Foreign Farmland Ownership in America

Foreign Farmland Ownership in America

Corryn La Rue
Corryn La Rue
Foreign ownership of farmland is a concern, with some states taking an active role. Three-point one percent of privately held farmland has foreign ownership and there is a question of whether it's a national or state level issue. Director of the Ag Law Center, Harrison Pittman says it’s both.

“And has been for a long time, and, you know, those lines are kind of shifting around. States have certainly become more active from a historical than they have been in in recent decades, but there are a number of federal proposals. A couple of states have already taken action when it comes to blocking or prohibiting foreign ownership of farmland. Not all these state laws are the same. I don't think you could even describe them as having a uniformity. And, Interestingly, Arkansas was a state that had neither a grandfather clause, and it didn't have a research exception, which a lot of these laws do.”

A couple of states have already taken action when it comes to blocking or prohibiting foreign ownership of farmland. Pittman says it's likely foreign ownership of farmland will be addressed in the Farm Bill but it will be difficult to find a political consensus.

“A lot of these proposals would depend on USDA taken a much more active role. But to do that, they're gonna need a lot of resources, and they're gonna have to add a lot of people, which is money. And so you may have people that think it's a terrific idea, but they may not think it's a terrific idea at the same time to expand USDA in that way.”

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