IV. Managing Risk
Agritourism can help your farm or ranch reduce its operating risks, by diversifying your income sources and your customer base. But risk can’t be totally avoided in life, no matter what you do. Agritourism provides no exception.
There are certainly, however, steps you can take to minimize risk and protect yourself and your farm and ranch if things go wrong despite your best efforts. And it’s easier than ever before in Oregon to find that sweet spot between excellent, safe visitor experiences and viable business operations. That’s because Oregon has joined most other U.S. states in developing limited liability protection statutes specifically for agritourism, about which you’ll find detailed information below. When you complete your risk assessment and management plan, you should have a good sense of what agritourism activities are appropriate for you from a risk standpoint, and the risk management costs you need to account for in your business plan.
Overview and Oregon Liability Laws Related to Agritourism
- Reducing Risk by Managing Liability; 2012 Oregon Agritourism Summit presentation
- Oregon Equine Inherent Risk Law (OR 360.687 to 360.697) passed in 1993; it establishes special liability protections for agritourism activities associated with horses
- Oregon Agritourism Inherent Risk Law (OR SB341) passed in 2015; it extends liability protections for all Oregon agritourism activities as defined by statute
- Strategies to Avoid, Reduce, Transfer and Adapt to Agritourism Business Risks
- Top 10 Ways to Limit Your Liability When Visitors Come to Your Farm, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Poteau, OK
- Managing Agritourism Risk and Business Structure Considerations; Oregon attorney Tim Bernasek, Dunn Carney law firm
- Risk Management Plan Template
Additional Risk Assessment and Management Resources
- Risk issues can be quite different from one agritourism operation to another, depending on size and specific focus. A small family farm with no outside employees, for example, will have very different issues than a large commercial operation with value-added processing and events in the mix. As a result, risk management takes many different forms, depending on the appropriate level of detail required. This toolkit aims for a middle ground as a starting point. However, if these tools don’t fit your circumstances, More Useful Tools from Other States contain links to many other planning resources.
- Questions for Your Insurance Agent
- Oregon Right to Farm Law and Good Neighbor Practices