Santa's Workshop for Farmers

Every farm has “disposable” or “use-up-able” products and items that can always be replenished.  Every farm also has items that require many multiples, because the one you have is never in the spot where you need it!  In fact, there are so many of these items, we have compiled the top 20. You’ll find something for every price point on our list:

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  1. Blue shop towels

  2. Flashlights

  3. Shovels (grain, snow, garden)

  4. Brooms for every size of mess - floor or counter.

  5. Ladders or shop stools. (That one-step boost can do wonders.)

  6. Nuts and bolts (not the food, but that would probably work too).

  7. Kleenex pocket packs

  8. Personal protective equipment (safety glasses, ear protection).

  9. Disposable gloves

  10. Ice packs for lunch kits or first aid kits.

Every item is a practical Christmas gift for the farmers on your list! Check back tomorrow for ten more great ideas.



Santa's (Tech) Workshop for Farmers

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Farmers love tinkering and trying new things. If you are stuck for gift ideas that will fit under the tree (aka. not a new tractor) we have you covered. Here are five more technology based gift ideas for your farmer. (Scroll down to yesterday’s post to read the first five ideas.)

  • GoPro - The fact that the GoPro is designed for extreme conditions makes it perfect for capturing action shots on the farm.  Invest in some accessories to give you multiple mounting options. Check out our video and make a magnetic mount strong enough for the vibrations and pipe sizes of farm equipment.

  • Flash drives.  Although a bit dated, they are still a reliable way to transfer data between equipment and the office or to your off-farm supports, like accountants.  They also act as an easy way to backup your files and keep them in an off-site location.

  • Gift card for apps - There are lots of great free apps, but sometimes it is worth it to invest in paid apps.  Check our recommended weather apps or email us if you are looking for app recommendations on a specific topic.

  • Security cameras - Monitor your yardsite, bin site, barn or shop with a security camera system designed specifically for your needs.  Most systems allow you to log in remotely to view in real time and allow for alerts to be sent directly to your phone. Read our full post for more details.

  • Electronic keypad lock boxes - Electronic lock boxes give you the best of both worlds, because they allow you to keep your keys with your equipment and also keep it safe.

If you are looking for low tech ideas, we have those too! Check back all this week and you will have plenty of ideas for every farmer on your list.

Santa's (Tech) Workshop for Farmers

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If you are whittling down your shopping list, and are running out of ideas, we are here to help!  We love farming and technology, so for our first list we matched the two together to give you a top ten list of technology-related gifts that could be used on any farm.  No matter what kind of operation you have - beef, dairy, grain or anything in between - there is a tech gift for your favorite farmer on this list. We included a mixture of affordable and splurge gifts, new tech and tried and true tech, as well as generic to highly personal options.  In no particular order:

  • Personal Digital Assistant (Amazon Echo, Google Home)  - An economical way to add an extra pair of hands or some extra memory power to your operation.  Assistants can react to verbal commands to complete tasks throughout your home, garage, shop or barn.

  • Sensor activated lights - Investing in lighting upgrades can save you money while also keeping you, your property, your staff and your livestock safe.

  • Drone - This can be a spendy one, but if you watch our videos you know how much fun we have had showcasing the awesome scenes from our farms.  There are many different styles, sizes and shapes to choose from, so do your research before making this purchase.

  • Computer camera/mic/earphones - Whether you want to use the internet for video chats with family, online learning or online auctions get the gear to allow you to do these things with ease.

  • Remote start - Brrrr.  Warm your farmer’s heart by warming up their truck.

Come back tomorrow to finish out the top 10 tech gifts for farmers. If low tech gifts are more your style, watch for our next list starting Wednesday.  We have compiled a list of 20 gifts that will make any farmer happy.

Can Technology help us capture Happy?

Farming is hard work.  But it is also so enjoyable and rewarding!  Capturing the optimism around farming and the farm lifestyle can help remind us of why we love this job and this lifestyle.  Not every day will be great, but during the times that are great we should remember to take note of them, capture them, share them.  Linking farm activities and hobbies can be a great way to bring joy to your day, your operation and those around you. Whether that means harvesting an abundant garden, learning how to use a GoPro or having a fun ATV to use for crop scouting, work can be fun.

Audience Suggestions:

Share positive farm photos via social media

Invite multi-generations for field suppers or ride alongs

Share accomplishments in group chats

Create a photo book

What the Forecast weather app

If you have any feedback or additional suggestions of technology solutions to share, please feel free to comment or email us directly at teresa@farmfemmes.com or karen@farmfemmes.com.


