PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem signed Senate Bill 135 into law on March 2, paving the way for increasing agritourism activities in South Dakota.

“Agritourism is a developing and growing niche activity in our state that brings together the two most powerful industries in South Dakota, agriculture and tourism,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “This law strengthens the ability for agritourism to operate more effectively by providing stronger liability protection for commercial agritourism operators. Agritourism benefits South Dakotans by diversifying farm and ranch operations, generating additional revenue for those operations, and provides educational and authentic experiences for people visiting our state.”

Agritourism is an activity carried out on a farm or ranch that allows members of the general public to view or participate in agricultural activities for recreational, entertainment, and/or educational purposes such as, historical, cultural, harvest-your-own, or nature-based activities and attractions. “The Department of Tourism was eager to bring together a workgroup to review ways we could strengthen agritourism laws in our state to spur growth in this industry,” said Hagen. “This legislation provides the protection our agritourism partners need in order to provide farm and ranch experiences that are such a special part of our state’s heritage. We can’t wait to see how agritourism ventures grow in the years to come as a result of this bill.”

Effective July 1, SB135 strengthens liability protection for commercial agritourism operators. Read the bill in its entirety here.

Research by the South Dakota Department of Tourism indicates that 87% of consumers said they were interested in experiencing agritourism activities in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.


Media Notes:

Source: January 2019, Niche Travel Survey by Lawrence & Schiller

Photo: A photo of the bill signing with Governor Noem can be found here.


Katlyn Svendsen, Global Media & Public Relations Director
South Dakota Department of Tourism
Phone: 605-773-3301
Email: [email protected]


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