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10 gift ideas for the farm families on your Christmas list

A wooden folding fence is a great gift for the farm kid who can't keep his livestock (and other toys) in their pen. (Jenny Schlecht/Agweek)1 / 2
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Do you have a farmer or a farm family on your Christmas list this year?

No two farmers or farm families are exactly alike, of course. But there are many practical gifts that almost any farm family would appreciate. Here are 10 ideas:

Good winter boots: This is essential for anyone who spends long hours outside in the winter, especially those of us with livestock. My family likes Muck Boots, which offers styles for a variety of temperature ranges and sizes, but there are other popular brands. Boots that keep toes toasty in even the frigid winters are good gifts for anyone.

Boot and glove dryer: And, if the farm family on your list already has a good selection of winter boots, a boot dryer or a combination boot and glove dryer might be a good choice. We have an electric one with slots for four items — a pair of boots and a pair of gloves or two pairs of either — that pushes air to get things dry. Other options can be placed over a vent or next to a heater or furnace.

An electric pressure cooker: I recently purchased an Instant Pot, and already I've got a slight obsession going. I've made a fall-apart tender chuck roast, a juicy, flavorful meatloaf, a fast, thick beef stew and a whole chicken with meat that literally fell off the bones, and that's within the first five days. Many brands have electric pressure cookers on the market, with a variety of features. The ability to make quick, healthy meals on busy days is a must for busy farm families.

Ratcheting wrenches: My husband swears by these tools, which feature a ratchet on one end and a wrench on the other, and tries to keep a set in almost every vehicle and tool box.

Moisture-wicking clothes: I've had four Under Armour shirts since I played college softball, and those same four shirts have kept me warm for more than a decade of North Dakota winters. My dad wears a hot-season shirt under his other clothes during barley harvest to cut down on itching. Many brands have moisture-wicking fabrics at a variety of price points, and they're definitely worth it.

Steam mop: Nothing attracts dirt (and other "stuff") like a house on the farm or ranch. If the farm family on your list has sealed hard floors, like tile or wood, a steam mop would make a great gift. They run on water only, so you don't have to purchase cleaning solutions, and they get things nice and shiny.

Wooden folding fence: Do you know farm kids who struggle to keep their (plastic) animals in their (plastic) fences? Consider a wooden folding fence. My brother and I had one as kids; now my girls have one. They stay standing, fold for storage and can corral a variety of animals. We've been known to run cows, horses, pigs, sheep, dogs and a variety of action figures, dolls and Hot Wheels cars in one pen in our house.

Tandem axle jack: Does someone on your list pull a tandem-axle trailer? A tandem axle jack, which allows you to drive onto the jack with one tire so you can change the other, is a gift that comes through in the case of blow outs.

Gloves: Lined gloves, unlined gloves, cotton gloves — they get lost, they get holes, they get burned or cut. Everyone on a farm can use a spare pair or two.

Multitool: Farmers and ranchers, more than anyone, can't always have the right tool for the job in their pocket or on their belt. But, if they have a multitool or multiplier, there's at least a chance they can make something work. Pliers, knives, screwdrivers, bottle openers, scissors and more, all in one? That's a gift that keeps on giving.

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