Florida’s year-round subtropical climate and expansive agricultural footprint place the state in a prime position for profit. Agritourism combines agriculture and tourism—the two largest industries in the state—for entertainment and education.
Florida’s ranchers and farmers are able to benefit from the lucrative industry thanks to a law passed in 2013 that protects and facilitates such opportunities. Before SB 1106, those in Florida’s agriculture industry shouldered a heavy burden inherent in a business, including regulations and liability.
Because the legislation was intended to help ease that burden, the Legislature had to legally redefine “agritourism” to solidify the direct association between agritourism and the actual agriculture of the state.
This resulted in Florida Statute 570.86, which defines agritourism as “any agricultural related activity consistent with a bona fide farm or ranch or in a working forest which allows members of the general public to view or enjoy activities related to farming, ranching, historical, cultural or harvest-your-own attractions for recreational, entertainment or educational purposes.”
The statute successfully eliminated excessive or overlapping regulations and ordinances, making it easier for businesses to succeed. In addition, it offered limited protection against injury, death and damage that may occur on the property as long as a warning was posted. This means the participants assume the risk inherent in activities and locations.
The legislation helped destinations such as corn mazes, petting zoos, hay rides, nature trails, and farm tours blossom across the state and pushed visitor counts to record numbers.
If you run an agritourism business, we’re here to help you make the most of your property. Call our offices at (863) 647-5337 to speak with one of our experienced lawyers practicing in areas such as real estate, litigation, estate planning, taxes, elder and corporate law.
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Clark, Campbell, Lancaster, & Munson
BIO: Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A. is a general business law firm in Lakeland, Florida providing effective and timely legal services to our clients.