For Immediate Release: March 3, 2021
Contact: Lisa Etter, 573-751-0220
Senator Doug Beck Presents Legislation to Prevent Foreign Investors from Purchasing Missouri Farmland
Jefferson City — State Sen. Doug Beck, D-St. Louis, presented Senate Bill 243 to the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee on March 1. This act prevents foreign individuals from acquiring agricultural land in Missouri beginning Aug. 28, 2021. While the measure does not change current land ownership status, it will stop future purchases or transfers of land from going forward.
“Our farmland is a finite and precious resource that should not be controlled by foreign interests as this jeopardizes both our food security and our national security,” explained Sen. Beck. “My research indicates that foreign-owned farmland in America equals the size of Ohio. We should be looking to Missourians and Americans first when it comes to who has control of this valuable resource.”
Currently, property owners self-report the sale of land to the Department of Agriculture, and county commissioners do not track these transactions at the local level. Since Missouri’s economy greatly depends on agriculture, Sen. Beck believes this bill will give the department a mechanism to better track land purchases and determine whether or not the potential buyer is a qualified resident of the United States.
For more information about Sen. Beck or his legislation, please visit senate.mo.gov/beck.