Oh, kvedulf, I think I finally get your point. I characterized "farming gods" as "gods of ____", filling in the blank with "the harvest", "smithing", "weather", etc. Your point involves the god Freyr as separate from his associated area of influence (agriculture); meaning, if conventional agriculture didn't exist among the Norse peoples (or, at the time that it didn't), Freyr still would/did in some form.
I think I have two responses to this; one, the act of "associating" an area of control with a god sums up my point on the difference between animist and hierarchical/farming relationships with the natural world. So when the Norse peoples did choose this, this affirmed the relationship they lived in the world. But even before then, as a human god "who bestows peace and pleasure", as a specific role, that indicates the same thinking.
For example, Godzilla attacks Tokyo, Godzilla saves Tokyo. Godzilla doesn't embody a god of anything - Godzilla embodies the natural forces of hurricanes, tsunamis, and fruitful weathers that the animist humans of the place either suffer under or receive blessing from. But they don't look to Bob, god of weather - they speak, fight, and relate directly to the force itself. In so far as the weather has become a "Monster" (rather than a weather person), and hasn't yet become a human god "of" weather, I think you can see the linear progress from animism to paganism at work.
First, nature peoples. Then, mostly Titans, Giants, Monsters (perhaps with some nature wights left), as separate from Human gods with whom they deal with. Then, human Gods that subjugate and deal with Giants and Monsters, the nature peoples now wholly missing from the ethos.
That Norse gods stay more involved with nature Giants by intermarrying and relating with them I think does speak to a more animistic relationship than, say, Greek or Hindu, which categorically expel them from the world of the Gods.
I don't see it as an either/or thing, but as a slow progression and rationalization, a feedback loop of subjugation of the land.
[weather people, rock people, deer people] -----> [now mostly nature giants/monsters consorting more or less peacefully with emerging human gods] ----> [human gods expelling repellent giants and monsters from the surface of the earth]
What do you think?