They are two of Pennsylvania’s top industries Agriculture and Tourism.
Legislation was approved last year aimed at helping farmers increase their marketing options. But has it also increased their costs?
The Wasson Farm just outside of State College one of many in Pennsylvania with strong family roots where new economic opportunities have also grown
“Agritourism, Agritainment has become a major part of this farm. we started this 25 years ago, it was a small thing to subsidize our farming operation. we have more or less transitioned to it becoming a major part of our farm.”
In fact last October, the Wasson Farm was the setting for a news conference on that relatively new term Agritourism
“The interest in the food that people are served in restaurants, where it comes from, how its sourced, is very intense right now”
Last year, Act 27 was passed by the state legislature, the Pennsylvania Agritourism Activity Protection Act. One aim was to provide farmers interested in expanding marketing opportunities more protection in liability issues help cut
insurance costs. That always hasn’t happened though at least at this farm
“When we get our insurance bill this year, it doubled for our hayrides. when I asked why, they said they’re spreading the risk, well their risk got lessened by Act 27. It was supposed to take away the risk insurance cases.”
Private sector response to public sector policy. Now lawmakers being lobbied to make changes
“I’d like the lawmakers to continue what they’re doing for the farmers, but they also need to look at whats needed to tie it up further to make it protection for farmers, yes its is protection for us one way,but increased our expenses in another.”
Candy Wasson praises Act 27, for among other things, simply raising awareness about farm marketing, bring more visitors to farms, and helping to strengthen family farming operations