Editor’s note: This Practice Builder is from Harvest PR & Marketing, a strategic communications firm serving clients in the food and farm segments. For more information, visit www.harvest-pr.com.

The gift-giving season is an excellent time to treat the farmers in your life to something special, while also showing support for agriculture at the cash register. Harvest PR & Marketing has compiled a list of five last-minute gift ideas.
     “We wanted to create a list of suggestions that inspires our friends in agriculture to support their own this holiday season,” says Heidi Nelson, principal of Harvest PR & Marketing.

  • U.S. cotton to keep you warm. Cotton tees, blue jeans and work gloves are the unofficial uniform of rural America, and for good reason. The fabric is durable, comfortable and breathable. For a limited time, Cotton Incorporated is giving away free cotton work gloves just for signing up for its Whole Cottonseed e-newsletter, which provides regular updates on the cottonseed supply. Did you know cotton also is a food crop? Flavor-infused cottonseed oil from Acala Farms, including Hot Habanero and Jalapeno Lime, is guaranteed to warm you up and is a delicious taste of how America’s cotton farmers are Getting More out of Cotton.
  • A book to bring peace to the plate. Resource limitations, animal welfare and biotechnology are just a few issues creating confusion and conflict in the grocery store. In her soon-to-be-released book, No More Food Fights!, one of North America’s leading farm and food advocates Michele Payn-Knoper calls for decorum instead of mayhem in the conversation around food. The book’s very design lends itself to exploring both sides of the issue. One side is aimed at consumers and the other toward producers. To break stereotypes, the book describes farmers who don’t wear overalls but use technology to produce food and preserve the environment, dairy farmers who work on “cow comfort,” and how hard farmers work on sustainability. She naturally guides readers from both sides to “reach across the plate” in an effort to bring peace to the table. To reserve a signed copy, order by Jan. 18 at www.causematters.com/farmfoodbook.
  • Market updates for an instant edge. With a subscription to Commodity Update, farmers receive timely market data, from corn and soybean meal to milk, cheese and butter prices, on their cell phones via text message. Farmers love the service, because it gives them an information edge. In fact, 88 percent of farmers surveyed preferred the Commodity Update service more than a cap or jacket. Enjoy a free trial, or order a 1-year subscription for $99.95. Volume discounts available. Visit www.commodityupdate.com.
  • Fresh fruit for healthy eating. Specialty crops such as U.S.-grown apples and pears play a starring role in holiday gift baskets, and are a healthier alternative to the season’s sugar-laced sweets. Fruits provide essential nutrients, fiber and energy to help farmers power through a long workday. The Fruit Company delivers orchard freshness to your doorstep; or assemble your own basket with tips from USA Pears. Or, take a tip from our great-grandmothers: give the gift of Christmas apples, and witness the satisfaction as your special someone enjoys a traditional holiday gesture from simpler times.
  • Donation to fight hunger. Donating to charitable organizations like Farmers Feeding the World not only feeds the hungry today, but also helps educate the public about the critical role advanced agriculture plays in fending off the world’s number one killer: hunger. Farmers Feeding the World helps provide solutions through agriculture development organizations like Heifer International and relief organizations like Feeding America. This season, and all year long, join other farmers in their mission to end world hunger. Donate today!