Risk Management Plan: Put on Your Safety Glasses

Risk management is all about making your farm resilient. It’s important to anticipate the possibility of something going wrong on your farm so that you have a plan to make it less likely to happen and to know what to do if it does happen. Taken together, these plans help to ensure that you farm business can weather any number of storms (literally and metaphorically!).

What’s important to consider is that risk management can also help you prepare to take opportunities are arise. There are upsides to uncertainty and it’s important to know what to do when you have a bumper crop or when a perfect grant opens up. The big question is how to spread the “highs” to fill in the “lows” to make sure that your farm business is strong  and resilient.

The risk management session will feature Chris Bodnar (who also joined us for financial planning):

Chris Bodnar farms vegetables with his wife Paige in Abbotsford. Their business, Close to Home Organics, sells to wholesale buyers, through farmers markets and through a Community Shared Agriculture program at Glen Valley Organic Farm. He provides business coaching and development support to farmers as a consultant through the BC Agri-Business Planning Program and mentorship through the Young Agrarians Business Mentorship Program. He developed and teaches the Business of Agriculture course at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Sustainable Agriculture program and chairs the Board of Directors of Mount Lehman Credit Union. Particular interests include co-operative development in the agricultural sector.

During this session we’ll look at practical steps – income diversification, farm insurance, government programs,  precautionary saving, water and soil management, and anticipating price changes, just to name a few – that we can take to manage the inherent production, marketing, and financial risks of running a farm.


Part I – Risk Management Overview
Part II – Mapping Out Risk


The worksheet below is a useful template for listing and mapping out the risks on your farm. The more thorough you are, the more resilient your farm can be!

Risk Management Worksheet (doc)
Risk Management Worksheet (pdf)


These resources address various elements of risk management on the farm – from personal safety to environmental protection and lots in between!

Website – Working Safely in Agriculture (Work Safe BC)
Risk Management Software (Agri-Shield)
Guide – Risk Management in Agriculture (RBC)