Managing Risks and Farm Safety
Successful farming involves successful risk management. Managing risk on the farm requires an understanding of what the potential risks may be and having a plan in the event they occur. There are several types of risk you should be aware of, including: production, marketing, financial, weather, human resources, and others. You can mitigate many of these risks by diversifying your product mix and marketing outlets, utilizing various insurance options, and making well-informed decisions by having a competent team of trusted advisers consisting of: accounting, legal and industry specific consultants and business planners.
- Maine Risk Management and Crop Insurance Education Program
- USDA Risk Management Agency – Operates the Federal Crop Insurance Program
- USDA Farm Service Agency – Non-insured crop disaster assistance and farm loan programs
- USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) – Risk management strategies and information about government-sponsored programs
- Cornell Small Farms Program – Fosters programs that support small farms
- Legal Services Food Hub – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) manages the Legal Services Food Hub to help farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food-related organizations access free legal assistance for issues such as land acquisition/transfer, estate issues, taxes, contracts, corporate formation, and more. We recognize that getting help with these areas is essential for running a successful farm or food business. A major goal for the Hub is to help beginning farmers start farming on solid footing.
Food Safety Rules
- Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – The Federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, is the first significant overhaul of food safety regulations since the 1930s and was designed to prevent food borne illness.
- Grower Resources – Understanding FSMA – Understanding the Food and Drug Administration’s new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a good way to ensure that the food you produce and distribute is safe, a good thing for your customer and your business.
Who to Contact for Direct Assistance
- Crop Insurance Providers in Maine – from USDA’s Risk Management Agency
- Farm Family Insurance – offers members access to a group health insurance policy for farmers
- Food Safety Training Opportunities
- Risk Management Checklist (PDF) – A tool for managing on-farm risk
- ASHCA Ag Safety Fact Sheet (PDF)
- AgrAbility – Information about health, wellbeing, and safety to prevent farm injuries
- UMaine Cooperative Extension farm safety page
Farm Safety and Kids
- The Cultivate Safety – website was produced by the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS). The mission of NCCRAHS is to, “enhance the health and safety of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments.”
- SAY National Clearinghouse – has lots of information about how to teach skills about animal and tractor safety, blind spots, ladders, and much more.
- For the facts about farm injuries and kids: Cultivate Safety
- Great information from Penn State University including ages and stages and appropriate tasks specifically geared for kids and agriculture.