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Steve Anderson (center), owner of Myrtle Creek Farms, prepares participants for a hay ride and mock safety inspection

Florida farmers learn fundamentals of agritourism safety

As consumers continue on the quest to find out where our food comes, more and more families are flocking farms for the educational and fun filled experiences of agritourism. This trend increases farm revenue, but also increases farmers’ liability and need to integrate safety in farm business planning.

Farmers from as far as Martin County traveled to attend the one-day workshop entitled, “Cultivating Safety in Agritourism: An Emergency Preparedness and Management Training,” on April 16, at Myrtle Creek Farm, in Jefferson County.

Co-sponsored by the Agricultural and Environmental Development Institute (AEDI) and New Leaf Market Co-op, the workshop is part of AEDI’s agritourism training program. Discussions included how to identify safety issues, conduct mock safety inspections, fix hazards, planning for emergencies and how to communicate with the media during a crisis.

Presenters were Marsha Salzwedel, Youth Agricultural Safety Specialist, with the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety; Robby Powers, Emergency Management Coordinator, City of Tallahassee; and Maureen Walsh, Television Journalist.

Faith Clarke, Director of AEDI stated, “40 percent of children visiting farms are injured each year, and most of these injuries are preventable. This training increases awareness of safety issues and how to reduce risks, while providing an enjoyable farm or ranch experience for visitors.”

To read more visit http://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/chronicle/2015/04/30/florida-farmers-learn-fundamentals-agritourism-safety/26637065/

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