As Utah’s population increases and development puts additional pressure on agricultural lands, many farmers and ranchers have turned to agritourism to improve economic viability. Agritourism is providing important opportunities for the public to learn about rural living, nature, the agricultural industry, and local food systems.

Although agritourism is growing rapidly and new creative offerings are being added regularly, there are many challenges to starting and operating an agritourism enterprise. As there are inherent risks to inviting the public onto a farm or ranch, it is often difficult and expensive for agritourism operators to get insurance. Risks inherent to agritourism include uneven ground, vegetation, water, wild and domestic animals, animal feed and waste, fertilizer, farm equipment, etc. In addition, many farms and ranches are facing encroachment from subdivisions and other forms of development. 

In response to the growth of agritourism in the state, the Utah Farm Bureau created an agritourism Policy Issue Research Committee (PIRC) last year to discuss ways to support agritourism in Utah (see chart below for how an idea becomes policy that Farm Bureau can advocate for). The PIRC consisted of Utah Farm Bureau board member Sherrie Tate and other agritourism operators from all corners of the state. The group met last summer with representatives from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) as well as the National Agricultural Law Center. Discussions touched on adding new Farm Bureau policy on agritourism, the definition of agritourism, areas where liability coverage could be expanded (e.g. wild animals, zoonotic diseases), inclusion of specific text for warning notices, adding agritourism to Utah’s ‘Right to Farm’ statute, establishing a voluntary registry for agritourism operations to enhance promotion, and adding agritourism as an approved use within Agriculture Protection Areas. 

Utah Farm Bureau policy staff worked throughout the interim legislative session last fall to craft a bill to address the questions and concerns discussed in the PIRC. A bill, H.B. 31, Agritourism Amendments was presented to the Utah Legislature for the 2024 General Session. Farm Bureau members testified in support of the bill at multiple legislative hearings and ultimately helped get the bill passed, where it was signed by Governor Cox.

The signs, which are compliant with the new law, are available at-cost through the Utah Farm Bureau.

The bill enhances liability protections for operators by adding pathogens, wild animals, and negligent behavior of participants to the enumerated list of inherent risks of agritourism. The bill also adds agritourism to Utah’s 'Right to Farm' statute, adds agritourism as a permitted use in Agricultural Protection Areas, establishes a voluntary agritourism operator registry, and includes the text for a standardized warning sign. This bill will help agritourism to continue to grow and thrive in Utah. 

H.B. 31 went into full effect on May 1 and the Utah Farm Bureau is working to share information about the new law and the requirements to qualify for the enhanced liability protections it affords. Utah Farm Bureau designed warning signs compliant with the new law and is making these signs available to farmers and ranchers throughout the state at-cost for $30. If you would like to purchase a new warning sign, please send an email to Terry Camp at