Counties Support Change to State Agritourism Definition

On February 2, 2022, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee in support of SB 296 – Land Use – Agritourism – Definition. This bill alters the definition of “agritourism” to include camping and incidental stays for the purpose of a certain provision of law authorizing a local jurisdiction to adopt the definition of “agritourism.”

From the MACo testimony

Agritourism is becoming a strong force for economic development in nearly all corners of Maryland. Recent advancements in the agricultural industry have led to new methods for generating revenue, while also preserving the core of what it means to be a farmer. Agritourism gives small farms, many of which have been in the same family for generations, a chance to increase revenue and potentially maintain the family business for generations ahead.

SB 296 would expand the state’s definition of agritourism by adding two additional acceptable practices to the statute. This bill strikes a balance between local autonomy and state policy. Counties would remain free to either opt into the state’s model definition or set their own standard.

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