Is your farm protected against “everyday” crime? How about agroterrorism? The measures to take to protect your land and property from both types of crime are similar and well worth the effort to put in place. An effective plan should consider security of property as well as biosecurity issues. This list is not exhaustive; it should serve as a starting place for you to develop your own farm security plan.

Property Security

  • Effective gates and locks are in place and used wherever possible and monitored frequently
  • Keys are tagged, coded and kept in a secure area
  • Keys are never left in vehicles or equipment; vehicles are locked when not in use
  • Copies of keys are minimal and must be signed out
  • Locks are changed and keys recovered when employees are fired or leave
  • Watchdogs, video cameras, motion detection lights or other electronic monitoring devices are placed in strategic locations
  • The property is well identified for emergency personnel by reflective numbers on the mailbox post or other location
  • An emergency contact list is next to each phone and numbers are pre-programmed into cell phones. Numbers include fire, police, ambulance, veterinarian and poison control
  • An up-to-date farm map has been created that lists the contents at each location and highlights the location of objects of interest (chemicals, fertilizer, fuel, vehicles, livestock, etc.)
  • All chemicals are stored in a locked and weatherproof building and as recommended by the manufacturer’s label instructions
  • Adequate lighting is in place to permit work and deter theft or other crimes
  • Woodpiles, debris piles, brush and other potential hiding places are not located near buildings
  • Routine checks are conducted on cropland to monitor for evidence of unusual disease or damage
  • Simulations of emergencies have been conducted involving all family members and employees
  • Working fire extinguishers are in plain sight in numerous places. Employees know where they are and how to use them
  • Working fire alarms are in place and their batteries are replaced every six months
  • An on-site inspection by local fire department personnel has identified areas of concern and these have been addressed
  • An on-site inspection by a law enforcement professional has identified additional security
  • issues and these have been addressed
  • Adequate insurance coverage has been purchased to cover theft, chemical spills, damage from vandalism, terrorist attacks or other coverage as recommended by a farm insurance agent
  • Vulnerable areas have been identified and deficiencies corrected

Biosecurity

  • All animals are identified
  • All animals are inventoried frequently
  • Animals are monitored frequently for signs of illness or harm
  • Complete and accurate animal health records are maintained
  • Effective nutrition, vaccination and parasite control programs are in place
  • Additions to the herd are quarantined for at least 30 days before introduced to the herd
  • Sick animals are housed in an isolation area away from other animals. They are fed and treated after healthy animal chores are completed. Clothes and footwear are changed and disinfected after dealing with sick animals
  • Entry of personnel, including visitors, is controlled
  • Visitors must sign in and provide their address. International visitors may have restricted access to certain areas of the farm for disease control purposes.
  • Coveralls, plastic boot covers and/or boots are provided for approved visitors
  • Disinfectant is available and used on boots, tires and equipment
  • If equipment must be borrowed from neighbors, it is disinfected before and after use
  • Feed is stored well away from sources of contamination such as fuel, chemicals, etc.
  • Feed is protected from contamination by cat, bird and vermin feces
  • No mammalian-origin protein is fed to ruminants
  • All feed records are kept for at least five years
  • Fences and barns are well maintained
  • No fences are shared with neighbors
  • Separate equipment is used for feed and waste handling
  • Dead animals are necropsied then disposed of properly
  • Watering areas are not located close to roads or other areas with easy access by passersby
  • Crops and cropland is protected through controlled access, excellent fencing and frequent monitoring

Personnel

  • Reference and background checks are performed on new employees
  • Up-to-date first aid kits and water flush bottles are located in numerous places on the property and everyone knows their location
  • Several people on the farm have first aid/CPR training
  • Common contacts’ names and contact information is complete, up-to-date and located so that others could find it in the event of the manager’s absence
  • Employees have appropriate pesticide handlers’ training and certificate
  • Employees and family members know how to monitor for security issues and what to do in the event of a security breach

Other Security Issues

  • Farm records are complete and accurate
  • Farm computers have up-to-date and effective anti-virus software
  • Property and equipment is monitored continually and suspicious activity is reported to law enforcement immediately

Farm Security Course

Do you want to learn more about farm security? Take the free online farm security course and take an in-depth look at how to increase the security of your farm.

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