UMASH Success Story: Agritourism – The New Frontier

UMASH Success Story: Agritourism – The New Frontier

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THE PROBLEM:

Many people are not familiar with the risks associated with visiting a working farm.

Agritourism events, like school field trips, petting zoos, and county fairs, provide an agricultural experience, but can place people at risk of illness and injury, particularly for disease transmission between animals and people. Financial and legal consequences can also impact both visitors and the owner/operator.

Implementing safety practices to reduce the risk of injury or illness to visitors is becoming increasingly important.

THE SOLUTION:

UMASH, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), has developed a variety of resources to help farmers and agritourism operators keep their visitors safe.  The training provides education to county fair board and farms hosting agritourism events. Outreach efforts engaged farm safety champions that have amplified these resources and the need for health and safety on the farm.

THE IMPACT:

  • Five online agritourism safety videos, including 2 new videos for 4H clubs on food safety and biosecurity when exhibiting livestock.
  • Safer Farm Animal Contact Exhibits (Safer FACEs) online certification program for venue operators.
  • 14 Healthy Fairs and Agritourism workshops across the state with a total of 326 participants.
  • Featured on Extension websites, newsletters and blogs.
  • Partnerships with state agencies including the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Health and the Board of Animal Health.
  • Partnered with North Star Farm Tour to create multi-lingual materials for 20 farm tours to promote hand washing and best practices in animal settings.

In addition, UMASH and MDH collaborated on a variety of resources for agritourism operators and visitors.  These include brochures, posters, and videos on handwashing and tips for keeping visitors safe.