Agritourism can help your farm or ranch reduce its operating risks, by diversifying your income sources and your customer base. But, with any customer service venture comes the potential for additional operating risks.
However, there are steps you can take to minimize risk and protect yourself and your farm and ranch if things go wrong despite your best efforts. And it’s easier than ever before in Oregon to find that sweet spot between excellent, safe visitor experiences and viable business operations. That’s because Oregon has joined most other U.S. states in developing limited liability protection statutes specifically for agritourism. When you complete your risk assessment and management plan, you should have a good sense of what agritourism activities are appropriate for you from a risk standpoint, and the risk management costs you need to account for in your business plan.
Overview and Oregon Liability Laws Related to Agritourism
- Reducing Risk by Managing Liability; 2012 Oregon Agritourism Summit presentation
- Oregon Equine Inherent Risk Law (OR 360.687 to 360.697) passed in 1993; it establishes special liability protections for agritourism activities associated with horses
- Oregon Agritourism Inherent Risk Law (OR SB341) passed in 2015; it extends liability protections for all Oregon agritourism activities as defined by statute
Additional Risk Assessment and Management Resources
- Risk can be quite different from one agritourism operation to another, depending on size and specific focus. A small family farm with no outside employees, for example, will have very different potential risks than a large commercial operation with value-added processing and events in the mix. As a result, risk management takes many different forms, depending on the appropriate level of detail required. This toolkit aims for a middle ground starting point. However, if these tools don’t fit your circumstances, More Useful Tools from Other States contain links to many other planning resources.
- Questions for Your Insurance Agent
- Oregon Right to Farm Law and Good Neighbor Practices
“The information included in the Oregon Agritourism Handbook should not be construed or treated as legal advice or counsel on matters of legal, tax, land-use or other policy. The Oregon Agritourism Handbook is strictly written to provide information to individuals interested in pursuing an agritourism business. This information is intended as a guide and resource hub. It is the responsibility of the individual to determine and understand all applicable laws, rules and regulations for each specific business and location. This handbook only offers information on where and how to connect with those resources. In no way is the information compiled intended to replace advice obtained from professionals such as an attorney, insurance agent, financial planner or land-use planner. Content and outside links found in the Oregon Agritourism Handbook do not necessarily reflect the views of the State of Oregon, Travel Oregon or the Oregon Tourism Commission. While the writers of this content have taken precautions to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, please note that content is subject to change. The advice of qualified and licensed professionals should be sought before embarking on any new or expanded business venture.”