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Pennsylvania state Rep. Barb Gleim

Pennsylvania farmers are a step closer to limiting the legal risk for agritourism operations.

The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would protect agritourism business from lawsuits in which no party is at fault for injuries or damages.

Farm markets, pick-your-own produce, corn mazes and farm tours are opportunities for farms to diversify and make extra money. But uneven surfaces, heavy equipment and livestock also provide ample risk of harm.

A top lobbying priority of state farm organizations this year, the agritourism bill passed 120-81 with mostly Republican support.

The bill is modeled after laws passed in 20 other states, including New York and Ohio, and is sponsored by Cumberland County Rep. Barb Gleim, who has hosted public events at her farm.

The bill heads to the Senate during an unusual post-election session in which lawmakers must complete the state budget.

Newsletter

On Sept. 21, the USDA instituted a second round of funding, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2, to ease at least some of the pain and fiscal stress the crisis has caused farmers, ranchers and growers. Read more