Get it together - Using tech for Organizing your farm life

In case you missed it, we have been sharing our presentation, and the audience suggestions, from You Can’t Have A Family Farm without the Family - Finding Balance.  Today we will focus on how we can all use technology to improve our organization.  Balancing demands for farm, family and community can sometimes prevent us from making time for ourselves.  These time savers should help you capture back some of the time in your day, so that you can re-invest it in ways that replenish you.

Audience Suggestions:

Keeping good daily records

Using tasks and reminders functions on your phone

Meet face-to-face via technology

Team Snap and Team Up apps to keep track of sports calendars

Buffer to schedule social media posts

Scroll down to our last post to learn about how technology can help with your Operations and watch for suggestions about technology and Optimism coming later this week.

How your operation can add tech to help Operations.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our select-a-session entitled You Can’t Have A Family Farm without the Family - Finding Balance we have a lot of great resources to share with you!  Part of the session involved participants sharing their technology suggestions and solutions in three main areas: Operations, Organization and Optimism.  Some of the suggestions were generic and others were names of specific apps or programs. Some we are familiar with and others are new to us. This variety was exactly the idea of having such a large group of women sharing ideas - so that we can all grow and learn.  We want to ensure that everyone can learn from the group conversations so over the next week we will be sharing parts of the presentation as well as audience suggestions.

Audience Suggestions:

AgExpert software for finances and accounting

Digital cameras for photos of livestock for promotions or sales

Barn thermostat alarm notifications

Grain dryer monitoring via cell phone

Feed Watch software for feeding cattle

Check back later this week for technology suggestions to help you “get it together” and stay positive in your farming operation.

Still Stuck With Me

FarmFemmes spoke at the 2018 MB Farm Women’s Conference, but we really wanted to create an interactive session!  Participants had the opportunity to listen to us, but also to others at their table. We promised our participants that they would also get to learn from everyone at the session, because we would share all of the ideas generated by the women in the room.  

It was interesting to see how participants were impacted by the session.  It was powerful to see that even as themes emerged everyone had unique and powerful ways of choosing their own words to convey these themes… Today’s themes are:

Humour is important.  

Sex is important.

If you are wondering exactly how this fits into a talk on farm/family balance, take a listen:

Many participants commented about the importance of humor!

Keep a sense of humor. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Use technology to your advantage and laugh often.
MORE FUN!!!
My husband isn’t the only one with a one-track mind. :-)
Don’t fear technology but use it to make more time... to have lots of sex.

Have a great Friday - enjoy the weekend. Have a laugh and maybe even find your partner’s “to-do” list…

Stuck With Me

At the MB Farm Women’s Conference we had the opportunity to speak about the importance of finding a working balance between family and farm (aka the farmily).  We provided the audience with concrete examples of the technology that farm families can use to improve operations, organization and optimism. And we spiced our presentation generously with laughs and our own brand of humor.

Often our to-do list can include pressures from ourselves, our family and our community.  Some of these pressures occur for a short-time while others are long term or recurring. It can be powerful to examine when and where our pressure points arise, because we can not adjust our farmily balance until we understand those pressure points.

Take a listen to Teresa talk about reflecting on balance over the course of time.

As participants left, we asked them to write down one thing that would stick with them (on a sticky note!) and leave it by the door as a physical reminder of their “sticky message”.  It was totally rewarding to read each of the notes and we certainly saw some themes emerge! Many of the participants commented on the opening part of the presentation that talked about different lenses through which we can take inventory of our own to-do list.

Theme: The need to reframe your “to-do” list with a different perspective.

Participants’ sticky messages:

Remember that many things on the to-do list are not as urgent as I sometimes pressure myself to believe.
Balance = Creativity = Positivity
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Cheers to a great session and great farm women.  Check back on Friday to see more of our session and hear more audience take-aways.



Farmily - Celebrating Family Farms

At the Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference, we were lucky enough to launch our latest YouTube video - all about our FARMILY. The combination of farm and family is real - and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Check out the video and share the link with everyone in your FARMILY… The people who ride in your buddy seat, bring meals to the field, run for parts, get up early, stay up late and are by your side no matter what.


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Conference Connections: MBFWC18 Video

This week we had the opportunity to meet so many great women at the Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference! Next week we will be sharing some of the conference content for those who could not attend our session! Today though, we put together a quick video of all of the connections that were made at the conference and to share the many faces of Agriculture.

For those in attendance, we really valued spending the time with you, hearing your stories and learning about your successes and challenges. Your passion is inspiring and your commitment to the future of farming and lifting each other up is what makes our industry stronger!