HB 1601 – Relating to Farming Operations

On Thursday, April 15, HB 1601 by Representative Jayer Williamson (R-Pace) was heard by the House Judiciary Committee and was reported favorable with 18 yeas and 2 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.

The bill amends and strengthens the Florida Right to Farm Act, which is intended to protect reasonable agricultural activities conducted on farmland from nuisance lawsuits. The bill provides stronger liability protections to farms that comply with best management practices and environmental regulations, and:

  • Adds Agritourism to the list of practices protected by the Right to Farm Act;
  • Institutes parameters regarding punitive and compensatory damages; and
  • Limits eligibility to file a lawsuit to individuals located within one half mile of the activity.

HB 1601 will now go to the House floor for consideration.

AIF supports legislation that protects Florida’s farmers and helps to eradicate bad faith litigation which drives up the cost of doing business, insurance rates, and negatively affects those providing food and resources to the state.