Agritourism is any activity that allows members of the general public on your farm property for recreational, entertainment or educational purposes. Agritourism activities include everything from a bed and breakfast, a corn maze, an educational field trip, a store or wine tasting, to “pick your own” and roadside farm stands. It is important to understand your increased liability, by having visitors on your property.
Here are three issues to remember:
Almost 30 million children visit farms and ranches each year according to the US government.
Most visitors are unfamiliar with the agricultural environment. Owners need to ensure the safety and health of all guests visiting their operations. Here are a few safety tips for you to consider as part of your Agritourism activities:
Develop emergency plans just in case the worst happens. Have procedures in place for major injuries, heart attacks, pet bites, and more.
If you serve food make sure you follow all the state food handling policies.
Make sure you have traffic control procedures and extra staff if needed.
Address the safety issues with all ponds, machinery, and chemicals.
Do you use outside vendors? If so, make sure you obtain certificates of insurance.
If you have rides of any kind you should require a waiver of liability.
Have safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits throughout the farm.
Use signs to post rules and vehicle speeds.
Train your employees on all safety measures.
Implementation of these guidelines is not intended to absolve the farm owner of all liability. They are, however, intended to reduce the risk of a guest being injured and to demonstrate a “good faith” effort to protect guests.
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