State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) today announced the Ohio House’s passage of Substitute Senate Bill 75, legislation that promotes agritourism activities and protects providers of agritourism from civil liability in the situation that injuries occur during agritourism activities. The bill was heard in the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, which Rep. Hill chairs.
Under Senate Bill 75, agritourism is defined as an agriculturally-related activity for educational, historical, cultural, or recreational purposes conducted on a farm that allows the general public to enjoy such an activity. Examples of agritourism include hayrides, picking fruit, feeding animals, or navigating a corn maze.
“Agritourism is becoming a vital part of Ohio’s rural economy, and the passage of this bill ensures that agritourism operations can thrive in our state and connect people from all over the state to agriculture and rural communities,” said Rep. Hill.
The bill protects agritourism providers from frivolous lawsuits resulting from accidents that occur during an activity with inherent risk, including land conditions, the actions of domestic and wild animals, and dangers associated with equipment and structures used in farming operations.
Conversely, the legislation holds all operators accountable by withholding immunity in the case of intentional disregard for participants’ safety, criminal behavior that causes harm to visitors, or failure to post required warning signs on the property. Senate Bill 75 strikes the right balance between protecting farmers and consumers while participating in agritourism opportunities.
The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.