POSITION STATEMENT 0308-03:
AGRI-TOURISM

WHEREAS, the agricultural industry is a key economic driver and the source of our food supply in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and

WHEREAS, Lancaster County holds the esteemed distinction of being the most productive non-irrigated farming county in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Lancaster County farms are 99 percent family-owned and the Lancaster County agriculture industry contributes more than $4 billion annually to the economy and employs one in five County residents; and

WHEREAS, traditional farms are finding alternative uses for their land in a growing industry known as “agri-tourism”; and

WHEREAS, agri-tourism presents a unique opportunity to combine aspects of the tourism and agriculture industries to provide financial, educational and social benefits to tourists, producers and communities; and

WHEREAS, under Pennsylvania law, entrepreneurial farmers operating agri-tourism enterprises face enormous liability risks when opening up their land to the public; and

WHEREAS, while Lancaster County agri-tourism operators participate in proper safety standards and inform participants of dangerous conditions, liability laws are needed to protect agri-tourism operators, encourage agri-tourism activities and open up the market-place for companies to insure agri-tourism operations: Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry recognizes the significant contribution and benefits of the agri-tourism industry in Lancaster County and recognizes the financial risk agri-tourism operators face; and be it further

RESOLVED, That The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry encourages the State to provide a means to make insurance affordable for agri-tourism farmers; and be it further

RESOLVED, That The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry will work with the General Assembly in drafting legislation limiting the civil liability of farmers involved in agri-tourism activities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That The Lancaster Chamber encourages the agri-tourism community to continue to warn the public of the hazards, dangers and conditions associated with agri-tourism so participants are fully aware of the risks involved in such activities.

Approved by the Board of Directors, March 18, 2008

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