Ohioans Enjoy Fun On The Farm
A Guest Column by Senator Scott Oelslager
December 03, 2015
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Corn mazes, apple-picking and pumpkin patches are fun family activities Ohioans look forward to every fall. Visiting local farms is a great opportunity for Ohio families to enjoy outdoor activities, while learning more about the important role agriculture plays in our state.

Agritourism draws more visitors to farms across Ohio every year, especially during the harvest season. As this business continues to grow, it is necessary to define potential risk and liability for the benefit of participants and providers alike.

Senate Bill 75 ensures guests and agritourism business owners are protected from inherent risks of being on a farm. Land condition, animal behavior, illness and farm machinery present possible dangers to farm visitors. This legislation requires business owners post and maintain signs alerting visitors of potential risks. It also limits liability against the farm owner to wanton or willful disregard for guest safety. Senate Bill 75, sponsored by Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) and Senator Bob Peterson (R-Sabina), passed out of the Ohio Senate on November 17th and now awaits further action by the Ohio House.

Agriculture is a vital cornerstone of Ohio’s economic foundation. The state’s growing agritourism industry provides access to unique experiences, employs thousands, and presents unique learning opportunities. Ohioans should continue to patronize their local farms and enjoy everything agritourism has to offer.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns about the matters we are discussing at the Statehouse. I can be reached by phone at (614) 466-6026, by e-mail at Oelslager@OhioSenate.gov or by writing State Senator Scott Oelslager, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215.

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