'Agritourism' Bill Would Make It Easier For N.H. Farms To Host Events
A proposal to make it easier for New Hampshire farms to host things like weddings and larger-scale events will be up for consideration by state lawmakers in January.
The issue has come up repeatedly in recent years, both in the state legislature and in court cases.
Local regulations on what's known as 'agritourism' — events that bring visitors onto farm property — vary significantly from town-to-town.
Henniker Christmas tree farmer Stephen Forster, for example, has been fighting with officials in his town for years to host weddings on his property.
He said he needs to diversify to keep his farm in business. “I just can't sell enough Christmas trees and ornaments to even pay my taxes,” he says. “If I don't have this additional income, I'm losing my farm.”
A bill introduced in the coming legislative session more formally defines agritourism as an accepted farm activity under state law. The goal is to preempt local regulations and allow farmers more leeway in hosting events.