3. Agritourism Legal Protection

Agritourism is the fastest growing segment of revenue for small farms in America (according to the USDA). People want to pay for experiences, and are looking for new things to do on the weekend.

Help meet their needs while simultaneously increasing your farm revenue - with Agritourism
This online resource will teach you how.

Agritourism Legal Protection

As-of June 2016, there are 22 states with agritourism protection laws that only protect you if you charge your visitors a fee. You will want to thoroughly check what laws and regulations your particular state has. It is vital that you do so.

Some of the major statues that are covered in the National Agritourism Law Center deal with such matters as animal welfare, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the use of recreation within public lands and equine activity statues. Licensing and registration is addressed as well as inspections of agricultural items and animals as well. All of these laws and regulations can vary from state-to-state.

Whether you are offering canoe rides down the river, advertising availability for youth camps or providing a place where visitors can hike, there are specific things you can and cannot do. And, when certain activities are allowed, there are guidelines that must be adhered to. There are even regulations when it comes to cutting a trail or carving a ski area. Ignorance is no excuse, so don’t get caught in the outs just because you were not aware of a law, guideline or regulation. Resources are available online and otherwise so you can be fully educated and in compliance.

Georgia’s Agritourism Immunity Statute

Agritourism in Georgia is becoming wildly popular. There are at least 600 businesses in Georgia that can be classified as agritourism. Many earn their living from tourist based farm businesses.

With the field of agritourism growing by leaps and bounds, there have been immunity laws put into play to protect the business owners. Some such laws are:

  • Any landowner who charges an admission fee for individuals who are 18 years old and over, in return for the individual hunting, fishing or taking part in an agritourism event, shall not be held liable for the injury or death of the individual. They shall have immunity from the civil liabilities thereof.
  • A landowner who does not charge a fee of admission who invites an individual or individuals onto his property shall be liable for injury or death if the cause is deemed to be from the failure to keep the premises safe or the failure to exercise ordinary care.

(The law requires posting a sign and having visitors sign a waiver - check the law before assuming anything.)

There are measures put into place to protect those involved in agritourism. But, you must do your part. If you do not charge an admissions fee, the immunity does not apply to you. It is of utmost importance to know the law and what is required of you in order to benefit from it. Georgia is not the only state that has such legalities in place. It is your responsibility to know the law in your own state and if you don’t understand it, seek counsel to explain it to you. It’s that important, for sure!