hat will provide more protection from the harmful UVA and UVB rays than a baseball-style cap they most likely wear during their long hours and days in the sun. First-aid kits can be a lifesaving gift that should be easily accessible around the farm, in buildings, and on major equipment like tractors, combines, ATVs, and UTVs. And speaking about ATVs and UTVs, don’t overlook helmets and other appropriate PPE for operating these off-road vehicles. Consider purchasing new slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblems to replace lost, faded, or damaged ones on slow-moving agricultural equipment and implements.

Farmers move equipment, implements, livestock, and commodities on public roadways daily. Unfortunately, roadside emergencies occasionally occur. Consider getting roadside emergency kits for farm vehicles and all major, self-propelled equipment like tractors, sprayers, and combines. If your farmer has an equipment breakdown while on the highway, they will be glad they have the tools to deal with the situation safely.

For big-ticket items, check out the farm shop. Replace old, worn, or damaged electrical extension cords with new ones. Check if there are fire extinguishers in the shop. If not, purchase one or more as Christmas gifts. Check service dates on any existing ones and refill or replace them if necessary. Perhaps an upgrade to shelving or storage bins for better organization and less “shop clutter” would be in order. Face shields, goggles, and safety glasses are essential safety items in the farm shop area. Don’t overlook smoke detectors in the shop and home.

Every farm is different, and farmers’ safety equipment needs vary. Since agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S., consider making their workday safer with this year’s gift.

Information for this article was taken in part from Safety is a Valuable Christmas Gift in Agriculture by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Central States Center for Agricultural Safety & Health, Omaha, Nebraska.

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status, and is an equal opportunity employer.