Inspecting the Farm – Ag Risk’s Farm Learning Lab


Agritourism as a business model has been around for a lot longer than the term itself, and while at last count, it makes up only 5.6 percent of total American farm revenue, that amount is triple what it was in the early 2000s. And as traditional farming operations continue to change and, in many cases, consolidate, many farming operations are looking to agritourism ventures as ways to diversify and keep revenue coming in, meaning agritourism’s growth is expected to continue.

While great opportunities for farmers, agritourism operations can be a little more complicated for loss control representatives to inspect than more traditional farms. “At the fundamental level, traditional and nontraditional ag can be assessed in the same way, but it can take more expertise and research to address the unique needs or to understand the intricacies of an agritourism operation,” says Jill Scott, property/casualty ag business development director for Farm Bureau Financial Services and the 2020-2021 chair of the Loss Control Committee.

Because nontraditional farm operations are growing in popularity, the Loss Control Committee has discussed the possibility of inspecting such a farm during the Ag Risk Inspection School’s Farm Learning Lab for quite some time. But the right farm hadn’t presented itself … until 2021.

This year’s virtual Farm Learning Lab highlighted Dull’s Tree Farm in Thorntown, Indiana. What started as a Christmas tree farm in 1985 has blossomed into a full-blown agritourism operation that is insured by NAMIC member company Indiana Farm Bureau.

Loss Control Committee member and Indiana Farm Bureau farm training specialist John Nagle says the most unique part of insuring this farm is simply because of its uniqueness.

“The farm currently has more than thirty attractions guests can experience, and the Dulls are constantly looking to add new attractions and events,” Nagle says. “Working with Dull’s and providing the proper coverage for all of their ideas offers a unique and fun challenge to insuring this farm.”

During the Farm Learning Lab, Loss Control Committee members walked attendees through several agritourism-related risks and discussed the process by which they should be properly inspected.

For those who missed the Ag Risk event, hit play on the video below to learn a little bit more about Dull’s Tree Farm, straight from Tom Dull. If you’d like to check out the rest of the Farm Learning Lab, you can purchase it on demand at this link.

Article Posted: 08.20.21
Last Updated: 08.23.21

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