Agritourism is a field that is growing in popularity as producers try to diversify and increase profits.  By combining agriculture and tourism, agritourism offers new sources of revenue but also presents potential problems and legal complications to agritourism operators.  Simply stated, agritourism could be thought of as the crossroads of tourism and agriculture.  Stated more technically, agritourism can be defined as a form of commercial enterprise that links agricultural production and/or processing with tourism in order to attract visitors onto a farm, ranch, or other agricultural business for the purposes of entertaining and/or educating the visitors and generating income for the farm, ranch, or business owner.   Read the full overview

Note:  Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.


Major Statutes

Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131-2159

Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213

Compilation of States’ Agritourism Statutes

Compilation of States’ Recreational Use Statutes

Compilation of States’ Equine Activity Statutes

Case Law

Case Law Index for Agritourism

Center Research Publications

Using Alternative Enterprises and Recreational Development to Bolster Farm Income — Workbook (R. Rumley & Tullos)

Landowners’   Legal Liability Concern – Webinar Presentation (R. Rumley)

Limiting Liability with Business Organizations – Webinar Presentation (R. Rumley)

Managing Legal Risk for Alternative Uses of Forestland (R. Rumley,  Hatch, Walkingstick,  E. Rumley,  McPeake)

General Legal Issues for Community Farmers Market Managers to Consider (Crocker)

Recreational Access to Private Lands: Liability Problems and Solutions (Copeland, 1998)

The Nature of Agritourism: Legal Risk Management for Agritourism Operators – PowerPoint (Mirus, 2009)

States’ Agritourism Statutes (Rumley & Mirus)

States’ Recreational Use Statutes (Springsteen & Rumley, 2009)

Recreational Use of Private Lands: Associated Legal Issues (McEowen)

Farmers’ Markets Rules, Regulations, and Opportunities (Hamilton)

The Farmer’s Legal Guide to Producer Marketing Associations (O’Brien)

An Overview of Organizational and Ownership Options Available for Agricultural Enterprises Part I (Goforth)

An Overview of Organizational and Ownership Options Available for Agricultural Enterprises Part II (Goforth)

Planting the Seeds for a New Industry: Agritourism (Pittman)

Zoning Limitations and Opportunities for Farm Enterprises Diversification: Searching for a New Meaning in Old Definitions (Branan)


Congressional Research Service Reports

CRS Subject(s):

Rural Development


Agricultural Law Bibliography

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Legal publications on Agritourism:

Animals — Animal Rights

Equine Law

Farm Labor

Hunting, Recreation and Wildlife

Land Use Regulation

Organizational Forms for Agriculture

Public Lands

Reference Resources

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

AMS Farmers Markets

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Subject: Animal Welfare

Licensing and Registration Under the Animal Welfare Act: Guidelines for Dealers, Exhibitors, Transporters, and Researchers

Animal Welfare Act Guidelines for County and State Fairs

Appropriate Technology Transfers for Rural Areas (ATTRA)

Entertainment Farming and Agri-Tourism: Business Management Guide (Adam, 2004)

Building Better Rural Places: Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture (Krome et al., 2005)

Forest Service

Special Programs: Tourism

National Survey on Recreation and the Environment

The Latest on Trends in Nature-Based Outdoor Recreation (Forest Service)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Forms and Publications to Assist Farmers

IRS Farmers’ Tax Guide

Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource

National Agricultural Library (NAL)

Alternative Marketing and Business Practices

Promoting Tourism in Rural America

Stories Across America: Opportunities for Rural Tourism

Animal Welfare Information Center

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

Vermont Agritourism 2002

Hawaii Ag-Tourism

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Taking the First Step: Farm and Ranch Alternative Enterprise and Agritourism Enterprise Resource Evaluation Guide

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)


Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses (2003)

Other Federal Resources

Rural Development

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center – Agritourism

State Agritourism Organizations

Americans with Disabilities Act Home Page

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)


Landowner Liability Protections: Texas Recreational Use Statute, Agritourism Act, and the Farm Animal Liability Act (Lashmet, 2016)

A Farmer’s Guide To Hosting Farm Visits

Key Points to Consider for Various Alternative Enterprises (U. FL Ext.)

Agritourism Workbook (Russell, AGlink 2003)

The Opportunity for Agritourism Development in New Jersey (Schilling, Food Policy Institute, Rutgers, 2006)

Agri-Tourism (VA Coop. Ext., 2009)

Developing Trails and Tourism on Private Lands in Texas (TX A&M, 2000)

Nature-Based Tourism and Agritourism Trends: Unlimited Opportunities (Maetzold, Kerr Center,NRCS, 2002)

Obstacles in the Agritourism Regulatory Process: Perspectives of Operators and Officials in 10 California Counties (U. CA. Ag. Issues Center, 2003)

Agritourism in Focus: A Guide for Tennessee Farmers (U. TN, 2005)

Considering an Agritainment Enterprise in Tennessee (Holland & Wolfe, U. TN)

Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook (U. AZ, 2006)

Oklahoma Agritourism Resource Manual (OK Dept. of Agric.)

Developing Trails and Tourism on Private Lands (TX A&M)

Considerations for an Agritainment Enterprise in Georgia (U. GA)

Considerations for Agritourism Development (Kuehn et al., Sea Grant NY, 1998)

Insuring “Agritainment”: Is It Farming or a Business? (Am. Assoc. of Ins. Servs., 2005)

Factors Motivating Agritourism Entrepreneurs (Mace)

Minimizing Liability for Public Access to Private Lands (Silberstein & Rosensweig, 2002)

Rural Landowner Liability for Recreational Injuries: Myths, Perceptions, and Realities (Wright et al., TX A & M, 2002)

Additional Resources

Using Alternative Enterprises to Bolster Farm Incomes, Part 1 – Webinar Presentation (Tullos)

Using Alternative Enterprises to Bolster Farm Incomes, Part 2 – Webinar Presentation (Tullos)

Building on the Business Concept and Incorporating the Wildlife Lease as Your Profit Tool – Webinar Presentation (Tullos)

Drafting the Alternative Enterprise Plan for Your Property: Committing to the Budding Business – Webinar Presentation (Tullos)

Tourism and Community Development: Resources and Applied Research Clearinghouse (U. WI)

Agritourism Posts (Ag & Food Law Blog)

Natural Resources Enterprises (MS St. Ext.)

Agricultural Tourism – Outdoor Recreation and Tourism (UT St. U. Ext.)

Agritourism (PA St. Ext.)

Agritourism (U. of FL Ext.)

Ecotourism (U. of FL Ext.)

Agriculture-Based Economic and Community Development (Cornell)

AgroTourNet (European Union- Leonardo Da Vinci Programme)

Farm and Ranch Recreation Resource Directory (ND St. U., 2004)

Small Farm Center:  Agricultural Tourism (U. CA-Davis)

National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, Inc.