New Online Resource Addresses Security Issues on Ontario Farms

June 18, 2015 | Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Do you know what to do if uninvited visitors show up on your farm? If your barn had a break-in, but nothing appears to be damaged or taken, should you call the police? What kind of security lighting would be most effective around barns?

These are some of the questions answered in a new online resource available to Ontario farmers. The resource, A practical guide to on-farm security, is a joint initiative between the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and Farm & Food Care Ontario.

“Statistically, property crime rates for rural areas are low compared to urban areas, but when farm assets are under threat, the implications can be severe,” says Peter Sykanda, Farm Policy Researcher with OFA. “We wanted a resource specifically designed to provide direct advice to farmers on best management practices for keeping their farms, their assets and their families safe.”

The project makes use of information and interviews from The Ag & Food Exchange (AFX), a network of security consultants working in agriculture and agri-food. The resource addresses key concerns and questions relating to security on the farm.

“Many of our farmer members access security services after they’ve had an incident on their farms,” says Crystal Mackay, Executive Director of Farm & Food Care Ontario. “The goal here is to get more farms to the point of knowing and using information that can keep them out of situations where they become a target in the first place.”

The resource is divided into three main sections to make it easy to use: “Securing your assets,” “Visitors on the farm,” and “When to call police.” Sample forms such as a visitor log and incident report are also available for download, and offer suggestions of key pieces of information police will ask when responding to a security incident on a farm. 

Both the OFA and Farm & Food Care Ontario will promote the resource to members at upcoming events, and they invite feedback and additional security questions from farmers. To access A practical guide to on-farm security visit http://ofa.on.ca/issues/overview/onfarm-security.

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of Growing Forward 2 in Ontario.