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AMES – Bringing visitors onto the farm can be a great way to educate others about farm life, and it’s a critical part of the agritourism and agritainment industries.

However, there are important risk management considerations for those involved with on-farm visitors. In order to help educate farmers about the risks and how to prepare, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a free, online training that covers the types of concerns these farmers might face.

The “Farmers with On-Site Visitors Course” takes six hours to complete and includes seven modules that can be completed individually or concurrently. The training is in partnership with North Central Extension Risk Management Education.

Presenters are experts from extension and Iowa Farm Bureau Financial Services. Topics include:

• Loss Control and Identifying Hazards in Agritainment.

• Beyond the Fine Print: Considering Legal Risks for Specialty Producers.

• Farm Emergency Preparedness Training.

•Protecting Animals and Humans from Biosecurity Risks.

• Food Safety Best Practices: Food, Farm and Consumer.

• Food Licensing for Value Added Products.

• Pesticide Safety.

“The purpose of the course is to give information and tools to mitigate the risks that arise when you open your farm to visitors,” said Kendra Meyer, program education specialist for the ISU Extension and Outreach, Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program.

The course provides landowners with a checklist of risk management considerations and discusses tools for lessening legal exposure. Participants are encouraged to seek legal counsel as they implement their strategies.

“Farmers opening up their property for visitors are doing a great public service,” said Kristine Tidgren, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State, and holder of the Leonard Dolezal Professorship in Agricultural Law. “They must, however, make sure they are protecting themselves from unexpected liability.”

For more information, Meyer can be reached at (515) 294-9483 or ksmeyer@iastate.edu.

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