State Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-36) announced legislation that will promote additional profit-making opportunities for agriculture at a press conference today in Ronks.Agriculture entertainment activities, also known as agritainment, are recreational and educational activities located on farms, such as corn mazes, pick-your-own crop harvests, hay rides and farm vacations.
"Agritainment gives traditional farmers another way to generate revenue while providing opportunities for the public to learn more about one of our state's leading economic industries," Brubaker said. "My bill will make it easier for farmers to engage in agritainment activities without putting their livelihood at risk."
Under current law, farmers involved in agritainment activities face serious liability risks when opening their land to the public. Brubaker's legislation would protect farm owners from civil liability in cases where no party is at fault. The right for an individual to sue would be preserved if an owner is grossly negligent, displays willful disregard for safety or intentionally causes injury, Brubaker said.
Brubaker was joined at the press conference by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-100), Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry Agriculture Committee Chair Mary Henry, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Director of Governmental Relations and Communications Gary Swan, and Jack Coleman of Cherry Crest Farm.
"It is important that we continue to protect and promote agriculture, including areas that have captured the public's interest and have helped the industry thrive, such as agritourism," said Cutler. "We must keep our state laws updated to maintain our status as one of the leading agriculture states in the nation."
The press conference was held in Ronks at the Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, one of the area's leaders in agritainment activities.
"Pennsylvania farmers need to have some form of protection against nuisance laws, and Senator Brubaker's bill will bring Pennsylvania's laws in line with protections offered in other states," Coleman said.