Publications: Agritourism

Ten Legal Issues for Farm Stay Operators

Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor- Agricultural and Resource Law Program; Ohio State University Extension
Abigail Wood, Research Assistant; OSU Agricultural and Resource Law Program

For farm and ranch owners, offering a farm stay accommodation can generate a new stream of revenue, and many appear to be recognizing and capitalizing on this opportunity. As with any new business idea, operators will benefit from a careful examination of legal requirements and legal risks in addition to determining the physical, economic and management needs for the farm stay endeavor. This article reviews the top ten potential legal issues operators may face when considering adding a farm stay business to the farm or ranch and illustrate the connection between the type of farm stay and resulting legal risks and requirements. It also includes a checklist to assist with the process of considering and managing farm stay legal issues.  Download this article. Posted July 28, 2020.

Recent Agritourism Litigation in the United States

Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor- Agricultural and Resource Law Program; Ohio State University Extension
Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate; Ohio State University Extension

There has been significant growth in agritourism entrepreneurship in recent years. “Agritourism,” also referred to as “agricultural tourism,” and “agritainment,” refers to visiting a working farm or an agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operation to enjoy the rural setting, be educated, or be involved in special activities. With the growth of agritourism, however, comes legal issues for agritourism operators.  In order to help agritourism operators understand legal issues and manage agritourism legal liability risk, this report summarizes findings of recent court cases involving agritourism operations, and also highlights legal incidents that occurred but did not produce litigation.    Download this article. Posted April 22, 2020.

Reducing Risk in Agritourism: Factsheet Series

Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor- Agricultural and Resource Law Program; Ohio State University Extension
Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow- Agricultural and Resource Law Program; Ohio State University Extension

The number of farms receiving income from agritourism in the U.S. expanded from 23,350 in 2007 to 33,161 in 2012.  Research suggests that agritourism operations will continue on this track in the future due to consumer interest in food and farming coupled with an economic need to augment farm income through diversification. Running an agritourism business is not without its challenges, however. This series of factsheets discusses legal issues essential to reducing risks on potential agritourism operations.  Each factsheet will identify questions to consider, and will also include a checklist or tips for operators to consider in reducing risk.

Farm Animals and People: Liability Issues for Agritourism
Food Sales at Agritourism Operations: Legal Issues
Agritourism Immunity Laws in the United States
Agritourism Activities and Zoning
Agritourism and Insurance

Download combined factsheets Posted 3/19/19 

Using Alternative Enterprises and Recreational Development to Bolster Farm Incomes — Workbook

Rusty W. Rumley Staff Attorney National Agricultural Law Center and Adam Tullos Mississippi State University Extension

This workbook compilation accompanies the six-part webinar series on developing land for recreational purposes such as nature and agritourism presented by the Mississippi State Natural Resources Enterprise Center and the National Agricultural Law Center in the spring of 2012.    Download this article. Posted August 11, 2012.

Forestry Workbook – Managing Legal Risk for Alternative Uses of Forestland

Rusty Rumley, Dora Ann Hatch, Tamara Walkingstick, Elizabeth Rumley, Rebecca McPeake University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension staff   LSU AgCenter staff    Staff Attorneys, National Agricultural Law Center

This workbook was created as part of Southern Risk Management Education  Center grant to conduct workshops for landowners, foresters, and loggers in  Louisiana and Arkansas. Numerous topics are covered including wildlife  management, timber contracts, hunting leases, landowner liability, agritourism,  and estate planning. Download this presentation. Posted: April 30, 2012

The Nature of Agritourism: Legal Risk Management for Agritourism Operators – PowerPoint Presentation

Shannon Mirus Staff Attorney National Agricultural Law Center

This presentation was given on February 10, 2009 to participants in the “Nature of Agritourism” conference and introduces risk management issues that individuals involved or interested in agritourism should consider.  Special attention is given to negligence and premise liability, the use of business organizations as protection for assets, and Arkansas’ recreational use statute.         Download this presentation. Posted: May 13, 2009

States’ Agritourism Statutes

Research Staff, National Agricultural Law Center

Currently, nineteen states in the United States have enacted statutes that address agritourism. These statutes vary from liability protections for agritourism operators to tax credits to zoning requirements. Familiarity with these statutes is essential to anyone who engages in agritourism. States’ Agritourism Statutes provides the statutory text of each of the states’ agritourism statutes. It is important to note that there are other statutes that impact agritourism operators in each state; however, the statutes included below are the statutes that specifically mention and directly address agritourism.   Several states have pending legislation; these new statutes will be added to the compilation as they are passed.  The primary aim of this compilation is to provide the researcher with easy and free access to a state’s statutory language by simply clicking on the state’s image in the map below.  Download this article. Posted: August 8, 2008; updated 4/7/2023.

Planting the Seeds for a New Industry in Arkansas: Agritourism

Harrison M. Pittman Research Assistant Professor of Law and Staff Attorney National Agricultural Law Center University of Arkansas School of Law

Agritourism operations exist in every state, and in many states, organizations, state officials, citizens, and others have undertaken some type of effort to enhance agritourism.  Several states have undertaken some type of agritourism promotion effort, including Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Utah, North Carolina, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.  The types of efforts and the degree to which they are undertaken in these and other states vary substantially.  A small but growing number of states– including Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, and Vermont– have undertaken comprehensive efforts to not only promote agritourism but to recognize  agritourism as an industry that can provide significant economic benefits to producers, communities, and states. Arkansas and many other states have not yet undertaken a similar effort, though these states possess the human, land, government, organizational, and academic resources to do so.  This article provides a context from which producers, state officials, private organizations, citizens, and other relevant stakeholders in Arkansas and other states can initiate a discussion regarding the potential development of a program to promote an agritourism industry.    Download this article Posted: August 10, 2006