From Farms to Festivals: Covering Risks for Kansas Agri-Businesses

The agricultural sector in Kansas is a significant contributor to the state’s economy, with a diverse range of businesses operating within this industry. From traditional farming operations to agri-tourism events such as festivals, each business faces its unique set of risks. Understanding these risks and how to manage them is crucial for the sustainability and growth of Kansas agri-businesses.

Understanding the Risks in Kansas Agri-Businesses

The first step towards managing risks in agri-businesses is understanding what these risks are. They can be broadly categorized into production risks, market risks, financial risks, legal risks, and human or personal risks.

Production risks involve the uncertainties associated with agricultural production. These could include weather conditions, pests, diseases, and technological changes. Market risks, on the other hand, relate to changes in prices, demand, and market conditions. Financial risks involve access to and cost of capital, while legal risks pertain to regulations and compliance. Lastly, human or personal risks involve the health, safety, and well-being of the people involved in the business.

Production Risks

Production risks are inherent in any agricultural operation. Weather conditions such as drought, floods, and storms can significantly impact crop yield and livestock health. Pests and diseases also pose a constant threat to agricultural production. Technological changes, while often beneficial, can also introduce new risks as businesses adapt to new methods and equipment.

For agri-tourism businesses such as festivals, production risks could involve event planning and execution. Unpredictable weather can affect outdoor events, while logistical issues can disrupt event schedules.

Market Risks

Market risks in agri-businesses involve changes in prices, demand, and market conditions. Fluctuations in commodity prices can significantly impact the profitability of farming operations. Similarly, changes in consumer demand, influenced by factors such as trends, health concerns, and economic conditions, can affect both traditional farming and agri-tourism businesses.

For festivals and other agri-tourism events, market risks could involve competition from other events, changes in consumer preferences, and the impact of economic conditions on consumer spending.

Managing Risks in Kansas Agri-Businesses

Once the risks have been identified, the next step is to manage them effectively. This involves developing a risk management plan, implementing risk management strategies, and regularly reviewing and updating the plan.

A risk management plan outlines the identified risks, the strategies to manage these risks, and the responsibilities and timelines for implementing these strategies. It serves as a guide for the business in managing its risks and should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in the business and its environment.

Developing a Risk Management Plan

Developing a risk management plan involves identifying the risks, assessing their potential impact on the business, and determining the strategies to manage these risks. The plan should be comprehensive, covering all areas of the business, and should be developed with the involvement of all key stakeholders.

The strategies to manage the risks should be practical and cost-effective. They could involve risk avoidance, risk reduction, risk transfer, or risk acceptance, depending on the nature and potential impact of the risk.

Implementing Risk Management Strategies

Implementing the risk management strategies involves putting the plan into action. This includes assigning responsibilities, setting timelines, providing necessary resources, and monitoring progress. Regular communication and training are also crucial to ensure that everyone involved understands the plan and their role in it.

For agri-tourism businesses such as festivals, implementing risk management strategies could involve event planning and logistics, safety measures, insurance coverage, and contingency planning.

Reviewing and Updating the Risk Management Plan

Reviewing and updating the risk management plan is an ongoing process. The plan should be reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective. Changes in the business, its environment, or the risks it faces may require updates to the plan.

Regular reviews also provide an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the risk management strategies and make necessary adjustments. This helps to ensure that the business is well-prepared to manage its risks and can adapt to changes in a timely and effective manner.


Managing risks in Kansas agri-businesses, from farms to festivals, involves understanding the risks, developing and implementing a risk management plan, and regularly reviewing and updating the plan. While the risks may be diverse and complex, effective risk management can help these businesses to be more resilient, sustainable, and successful.

Whether you are a farmer, an agri-tourism operator, or any other agri-business owner in Kansas, understanding and managing your risks is crucial. By doing so, you can not only protect your business but also contribute to the growth and sustainability of the Kansas agricultural sector.