Governor signs Warnick agritourism legislation

Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation sponsored by Sen. Judy Warnick to limit liability for agricultural businesses that open their operations to the public for agritourism activities. Senate Bill 5808 received near-unanimous approval in the Legislature.

“The new law gives needed clarity to our ag-producers when they open their operations to the public,” said Warnick, R-Moses Lake, chair of the Senate agriculture committee. “Farms can now be better protected when they share the valuable work they do with their neighbors in a fun and safe environment.”

Kittitas County, in Warnick’s district, is home to at least 15 such agritourism operations. Twenty other states have similar laws aimed at clarifying and limiting liability for agritourism, which provides millions of dollars to the local economies in Washington.

“We needed this clarification to help family farms be more economically viable, engage with broader audiences, and have some protections when they are acting responsibly,” Warnick added.

The new law goes into effect July 22.