Your Responsibility as a Farmer Visiting Another Farm

By Richard J. Brzozowski, Extension Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

sheep producer with his flockWhen you visit a farm, you take the risk of contaminating that farm with disease organisms. You also take the risk of bringing pathogens back to your home farm and livestock. The pathogens (bacteria or viruses) ride along on your boots, clothing, and skin. The most practical way to prevent contamination is to wash and disinfect your footwear as well as to wash your hands.

Steps to a health-minded farm visit:

  1. Wear washable (waterproof) footwear.
  2. Wash all organic matter from boots with water, soap (if available) and a brush.
  3. Dip clean boots in disinfectant before entering a farm building and holding areas.
  4. Repeat the process before entering your vehicle.
  5. Wash hands thoroughly if you handled animals during your visit.


  1. Wear plastic boot covers on your feet.
  2. Remove and discard the boot covers upon leaving the farm and before entering your vehicle.
  3. Wash hands thoroughly if you handled animals during your visit.

These precautions might seem like a hindrance at first. However, the time spent in keeping disease from your farm is worth the effort. Consider the time, money and the headaches that diseased animals bring you as a producer. Get into the habit of thinking and practicing bio-security.