In some ways, farmers appreciate many of the same birthday gifts that everyone else does, but farmers share a special culture all their own too. They take pride in the important service they provide in putting food on tables and in sharing their love of the land and a country lifestyle. These characteristics make it easier to find the right gift for the farmer in your life.
Using a photo print service and photos you supply, have a portrait printed on canvas and framed of your farmer doing something that expresses his personality and the work that he loves, such as carrying a bushel of apples, feeding the barn kittens a bowl of cream, walking with the farm's border collie or driving the tractor through a field. Have a T-shirt, jacket or hat printed with your farmer's specialty, name of the farm or a farm-themed saying. If you're crafty, make pillows with fabric printed using photos from the farm for patterns or pictures. Even an embroidery or a needlepoint pattern can be created from a photo, making a homemade gift.
Give a birthday present that provides a fun morning wake-up call or replaces a standard alarm clock, such as a clock shaped after a farm animal like a rooster. Some rooster alarm clocks even crow a "good morning" tune. If your farmer has a favorite animal -- maybe a cow or horse -- consider an alarm clock made in this theme. The moos or whinnies will bring a chuckle; some also have options for traditional alarm clock bells and music. Gift your farmer with a country-style wall clock. A clock with hands that revolve around pictures of barnyard animals or plants makes a thoughtful gift for someone whose workday revolves around animal husbandry or crop growing. Offer a version of the cuckoo clock in which a cow pops out with a moo every hour.
Some farmers maintain collections of figurines depicting a favorite animal, such as a rooster, cow, dog or horse, and these figurines may be salt-and-pepper shakers, sugar bowls and creamers. Give him a statue for the garden, backyard pond or porch. To match the home's decor, find a piece of art depicting the farmer's favorite animal. Fuzzy bedroom slippers come in the shapes of many animals, from dogs and horses to cows and sheep.
School children are often told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but farmers don't need to be reminded. For a breakfast farm-themed gift, remember your farmer's dietary preferences; not all farmers eat meat, and many grow and eat organic. Offer a cookbook with hearty breakfast recipes that cater to personal preferences -- purchased or one you create. A farmer may enjoy a carafe to keep the early morning coffee warm. If you enjoy cooking, whip up some of your best breakfasts and store them in airtight containers for reheating.
Since farmers spend a great deal of time outside in the elements, a welcome gift may be a practical piece of clothing, such as a well-made hat that provides warmth or shade, thermal socks, a soft, woolen or hand-knitted scarf, and those elusive gloves that provide dexterity while keeping hands warm and dry, and last for more than a season. A little less practical but possibly a big hit is a gift certificate for a snazzy pair of cowboy boots.
Many farmers rely on the Internet for everything from planning next year's crops to training a sheep dog. Make it easy with a gift of a portable device such as a tablet. Other ideas include a subscription to a trade magazine or "Mother Earth News." A coffee-table book that celebrates farming is an appropriate gift. For the historic-minded or those with a nostalgic bent, track down a vintage copy of "Farmer's Almanac."