HARRISBURG – Three measures authored by Senator Ryan Aument (R-36) to support Pennsylvania’s agriculture community were approved by Senate committees this week.
Two of the bills support agritourism activities – such as farm tours, hay rides and corn mazes – that farm owners utilize to generate additional revenue.
“More farmers are turning to agritourism as a way to supplement farm income and raise interest in Pennsylvania’s top industry, and these kind of events provide a mutual benefit to the community,” Aument said. “My bills are designed to provide uniformity and certainty about the laws governing these activities and protect farm owners who host these types of educational and entertaining events.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved Senate Bill 819, legislation that would set uniform standards allowing agritourism on farms protected by the state farmland preservation program.
Under current law, each individual farmland preservation board sets its own standards for defining or allowing agritourism activity. Some boards prevent farm owners from hosting these events altogether.
The Senate Judiciary Committee also approved Senate Bill 820, which would provide some protection from civil liability for owners and operators of agritourism activities. The measure would only provide civil immunity in cases in which no party is at fault; the right to sue would be preserved when an owner is negligent, reckless or intentionally causes injury.
The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee also today approved Senate Resolution 382, which urges the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent misleading labeling of non-dairy products. Many plant-based products are marketed as milk, despite the fact that they contain no dairy.
Aument said this disingenuous practice compounds the financial challenges that are plaguing the dairy industry, which supports 52,000 Pennsylvania jobs and contributes $14.7 billion to the state’s economy.
“The purpose of this measure is to be honest with consumers,” Aument said. “Milk provides a number of critical nutritional benefits that aren’t offered by plant-based alternatives. Allowing imitators to call their product milk is essentially false advertising that directly harms the hardworking men and women in the dairy industry.”
Contact: Jake Smeltz (717) 787-4420