Ag secretary addresses concerns over foreign ownership of U.S. farmland at Commodity Classic

At the recent Commodity Classic, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture took the stage to address these concerns head-on, offering insights on foreign farmland ownership.

Increasing foreign ownership of farmland real estate has become a topic of frequent discussion within the agricultural community, sparking conversations and concerns among farmers nationwide. At the recent Commodity Classic held in Houston, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) shed light on this complex issue, emphasizing the need for a nuanced approach to address it.

Secretary Vilsack delved into the topic during his address at the event, highlighting the intricacies involved in navigating foreign ownership of agricultural land. While acknowledging that the extent of foreign ownership, particularly by China, is relatively small – accounting for less than one-tenth of one percent of total U.S. land mass – he underscored the importance of considering the locations of such land holdings, particularly concerning their proximity to military installations.

“Ownership of foreign land by China is relatively small. It’s less than 1/10th of 1% of the entire land mass of the US. There are concerns about the location of where that land might be owned, especially if it is connected to or near a military installation,” Secretary Vilsack remarked during his speech at the Commodity Classic.

In addition to addressing concerns about foreign ownership, Secretary Vilsack emphasized the significance of safeguarding the transparency of land transactions. He stressed that protecting the country’s ability to monitor and track land purchases by foreign buyers is crucial, likening it in importance to preserving China as a key export market for U.S. agricultural products.

Secretary Vilsack also says protecting our capacity to know who and when land is being purchased by foreign buyers is just as important as preserving China as our nation’s top AG export market, highlighting the need for robust oversight and transparency in land transactions.

Related Stories
RFD-TV Agricultural Law & Taxation expert Roger McEowen discusses the Supreme Court’s recent repeal of the Chevron agreement and other current topics in ag law.
With today’s post, RFD-TV Ag Legal & Tax Expert Roger McEowen focuses on some more common issues farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners frequently face.
With ransomware and other cybersecurity threats on the rise, the U.S. Small Business Association wants to help bolster the resources available to farmers and other rural Americans who operate small businesses.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join us as we interview members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.