farm pond

Some farmland is more than just working land. Natural features like ponds may detract from the overall crop potential of a piece of farmland. Moreover, these “attractive farm nuisances” can also add to the farmland owner’s liability. When that’s the case, it’s important for the landowner to work with a specialist who can best identify the risks and put a protection plan in place.

What is an attractive farm nuisance?

An attractive nuisance is a potentially hazardous feature or condition on a piece of land that may attract children or adults who could incur injury. Attractive farm nuisances open up a new liability to the landowner. It’s normal practice to require an invitation for any visitors to a piece of farmland. But trespassing is common, especially with minors.

There is separate legal precedent for any injuries incurred by someone on your land depending on whether that person was invited or trespassed. But if your land features an attractive nuisance like a pond or sharp change in elevation — or a man-made feature like equipment storage — you as the landowner may bear the burden of protecting yourself from the liability it creates.

What you can do to protect yourself

Federal, state and local laws often require landowners to “take reasonable precautions” to help ensure the safety of anyone stepping onto their land. For farmland, that includes posting highly visible signs laying out requirements for entry onto your land. But the laws are often far from crystal clear. Sometimes exploring any attractive nuisances on your land may create more questions than answers.

“An attractive nuisance can be present anywhere and may not always be readily identified,” said Nationwide Risk Management Director Doug Becker. “And those exposures of the attractive farm nuisances are rarely accounted for in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.”

Connect the right team

This makes it critically important to connect with a farm insurance agent or risk management specialist who understands your land and any potential attractive nuisances on it. Also consider consulting an attorney who can address legal concerns about the specific attractive nuisances on your land.

“There are so many variables with attractive farm nuisances. An attorney can help you determine your level of liability,” Becker said. “And don’t rely on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy to protect you from that liability. Have a conversation with an informed, experienced insurance agent who can show you the most effective policy options. Having the right insurance in place can help you mitigate the risk you face from attractive farm nuisances.”

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Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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