Eight states pass new or updated foreign ag land ownership laws
Nearly one-quarter of state legislatures considering modifications to or adding new foreign ag land ownership laws this year were successful.
Micah Brown with the National Ag Law Center says those states include Arkansas, Tennessee, North Dakota, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Virginia. And the trend is to restrict investments from four countries including China, Iran, North Korea and Russia.
“With the 2023 laws, some of them are using federal definitions like foreign adversaries determined by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The big four are included in that definition.”
He tells Brownfield it was more difficult for many states like Missouri and South Dakota to overcome the politics from outside interests to pass a bill. For the states that passed legislation, he says more responsibility is placed on land buyers and enforcement.
“Just about all of them had an enforcement provision in them and they’ve been good with giving the direction on the agency. Just about all of them gave authority to the state’s attorney general.”
Brown says many states are likely to present similar bills restricting foreign ag land ownership again in 2024 and the farm bill could be an opportunity to address the issue on a federal level.