theftManaging thousands of acres of farm land can prove to be quite the tall task – you know this all too well. So how do you go about protecting what you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into from opportunistic thieves? Whether it’s copper wire, electrical panels, equipment or animals, we’ve got a few tips to keep your operation protected.

  1. Follow the 3 Ds - deterrence, detection and delay. According to an article from the Penn State Extension, law enforcement officers use this motto when talking to farmers about protecting their property. Deterrence includes lighting, gates, and no trespassing signs. Detection entails having someone to notify you of anything suspicious on your property if you are not able to watch it for yourself. Delay options include anything that would hinder access to your property such as cables across road and pathways, locking all doors and keeping things out of sight. 

  2. Form a group – Farmers in California grew tired of repeated farm thefts so, as a result, Hilmar Farm Watch was formed. Connecting through email and Facebook, farmers report any thefts that occur and the group works together to publicize and help the thieves to be caught. The success of this group has been so high that the community has grown to include over 3,000 fellow growers.  

  3. Review your operation from a thief’s standpoint – review your property for all opportunities that a thief may see. Whether it’s with your equipment, electrical or tools – get an idea of everything that is on your operation. In addition, make inventory of it and its assessed value for insurance purposes and to cut back on any time in the event of a theft.

  4. Keep track of keys – yes it’s so easy to leave keys in your equipment. After all that’s one less thing you have to remember when leaving the house. However, that’s one less thing a thief needs to find as well. Take keys out of equipment always. Additionally, keep track of all keys that employees use and have access to.

  5. Mark your items – much like branding cattle, brand your equipment and tools in some way that it makes recognition of them if stolen possible. This will also help in recovery of items as well as prevention of illegal resale of them.

Some of these tips you may already know and be implementing, while others may have sparked some ideas. Either way, we hope you’re doing all that you can to prevent opportunistic thieves from targeting your operation.



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