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hogs facing the camera
yellow apples on a branch

Risk Management

As described under Farm Business > Business Structure, risk management was one of the factors that motivated Cindy and Jeff to establish Clover Valley Farms as an LLC. They feel selling to friends and acquaintances reduces their risks somewhat.  They also feel that having a small-scale, simple infrastructure helps them manage risk because it means losses, such as those due to severe weather, would be relatively minor. 

They anticipate that Jeff will keep his job if or when Cindy moves to working full-time on the farm. Keeping an off-farm job would, in part, be to maintain their health insurance, though Jeff finds his off-farm work rewarding and would be staying for other reasons as well. Cindy and Jeff do not carry commercial liability insurance; they have found the cost to be prohibitive for poultry.

Educator’s Perspective: Resource Tip

Liability Insurance

Getting insurance policies in place for liabilities on the farm can be more complex than getting coverage for your car or home. Because these liabilities can pose important risks to your farm, it’s critical to understand the different types of liabilities:

  • liability for products sold
  • liability for visitors to the farm
  • liability for farm workers*
  • coverage for the value of crops grown
  • coverage for property and equipment owned

Consult with your insurance agent on options and costs, or get referrals to another agent who is familiar with agricultural insurance needs. MISA’s publication Marketing Local Food has a helpful overview of liability insurance on pages 91-94 (PDF, 378 kb).

*See also the resource tip box, Being An Employer, under Human Resources.

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