STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Farmers in Centre County were joined by key legislative leaders and the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau to celebrate the adoption of meaningful civil liability protection for farmers that host events on their farm, and to promote farms as a family-friendly destination for fall activities.
During a news conference held at Wasson Farm Market, a State College-area destination that has numerous agritourism activities, members of the Centre County Farm Bureau thanked Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff for their support for Act 27 of 2021. This law protects farmers who host agritourism events, like corn mazes and pumpkin patches, from mishaps that happen due to circumstances beyond their control. In addition, the event helped highlight the numerous activities that are available on farms throughout Centre County.
“We are thankful that farmers can now use this liability protection for fall activities and believe enactment of Act 27 will encourage more farmers to offer agritourism activities,” said Dan Kniffen, vice president of the Centre County Farm Bureau. “We also wanted to encourage people to take time this fall to visit farms across Centre County and enjoy all of the agritourism activities that are available.”
Representative Benninghoff also echoed the sentiment that adoption of Act 27 creates new revenue opportunities for farmers and encourages them to diversify their business.
“In order to keep agriculture as Pennsylvania’s number one industry and support generations of future Pennsylvania farmers, sectors like agritourism need innovative tools to allow them to grow and thrive,” Benninghoff said. “Providing this liability protection is just another tool that can be used to ensure agritourism businesses can not only survive, but thrive, here in Pennsylvania.”
For several years, the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau has promoted Centre County as destination for on-farm activities. Agriculture and tourism are two of the main economic drivers in Pennsylvania so it makes sense to market both to families who are looking to spend quality time outside in the fall, and for visitors who are looking to taste and experience the exceptional products produced by Centre County farms.
“Throughout Happy Valley, we have dynamic agricultural assets that appeal to residents and visitors alike, including some new and unique on-the-farm events,” said Fritz Smith, President and CEO of The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, the official tourism promotion agency for Centre County. “From a visitation perspective, as well as an economic perspective, we applaud the new law. It will provide greater peace of mind to our agricultural establishments looking to welcome more people to the farm, and help keep agriculture strong in Centre County.”
To learn more about the farms, and farm-related activities available in Centre County visit: happyvalleyagventures.com.
–Pennsylvania Farm Bureau