Ashcroft’s Leadership Impedes Foreign Land Ownership
Farmland Bill Moves to the Senate
Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft commends the Missouri House of Representatives for the passage of HB 903 - which would change the laws regarding foreign ownership of agricultural land in Missouri. Ashcroft was instrumental in drafting the bill and has worked for several months alongside legislators to move this forward.
The legislation, sponsored by State Representative Mike Haffner (R-55), would restrict foreign businesses or persons from owning more than one-half of one percent of the total acreage of agricultural land in the state. Ashcroft was vigorous in adding enforcement measures requiring proposed acquisitions of agricultural land by foreign investment to be submitted to the secretary of state and attorney general for review.
“It has been an ongoing concern for some time, and now we see progress. This bill is an example of how the legislative process should work – good government working together,” Ashcroft said. “I am grateful for the efforts of Representatives Haffner, Gregory and others who participated in moving this forward. This bill forbids known enemies of the United States; countries like China who do not have our best interest in mind, from buying agricultural land in Missouri and would cut in half the amount of agricultural land that could be purchased.”
Haffner explained, “This commonsense bill will continue to allow our allies access and opportunities to participate in our economically diverse free market global system, while strongly limiting the access of our enemies.”
Regulating foreign land ownership is necessary for several reasons, including protecting Missouri’s food base. Ashcroft will continue to work closely with the Missouri Senate and others in efforts to advance this legislation.
“We all know our state is heavily dependent on agriculture,” Ashcroft said. “We need to protect Missouri farmland and farmers wanting to preserve generational land ownership while promoting economic growth and stability in Missouri.”
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