Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) announced that legislation she authored to lower the cost of doing business for farms offering agritourism has passed the Assembly and now awaits approval by the state Senate (A.10070-A).
Upstate New York is home to so many small farms that rely on agritourism activities, from pumpkin picking to hay rides, to stay in business. But, the high cost of liability insurance has made it far too difficult for farms to offer these important activities, said Woerner. By limiting the amount of liability for owners who take a reasonable level of care in curbing risks, this legislation should significantly lower the cost of doing business in our state for family farms.
Specifically, the legislation would lower costs for a variety of businesses, such as Christmas tree farms, apple orchards, winery tours, hay rides, and farm tours. Currently, New York law does not include standards of care for agritourism businesses, which often makes it difficult to plan for legal and insurance costs.
Reducing liability for our family farms has great advantages for agriculture and consumers alike. It improves the ability of farmers to reduce costs and invite more people onto their farms. It is also good for New Yorkers who want to take part in agricultural experiences that benefit their lives and put food on their dinner tables. New York Farm Bureau commends Assemblywoman Woerner for her efforts in the passage of the bill and her commitment to family farmers, said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau President.