Risk Management and Liability in Agritourism
Farmers and ranchers are legally responsible and liable for the well-being of their customers and employees. Considering safety and minimizing risk are important parts of business planning.
To protect your agritourism business, it is important to create a risk management plan. Some of the main areas of risk and negligence include site safety risk, product risk, employee related risk, and financial risk. To ensure the well-being of your business, it is recommended that you avoid certain activities, use liability waivers, purchase insurance, practice good management techniques, train employees, and pay attention to the legal structure of your business.
- Contact State or Local Agritourism Organizations and Key Consultants Key consultants to determine your needs are lawyers, insurance agents, financial managers, and accountants. See backside for available resources and technical assistance.
- Understand Local and State Health and Safety Laws and Regulations.
- Inventory Areas of Possible Risk Site Safety: Consider physical site hazards including visitor activities and attractive nuisances such as farm equipment likely to attract children
- Product: Consider what you are selling or producing and any health or safety regulations or considerations.
- 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
- Develop a Risk Management Plan
a. Post rules for customers and conduct regular inspections
b. Post and implement employee rules and regulations
a. Establish a labeling protocol for products
b. Establish a protocol based on state regulations for handling products
Decide on the right type and amount of insurance coverage
a. Business liability b. Product liability c. Workers’ compensation
Consider using preventative measures like waivers or product warnings if warranted.
Source: Agricultural Marketing Resource Center: Zoning and Health Considerations Checklist.