Volume 24, Number 5
The Missouri Agritourism Promotion Act
Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB), the state's largest farm organization, recognizes the importance of agritourism to farmers and ranchers seeking additional revenue sources and the general public as a way of connection to agriculture for entertainment, educational and nostalgic purposes.
In 2008, MFB added an Agritourism Advisory Committee to focus on the opportunities and challenges facing this growing industry. The committee is made up of various agritourism activity operators from across the state. At the committee's very first meeting they identified liability and inherent risk as the number one challenge in starting and running an agritourism business.
After three long years of working with the General Assembly and battling the Missouri
Association of Trial Attorneys, MFB is happy to announce the passage of SB 631, otherwise known as the "ag omnibus bill", which included the Agritourism Promotion Act.
The Agritourism Promotion Act establishes a new protection for agritourism operators via a signage and registration process.
Specifically, the Agritourism Promotional Act portion of SB 631:
- Defines "agritourism activity" as any activity which allows the general public for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes to view or enjoy rural activities including, but not limited to, farming and ranching activities or historic, cultural, or natural attractions;
- Defines "inherent risks of a registered agritourism activity" as dangers or conditions which are an integral part of an agritourism activity including the potential of a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or others;
- Allows any person who is engaged in a business providing an agritourism activity to register with the Director of the Department of Agriculture as an AgriMissouri member;
- Requires every registered agritourism operator to post and maintain signage at the agritourism location which contains a specified warning notice that there is no liability for certain injuries or the death of a participant in a registered agritourism activity;
- Specifies that a registered agritourism operator is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of agritourism activities if the warning is posted as required unless the injury to the participant was by the operator's willful or wanton conduct, the operator had actual knowledge or should have known of a dangerous condition and does not make the dangerous condition known to a participant and the dangerous condition causes the participant to sustain injuries or the operator fails to use that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances; and
- Specifies that the operator has an affirmative defense to the liability if the injured person assumed the risk; deliberately disregarded conspicuously posted signs, verbal instructions, or other warnings regarding safety measures during the activity; or if any equipment, animals, or appliances used by the injured person during the activity were used in a manner or for a purpose other than that for which a reasonable person should have known they were intended.
In order to take advantage of the liability benefits of the Agritourism Promotional Act a person engaged in agritourism activities must:
- Register with the Missouri Department of Agriculture's AgriMissouri program. There are three levels of registration a person can choose from - free, $50, and $100. Each level offers various benefits. Additional information and online registration is available by using the following link. http://agrimissouri.com/membership/.
- Agritourism operators must post a specified warning notice sign with the exact language as stated in the Agritourism Promotion Act.
In order to help our members that want to comply with the Agritourism Promotion Act, MFB is making available an attractive three color, weather resistant 22 x 28 warning notice sign with the specified language. For Farm Bureau members the cost of the sign will be $8.00 plus shipping and handling to the purchaser's address. A copy of the warning sign is attached for your viewing.
If an agritourism operator is not a MFB member the sign will cost $8.00 plus shipping and handling and a $30 membership fee. For information regarding MFB and member benefits please use the following link and then click on "membership".
If you have questions about the Agritourism Promotional Act or would like to order a sign(s) contact Kelly Smith at 573-893-1416 or email@example.com.
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