Thursday, September 16, 2010

Safety first for farms open to tourists

As the calendar turns to fall, the season for agri-tourism is upon us, which means those welcoming visitors to their rural farms should be prepared. Always consider safety first when welcoming those unfamiliar to farming to your operation, land consultant Curtis Seltzer of Highland County, Va., writes for LandThink. "Folks who are not familiar with farms, machinery, tools, animals and the idiosyncrasies of your layout and equipment are high-probability candidates for accidents," Seltzer writes. "You, the country landowner, have to anticipate every possible thing that can go wrong, backfire, fall down, spring up and run amok, among others."

Second, rural hosts should avoid putting "visitors into excessively dusty, dirty or chemically enriched circumstances," Seltzer writes, noting "someone will be allergic to something, perhaps more than one something." Seltzer advises keeping jobs simple for urban visitors, he encourages "very slow lifting and lots of rest breaks," but, "still there are the dangers of dropping a stick on someone’s toes or breaking a fingernail." He also advises prohibiting alcohol on the job and keeping jobs short. Following these steps will help "smart landowners look forward to repeat visits from friends who they can fit into a country 'vacation' safely and with good cheer all around," Seltzer writes. (Read more)

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