U-pick farms allowed to welcome back patrons in Benton and Franklin counties


TRI-CITIES, Wash. — U-pick berry and tree farms were granted permission to allow patrons again in Benton and Franklin counties starting Friday, Sept 4.

The Benton-Franklin Health District said they were notified today that these businesses may reopen under Phase 1.5 of Gov. Inslee’s plan to reopen the economy. The change is effective immediately so long as the farms comply with state health and safety measures.

Health officials and local leaders asked the state to address u-pick farms immediately because of the urgency of the situation. BFHD said crops are ready to be harvested and the farms are not able to make alternate arrangements on short notice. The state recognized the imminence of the situation and responded immediately.

Other agritourism activities like corn mazes, haunted houses and hayrides are not allowed until Phase 2.

U-pick farm activities should be held outdoors whenever possible. Indoor operations are limited to food service and retail activities. Physical distancing and face coverings are required both indoors and outdoors.

BFHD urges residents to continue to exercise caution when engaging in all activities, including maintaining six feet of physical distance with non-household members, wearing face coverings in public, avoiding gatherings with more than a few people and washing or washing hands frequently.