By Julie Tomascik
Farm visits help consumers connect the dots in agriculture. But are there ways for landowners to help protect themselves from liability if a visitor has an accident on their property?
The Agritourism Act, which was passed in 2015, offers limited liability to landowners who open their agricultural land for recreational or educational purposes, regardless of compensation.
The statute requires landowners to post specific language warning visitors of potential hazards on the property or to have a waiver signed.
Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) offers agritourism liability signs that meet the language requirements.
“Agritourism in Texas continues to grow each year,” Regan Beck, TFB director of Government Affairs, said. “These signs allow landowners who want opportunities to get folks outdoors and reconnected with agriculture a way to feel more secure about some of the unforseen liability issues. But the Agritourism Act isn’t a substitute for insurance.”
The Texas Recreational Use Statute also applies to landowners who use their property for recreational purposes if it meets one of the three monetary criteria: a fee is not charged; the fee charged by the landowner is less than 20 times the amount of ad valorem taxes paid by the landowner last year; or the landowner maintains insurance coverage as defined by the statute.
Agritourism—the intersection of agriculture and tourism—is a growing trend fueled by consumers. It serves a dual purpose—allowing for farming and ranching practices as well as farm visits.
“Fall is a season that offers many opportunities to dive into outdoor activities,” Beck said. “These are prime opportunities to strike up a conversation with the farmers and ranchers responsible for growing the food that feeds our country.”
The signs are available for $4.
To purchase a sign, complete the order form found online at https://txfb.us/agritourism.
For questions, contact Allie Bridges at 254-751-2667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.