Landowner resources Ohio total solar eclipse

On April 8, people within a 124-mile-wide band in the state of Ohio will experience a total solar eclipse. The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806. The next total solar eclipse in Ohio will be in the year 2099.

With this being such a unique experience, Ohio Farm Bureau has created resources for landowners to help them prepare for an influx of people coming to rural parts of the state hoping to get a glimpse of this rare phenomenon.

These resources include valuable information from Ohio Farm Bureau, along with details about farm insurance, dealing with trespassers, Ohio’s Agritourism Law and the state’s Recreational User Statute from Ohio State’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program, plus tips regarding risk and protecting your operation from a Ohio Farm Bureau Select Partner.

Addressing landowner liability
Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Counsel Leah Curtis
Leah Curtis

“From a legal perspective, we see lots of concerns about landowner liability,” said Leah Curtis, policy counsel for Ohio Farm Bureau on the latest Legal with Leah podcast. “Let’s start by saying that from a legal perspective, a landowner’s liability to someone for an injury or harm is largely based on whether and to what extent that landowner had a duty of care to that person.”

Depending on how or why the person is on your property will determine what level of care you need to provide for them. So, a landowner has no duty to care for a trespasser.

“On the contrary, a person you invite to your land for a business purpose means you have a higher duty of care and should attempt to remove dangerous situations and warn them of any dangers that might be present,” Curtis said. “Especially if they are paying you, that’s a business invited guest and you hold that highest duty of care to them.”

In the podcast, Curtis also covers what landowners can do to lessen the possibility of trespassers and what landowners need to know if they have requests for campers to set up on their property.

Insurance considerations
Caleb Douce
Caleb Douce

Caleb Douce, owner of the Douce Agency in Marion and an Ohio Farm Bureau Select Partner advises farmers and landowners who offer eclipse-related activities, such as parking, agritourism activities, accommodations, etc, to discuss their plans and specific types of activities and liability considerations with their insurance agent. Usually, the policy that provides liability for the farm business does not extend to liability from other profit-making activities, such as agritourism or other nonproduction related activities.

“To be blunt, failure to adequately consider these liabilities could result in significant risk and exposure, and could lead to the potential loss of the entire operation,” Douce said. “For the upcoming eclipse, I wanted to offer specific examples or approaches to ensure your farm is fully protected, but the reality is there is simply too much variability in the activity type and exposure from this event to offer specifics and blanket solutions.”

Douce suggests contacting your agent to help you understand your insurance coverage, liability protection and potential gaps for your operation during the eclipse.

In addition to these resources, Ohio Farm Bureau members can find landowner liability information to prepare for the total solar eclipse in the newly updated Landowner Toolkit.

Online Extras

Legal with Leah – Solar Eclipse Landowner Liability

Ohio Farm Bureau Landowner Toolkit

Resources from OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program:

Farm Insurance: Covering Your Assets

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Trespassers on the Farm

Ohio’s Agritourism Law

Ohio’s Recreational User Statute

From Ohio Emergency Management Agency:

Ohio EMA Solar Eclipse Information

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