Senator Chuck Grassley last week announced he intends to reintroduce the Farm Credit for Americans Act. The legislation bans the federal government from allowing foreign individuals to obtain credit and financial services through the Farm Credit System.
The Iowa Republican wrote the legislation with Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat. Specifically, the legislation prevents the Farm Credit Administration from underwriting foreign buyers seeking to purchase U.S. farmland. It would amend the 1971 Farm Credit Act to ensure foreign nationals can’t obtain financing through federal government-backed financial institutions to purchase American farmland.
Grassley says, “Young and beginning farmers here at home should not be squeezed out or compete with foreign investors subsidized by the American taxpayer.”
According to the USDA, foreign ownership of U.S. farm acres increased 60 percent between 2009 and 2019. Increasingly, young and beginning farmers are competing with institutional investors, such as pension funds, endowments and even professional athletes who are diversifying their financial portfolios with prime farmland.