WALDO, Ohio – Whether it’s a corn maze, a zip line, a hayride or a pick-your-own operation, Ohio farm operators who offer agritourism attractions must be properly insured and have warning signs posted at each activity notifying visitors that the operator is not liable for any injuries related to those inherent risks.
That’s just a few of the provisions found in an Ohio law signed last summer regarding agritourism. The law, which took effect last August, not only defines what agritourism is, but also offers protections for agritourism operators, and addresses issues including civil liability risks, property taxation and local zoning authority.
To help farm operators understand exactly what language is contained in the law and to help those in the agritourism industry prepare for the upcoming spring and summer agritourism season, experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University in collaboration with The Ohio State University and Wright & Moore Law Company, LPA will host a conference on the issue April 5.
The Ohio Agritourism Ready Conference: Liability Management, Profitable Strategies and Fun event is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the All Occasions Catering and Banquet Facilities, 6989 Waldo- Delaware Road, in Waldo. The goal, said Christie Welch, who is an organizer of the event, is to assist Ohio’s agritourism operators to be more informed about their responsibilities when operating these types of businesses.
“We want to provide tools to assist operators in managing the risks associated with these businesses and provide resources to help them manage their businesses for profitability,” said Welch, who is also the program manager of Ohio State University Extension’s Direct Agricultural Marketing Program. “We want to help them make sure they are proactive in managing those things that we hope never happen, but can when inviting individuals onto their farm.”
The conference will feature presentations from researchers, educators and specialists with OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. OARDC and OSU Extension are the research and outreach arms of the college, respectively.
Topics for the conference will include:
- Liability Management for Agritourism Operators
- Financial Analysis for Agritourism
- Marketing Your Operation
- Help Wanted: Hiring Laws You Need to Know
- Making School Tours Easier
- Agritourism and Zoning
- Creative Idea Sharing
Registration is $25 per person or $40 for two people from the same farm or business. The deadline to register is April 3. Registration includes lunch and handouts. Contact Charissa Gardner at email@example.com or at 740-289-2074 ext. 132 to register.