From corn mazes to hayrides, opening your farm to the public for fall-themed activities can add a new revenue stream to your business. But doing so also presents risks if you fail to take measures to keep people safe.
Grains of Knowledge
The ingredients for grain dust explosion are common in a farm environment: fuel (the dust), oxygen — which suspends the dust in the air — and an ignition source. All three ingredients can be found in grain elevators or feed mills. But the ignition source of most explosive fires is material handling equipment, such as legs and conveyors.
It’s harvest time and all of your hard work has finally come to fruition. But as the days get shorter and you rush to get crops in during the harvest window, it can be tempting for you and your employees to cut corners.
If you have been following the upcoming 2016 Presidential election, you know that Immigration reform has been a hot topic among the potential candidates. While the solutions the candidates offer vary, how the immigration system is reformed is critical to agriculture in the U.S.
If you made a list of what keeps agribusiness plant operators awake at night, the threat of a Listeria outbreak would be near the top. Listeria is the bacteria that causes listeriosis, a potentially life-threatening infection that can cause sepsis and meningitis, among other serious inflammatory conditions. Complicating matters, Listeria is hardier than many other forms of bacteria, able to grow in temperatures between 39 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
Entrepreneurial farmers across the country have discovered that seasonal events — particularly Halloween — can be opportunities to earn significant extra income. Corn mazes, hayrides, bonfires, pumpkin patches, produce markets and haunted houses and barns mark the season. This profit center even has a name: agritainment.
Farming is one of the top 10 most dangerous occupations in America, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Farm-related injuries are often a result of long hours and close, consistent contact with heavy machinery and equipment.
Many of the farm tractors manufactured today are equipped with seatbelts and a completely enclosed cab, providing critical protection from the leading cause of death on farms, tractor rollovers. As a result, Rollover Protective on Structures, or ROPS, has been a standard safety feature of virtually all farm tractors for many years.
Running a farm comes with more than its fair share of challenges — weather, energy costs and price volatility all contribute to uncertainty when it comes to revenue. One thing that farmers can do to help offset some of this risk is to add other revenue streams, such as “agritainment” — turning your farm into an entertaining venue for nonfarmers to visit with their families.
The sun rises on sprawling green grass and hits a familiar patch of black and white speckled fur. It is just another morning on the farm with a long day’s work ahead.