Farmer Agritourism Resources:
Risk Management Plan

As an owner operator of an agritourism enterprise you are legally responsible for the well-being of customers and employees. Create a risk management plan to minimize exposure to the main areas of risk and negligence including site safety risk, product risk, employee related risk, and financial risk. Risk management experts recommend avoiding certain activities, using liability waivers, purchasing insurance, practicing good management techniques, training employees, and paying attention to the legal structure of your business.

Risk Management Action Plan

  • Contact consultants knowledgeable in determining risk management needs, i.e. lawyers, insurance agents, financial managers, and accountants.
    • Meet with your legal team – lawyer & insurance agent. Fully disclose your plans for your agritourism enterprise. Decide on the right type and amount of insurance coverage.
      • Business liability
      • Product liability
      • Workers’ compensation
      • Consider using preventative measures like legal team approved waivers or product warnings if warranted.
  • Gain an understanding of the health and safety laws and regulations that apply to your operation. Agencies able to provide information are:
    • State Agencies or Departments of Health/Agriculture
    • County/Municipal Health Departments
    • County Extension Offices
    • Zoning or Planning Boards
    • Economic Development Offices
    • Tourism or Visitors Bureaus
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • Secretary of State’s Office
    • Tax Commission or Department
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture
    • Agritourism Organizations and Cooperatives
    • State Farm Bureau Federations
  • Assess your operation for existing or potential risks; eliminate or reduce them as much as possible.
    • Site Safety: Consider physical site hazards including visitor activities and attractive nuisances such as farm equipment likely to attract children.
    • Product Safety: Consider what health and safety regulations apply to your products or items you are selling.
    • Employee related: Know your employees and know what will be required on-site to safeguard their health and safety.
    • Financial: Consider current record-keeping, billing processes, assets and debts.
  • Carry Out Your Risk Management Plan. Utilize comprehensive workbooks such as the Agritourism Policies and Procedures Guide and Agritourism Worksite Walkthrough Checklist Guide.
  • Risk Management On-Farm Checklist:

    • Site
      • Post rules for customers and conduct regular inspections
      • Post and implement employee rules and regulations
      • Prepare for crowds
      • Complete parking plan
      • Restroom facilities: installed and functioning
      • Block off bodies of water
      • Activities: well planned and tested by a “trial run through”
      • Buildings, sheds and barns: hazardous buildings demolished
      • Non-functioning farm machinery or equipment are cleared away out of sight from visitors
      • Functioning equipment is stored in buildings
      • Functioning equipment in sight of visitors has keys removed and steps/ladders folded up
      • Buildings to be used in operation are prepared for visitors
      • Smoke detectors: installed and working
      • Carbon monoxide detectors: installed and working
      • Farm shops, repair facilities, personal living space, space considered private area: clearly blocked off from the public by using signs, fences, and or roping.
      • Farm and garden chemicals: stored and locked
      • Unsafe animals secured away from public view and contact
      • Food area is NOT located near animal viewing areas
      • All animals to be used in the business are vaccinated and healthy
      • Manure handling facilities complete
    • Products
      • Establish a labeling protocol for products
      • Establish a protocol based on state regulations for handling products
    • Employees
      • Address safety & health issues
      • Complete Job safety training
      • Complete CPR and first aid classes (you and employees)
      • First aid kit intact

Sources: Checklist: Risk Management Plan & Risk Management & Liability in Agritourism.

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