Resource Library

Agricultural Society Loss Prevention Best Practices Guide

Date: January 2020

County fairs are an integral part of Minnesota culture, but for fairs to be a positive force in the community, they need to be safe. The public puts its trust in an agricultural society (a.k.a. fair board) to ensure that they have a positive experience when attending the fair and other events at the fairgrounds.

Producing a county fair is a large responsibility that includes maintaining a safe environment for workers, volunteers, vendors and attendees, as well as protecting fair resources. The “Agricultural Societies Loss Prevention Best Practices Guide” provides information and recommendations to help recognize and reduce risks and hazards associated with fair operations and protect such organizations from liability and loss.

Guide Addresses 3 General Areas

This guide is designed to help agricultural societies make informed decisions about how to protect their organizations, property, fairgoers and users of the facilities. The book is divided into three general areas of concern:

  1. Governance concerns (e.g., Open Meeting Law compliance and safeguarding private information), Americans with Disabilities Act compliance and immunity defenses related to fairgrounds (Chapters 1-3): This guide presumes that agricultural societies are formed under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 38, which qualifies them as municipalities subject to certain laws, protections and regulations. Agricultural societies must adhere to various laws protecting people’s rights and for conducting its business in the open, as well as having potential immunities apply to their operations. These chapters discuss pertinent details for fair operations relative to these laws.
  2. Risk management (Chapters 4-12): From working with volunteers, vendors and contractors, these topics cover a range of issues that could potentially be open to risk exposure and offer recommendations to limit or manage the exposures.
  3. Safety recommendations (Chapters 13-32): Common activities and structures at fairgrounds are discussed. Topics covered target specific equipment, work processes and policies or programs that should be in place as part of an overall safety program. Best practices are outlined to help educate staff and volunteers to reduce those exposures.

Several check lists are provided, as well. These can be used to determine quickly how well the organization is complying with laws and safety programs, as well as can identify safety hazards and allow for action items to be developed to remedy the identified exposures.

Download Book or Specific Chapters

Below are links to PDFs of the full Agricultural Society Loss Prevention Best Practices Guide and individual chapters and checklists from the guide. Click on the item you want to view or download . 

The information contained in this document is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or coverage advice on any specific matter.