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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 15, 2019 02:49 PM
From: Senator Ryan P. Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Agritourism on Preserved Farms
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that would provide uniformity and protection for agritourism activities in Pennsylvania.

Many farm families face significant challenges in keeping their farms viable long-term from income generated solely through agriculture commodities and need supplemental sources of income to sustain the family’s farm business. To that end, more and more traditional farmers are finding alternative uses for their land in a growing industry called agritourism.

My bill would ensure that agritourism activities are considered and treated as part of agriculture authorized on farms preserved under the state farmland preservation program.

Currently, each county farmland preservation board has the ability to set its own standards for what is defined as agritourism. This legislation would create uniformity across the Commonwealth, allowing farmers, regardless of their location, to take advantage of the growing popularity of agritourism.

The bill protects the original intent of our nation-leading farmland preservation program by stipulating that any agritourism activity must not prevent the land from being immediately converted back to agricultural use.

Farmers who have put their land in farmland preservation programs have made a strong investment in the future of agriculture and this legislation gives them one more tool to help preserve open space and vital farmland.

Previous co-sponsors of Senate Bill 819 of the 2017-2018 legislative session are: Martin, Eichelberger, Yaw, Folmer, Raffterty, Ward, Bartolotta, Stefano, Regan, Vogel, Yudichak, Reschenthaler, White, Mensch, Vulakovich, and McIlhinney.

If you have any questions regarding this bill, please contact Stephanie Buchanan at 717-787-4420 or sbuchanan@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB583