Texas Landowner Liability Acts: Protection For Your Operation, Land, and Heritage

22 Nov 2023

Texas Landowner Liability Acts: Protection For Your Operation, Land, and Heritage

As a farmer, rancher, or landowner, you understand the importance of protecting your property. You spend countless hours tending to your land, livestock, and infrastructure, and you want to ensure that both your investment and your family’s safety are secure. Opening your property to others can pose liability risks to your operation and to you personally as the landowner. Understanding the limited liability protections afforded to you as a landowner can help you better protect your operation, land, and heritage.

Texas Recreational Use Statute

The Texas Recreational Use Statute (RUS) was created to provide liability protection to agricultural landowners who allow recreational activities to take place on their property. This can apply to any non-trespasser on the property for recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, swimming, boating, camping, hiking, picnicking, pleasure driving, nature study, cave exploration, disc golf, biking, dog walking, water skiing, and water sports. The protections offered by this statute may apply if the landowner meets the following requirements.

  1. The property meets the definition of agricultural land as stated in the statute.
  2. The property is being used for recreational purposes.
  3. You meet at least one of the three following monetary requirements:
    1. No fee is charged for recreational use of the land.
    2. If a fee is charged, total income must be less than 20 times the taxes paid for all property.
    3. You maintain adequate liability insurance coverage.

A few important points to note about the Texas Recreational Use Statute:

  • It does not protect trespassers or anyone who enters the property with the intent to commit a crime or cause harm.
  • It can also protect individuals leasing or occupying the land.
  • Landowners must not deliberately create hazardous conditions on their property.
  • No signage is required.

Texas Agritourism Act

The Texas Agritourism Act was created to help protect farmers, ranchers, and agricultural landowners from the liability that can occur from operating an agritourism business. If all requirements are met, this act can provide liability protection from injuries or damages sustained to participants of the agritourism activity, which can be an activity on the land with the purpose of being educational or recreational. This includes animal-based activities, u-pick operations, hayrides, and nature trails. The Texas Agritourism Act may apply if the landowner meets the following requirements.

  1. The property meets the definition of agricultural land.
  2. Required signage must be posted in a clearly visible location.
  3. Participants must sign an agreement that contains specific language prior to engaging in the activity.

Texas Farm Animal Liability Act

The Farm Animal Liability Act (FALA) was created to provide limited protection to farmers, ranchers, and landowners from liability that can occur from the inherent risk of activities interacting with farm animals. This applies to cattle, horses, llamas, sheep, goat, pigs, chicken, honeybees kept in managed colonies, and other domestic farm animals.

  • This Act applies only to injuries caused by inherent risks of farm animal activity.
  • It applies only if the owner of the animal did not act negligently or recklessly.
  • The Act does not cover wild animals, hunting preserves, zoos, or commercial animal operations.
  • Required signage must be posted in a clearly visible location.
  • Property owners must ensure participants have the ability to safely engage with the animal.


As a farmer, rancher, or landowner, understanding the protections afforded to you by the Texas Landowner Liability Acts can help you plan to properly protect your assets. Working in conjunction with your financial planner and attorney can help you identify opportunities to enhance the liability coverage of your operation and help safeguard your legacy for generations.


Please remember to contact BentOak Capital (“BentOak”), in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you want to impose, add, to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services, or if you wish to direct that BentOak to effect any specific transactions for your account. A copy of our current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available upon request or at

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.  

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.   

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member: FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through BentOak Capital, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.

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More about the author: Madison Wallace