Agritourism is a growing industry in Tennessee, as farmers seek new enterprises to generate revenue and consumers seek educational and recreational opportunities or farm-fresh products. A combination of agriculture and tourism, agritourism creates opportunities as well as challenges.
Liability is a signifi cant concern for farmers who operate agritourism enterprises. A landowner who opens his or her land to the public faces the risk that he or she could be considered liable if someone is injured while on the property.
Over the last few years, several states have enacted legislation to limit the liability of agritourism operators with regard to the dangers, hazards or conditions inherent to their agritourism activities. In February 2009, House Bill 1931 addressing agritourism liability was introduced into the Tennessee legislature and was quickly followed by Senate Bill 2164. The bills were passed following amendment and were signed into law by Governor Phil Bredesen. The law was enacted on July 1, 2009 and closely resembles the Equine Activity Law¹ previously put in place in Tennessee.
With the new law come new questions about agritourism and liability in Tennessee. This publication includes the text of the new law and discusses some implications of the legislation for agritourism operators in the state.
"PB1787-Liability and Agritourism - Implications of Tennessee's 2009 Legislation," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, PB 1787 E12-4050-00-003-10 2.5M-12/09 10-0089, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexmkt/25