ACTION ALERT: Please urge your Senator to vote NO on SB 185!
Please urge your Senator to vote NO on SB 185!
South Dakota Farm Bureau is asking you to contact your District Senator TODAY to urge a NO vote on SB 185 which is the Foreign Ownership of Agriculture Land (FOAL) bill. While SDFB has policy which seeks to limit foreign ownership of ag land, SB 185 contains concerning provisions which we believe will have unintended consequences on the ag industry as a whole.
A broad coalition is opposing SB 185. This includes Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Corn, Soybean, Pork, Dairy, Wheat, Agribusiness, Bankers, Realtors, Register of Deeds, Cooperatives, Conservation Districts, Cattlemens, and Stockgrowers.
SDFB President Scott VanderWal joined representatives from the above organizations to testify against SB 185 yesterday at the Senate Ag Committee hearing in Pierre. You can listen to Pres. VanderWal’s remarks by following this link: https://sdpb.sd.gov/sdpbpodcast/2023/sag23.mp3.
Unfortunately, the bill passed unanimously in committee and will now go to the Senate floor.
Time is of the essence! SB 185 is expected to be on the Senate floor tomorrow. Please use the following reasons for opposing SB 185 when you contact your District Senator:
- This bill grants unilateral authority to one person – whomever the seated Governor is at any given time. This is something that Farm Bureau, regardless of the issue, is deeply concerned about.
- There is NO waiver for research plots, which today are operated by companies owned by foreign entities (i.e. Bayer–Germany; Syngenta–China; BASF–Germany).
- The bill also increases the state's three-year look-back timeframe to review farmland transactions for violations up to 20 years. If a foreign interest were discovered anytime in that timeframe, violators would be forced to forfeit their land without a proper hearing or appeal.
- There is no clear plan for how the state will divest of seized land in what timeline.
- This bill sets dangerous precedent for the creation of committees that can operate without due process and objective, measurable guidelines.
- SDFB believes this issue is best handled at the federal level to avoid a patchwork of state regulations.
- This is also a private property rights concern.
For your convenience, we have created a FOAL email template that you can copy and paste into an email message to send to your Senator. Click here for the template State Legislative (sdfbf.org). If you need help locating your Senator’s email, go to https://sdlegislature.gov/. In the top menu bar under Legislators, you can choose “Find my Legislator” or “2023 Legislator Listing”. Click on the Senator’s name to find their email.
If you have questions on SB 185, please feel to reach out to SDFB: State Policy Director Matthew Bogue at Matthew@sdfbf.org or 605-377-8833; or Executive Director Krystil Smit at email@example.com or 605-261-2960