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Getting to the Bottom of Foreign-owned U.S. Farmland

Lawmakers are busy hearing from agriculture about the needs of the next farm bill. Oklahoma Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin has spent a significant amount of time traveling his state and hearing from rural residents. Many producers have different concerns when it comes to work being completed in the ag space, from crop insurance in the farm bill to foreign land ownership impacting agriculture.

Mullin says; “That discussion is interesting, because when we start diving into that, and let them understand that the Chinese are buying it, it’s like a third company that’s buying it, it’s an investor, as a billionaire or a millionaire in China, which is, honestly, you’re going to be connected to the government if you’re wealthy in China. They’re buying it through an LLC that they set up in the United States that’s invested into a hedge fund, that a hedge fund owns 150 different entities and that hedge fund is buying the land. And so, it’s not there’s no way for the United States to actually pay attention to that.”

Instead, Mullin said, the United States must pay attention to the land being bought in strategic areas, such as around air force bases.

Mullin adds; “There’s no way for us to be able to see that and then to peel onions off the same way. So, what we have to do is pay attention to strategic areas, like land being purchased around Fort Sill, around Altus Air Force Base around, Vance Air Force Base, and see what that land purchase is and see if that’s been purchased by an adversary that’s an investor, and how we need to handle it, so each one is different.”

Mullin is not a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, but does serve on the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Indian Affairs Committee.

Story provided by NAFB News Service and KC Sheperd, Radio Oklahoma Network, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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