As farmers try to diversify their markets and income, agritourism has grown in popularity. Agritourism events can cover a wide range of activities including:
- Corn mazes
- Pick your own fruit and vegetable crops
- Educational tours for school children
- Farm-based festivals
- Country markets and stores
These activities mean children are visiting farms more often. Regardless of the reasons for children being on the farm, it is the responsibility of the farm owner to control hazards that may risk the health and safety of children and other guests.
Many of the visitors may have little or no experience with agriculture and the rural environment and it is vital that adults and the children understand the hazards in this type of environments.
Discuss Farm Safety with Children and Adults
Visiting an agritourism attraction can be very exciting and educational for children. The children come to learn and have fun but are often not aware of the dangers present. Children are naturally curious and perceive the farm as a playground. Therefore, it is important to talk to children about safety when they are visiting.
Keep in mind that children are unpredictable and may not follow safety instructions. The responsibility for children’s safety is up to adults. Some adults may have unrealistic expectations of children’s understanding of hazardous situations. Also remember that adults may not realize the risk associated with agricultural operations either.
“Inviting the public onto a farm site results in some degree of liability” said Mike Lubahn Director of Marketing of Rural Mutual Insurance Company.
It also is advantageous to contact and inform neighbors about plans to operate an agritourism operation or if a large group of people will be visiting the farm.
For more information about liability insurance and to ensure your agritourism operation has adequate coverage, contact your Rural Mutual Insurance agent.