Senate committee passes bill to establish a review board for foreign purchases of ag land

Though nearly every farm group in the state opposed the bill, a Senate committee passes a Noem Administration measure that would set up a board to review farmland transactions involving foreign entities.

The measure states the governor would make the ultimate decision, which could then be appealed to the courts.

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee passed SB 185 on a 7-0 vote.

Opponents say it’s too cumbersome and would put South Dakota ag producers and processors at a competitive disadvantage in the international marketplace. Others objected to the governor making the final decision.

The only proponent was Alan Vester, Gov. Noem’s general counsel. He says there is a growing threat of China buying or trying to buy farmland near military installations like Ellsworth Air Force Base east of Rapid City.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.


February 15, 2023