2017 Montana Legislature
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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 24
INTRODUCED BY D. SANDS, W. CURDY, R. EHLI, B. HOVEN, M. LANG, M. MACDONALD, N. MCCONNELL, D. SALOMON
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA REQUESTING AN INTERIM STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRITOURISM IN MONTANA; AND REQUIRING THAT THE FINAL RESULTS OF THE STUDY BE REPORTED TO THE 66TH LEGISLATURE.
WHEREAS, tourism in Montana attracted 10.5 million nonresident visitors in 2010, who spent an estimated $2.48 billion, according to the U.S. Travel Association; and
WHEREAS, rural America is a popular tourist destination and agritourism is increasing, according to data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture; and
WHEREAS, agritourism may include such activities as farm tours, farm-based lodging, children's educational day camps, country overnight bed and breakfasts, bird-hunting preserves, bird and wildlife watching, corn mazes and haunted forests, petting farms, hands-on u-pick, wineries and vineyards, breweries, hay rides and sleigh rides, farmers markets, and rural weddings; and
WHEREAS, the challenges of agritourism may include interference with normal farm activities, an increase in a farm's risk and liability, government regulations, zoning, signage, food-related inspections, licenses or fees, risk management planning associated with animal exhibits, and animal-human health concerns, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center at Iowa State University; and
WHEREAS, current and future agritourism businesses may benefit from a legislative study of the subject, identifying advantages, opportunities, and challenges.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Legislative Council be requested to designate an appropriate interim committee, pursuant to section 5-5-217, MCA, or direct sufficient staff resources to examine how the state of Montana may aid in the development of agritourism in Montana.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the interim committee consider:
(1) any relevant reports, analyses, or related information;
(2) input from the departments of Agriculture and Commerce, agritourism interests, other local, state, or federal organizations or agencies, and the general public; and
(3) the development of the agritourism industry in other states.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if the study is assigned to staff, any findings or conclusions be presented to and reviewed by an appropriate committee designated by the Legislative Council.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all aspects of the study, including presentation and review requirements, be concluded prior to September 15, 2018.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the final results of the study, including any findings, conclusions, comments, or recommendations of the appropriate committee, be reported to the 66th Legislature.
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