Whether you operate a family farm or an agritourism destination, farm signage and labels are critical to your operation. Signage is designed to keep your family, farm workers, and visitors safe and informed. If your agritourism destination contains livestock, playground equipment, machinery or food sales, signs are a necessity.
Communication is the best way to ensure good health and safety practices on your farm, and signage is one of the best ways to communicate that. It is important that everyone understands the risks and hazards when entering your farm. Signs should be anywhere a potential hazard may be found and should explain the precautions to take to avoid the hazard. It’s important to note that simple graphics or words work far better than complex instructions allowing an individual to make an immediate decision. This is not to say a sign should be solely relied on; however, the sign should serve as a reminder and be of use to those who are not necessarily familiar with an area or process.
Listed below are examples of signs your farm destination could utilize:
Livestock: If your agritourism destination is labeled as a demonstration farm/petting zoo, it’s important for your visitors to be aware of the health risks that are associated with animals and rules to ensure their safety.
“Contact with animals may impose a health risk, do not enter with food, drink, sippy cups, pacifiers or strollers.”
“Look but please don’t TOUCH the animals.”
“Wash your hands before and after touching the animals and their environment.”
“CAUTION, animals may bite.”
Playground: Playground areas may be the one of the biggest attractions at your farm destination, it is important that signs are in place to ensure visitor safety. Play areas may require signs in various locations including the entrances and at specific playground equipment.
“Children must be accompanied by an adult.”
“No food or beverages allowed in or on play structures.”
“All visitors must listen to and comply with staff instructions.”
“No smoking allowed.”
Food Stands: If you sell or prepare food at your farm location, signage is critical to prevent and control the spread of germs and diseases. Food safety signage should be visible to all visitors and staff at your operation.
“Restrooms and hand washing stations”
“Employees and staff must wash hands before returning to work.”
“Wash hands before eating or handling food”
Besides establishing effective communications with customers, signage is one of the most efficient forms of advertisement of your business and can broaden your brand exposure. According to research found at the Sign Research Foundation (SRF), “Nearly 76% of customers (8 in 10) said they had entered a store or business they had never entered before simply based on its sign.” Here are three reasons why your agritourism destination should invest in custom signage:
1. Increasing brand exposure
Business signage will make your farm and destinations stand out from the crowd by increasing your exposure and the chances of new customers. Farm signage will help differentiate your destination from others.
2. Cost effective
Signage is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. After the initial investment, your signage can be used in multiple locations both at your physical destination and virtually on your social media platforms.
Although your agritourism destination may not be open year-round, your signage will be able to advertise for you business all year. Advertising your destination in the off season may be a potential benefit for your destination.
For signage laws in the state of Iowa please visit Iowa Code at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/law/statutory, to review the current permanent laws enacted by the Iowa General Assembly.
- Kelsey Pretz, Communications Intern