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April 22, 2022
By Brooke BradfordU of A System Division of Agriculture
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — As foreign ownership of U.S. farmlands increases, will more states
consider restrictions on such purchases? Harrison Pittman, director of the National
Agricultural Law Center will lay out the trends at the Mid-South Agricultural and
Environmental Law Conference on June 10.
Pittman will be one of the speakers addressing the most compelling legal issues in
food, environmental and agricultural law at the conference, which returns to an in-person
format June 9-10 in Memphis. See the agenda and register online.
According to a 2020 USDA report, foreign persons hold an interest in nearly 37.6 million acres of private U.S. agricultural
land, an increase of 2.4 million acres from 2019. Since 2015, foreign investments
have increased an average of 2.2 million acres per year. Foreign investors from Canada,
Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom represent 63 percent of all
foreign agricultural landholdings in the U.S.
The foreign investment has raised concerns. Over the past year, Missouri, Indiana,
Texas, and Alabama have considered legislation that would restrict foreign investments
and ownership of agricultural land within the boundaries of their state.
“This is not a new concept, as more than a dozen states specifically forbid or limit
certain foreign investments of agricultural land within their state,” Pittman said.
“However, state laws vary widely, and some states restrict only certain purchases
while allowing for at least some level of foreign ownership of agricultural land.
“My June 10 update will take a deeper look at recent proposals and changes and what
we might expect to see in the future,” he said.
Continuing education available
The conference has been approved for six hours of CLE in Arkansas, Mississippi, and
Tennessee including one hour of ethics. It has been approved for 7.2 total hours of
CLE in Missouri, including 1.2 hours of ethics. The American Society of Farm Managers
and Rural Appraisers has approved this conference for seven hours of CE.
Additionally, attendees who register by May 22 early bird deadline are also eligible
for two “bonus” hours of online continuing education credit from the above organizations
Learn more and register for the conference here: https://bit.ly/3rSvzAd.
For more information on the National Agricultural Law Center, visit https://nationalaglawcenter.org/ or follow @Nataglaw on Twitter.
About the National Agricultural Law Center
The National Agricultural Law Center serves as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information.
The Center works with producers, state and federal policymakers, Congressional staffers,
attorneys, land grant universities, and many others to provide objective, nonpartisan
agricultural and food law research and information to the nation’s agricultural community.
The Center is a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
and works in close partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, National
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal
access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to
participate or need materials in another format, please contact 479-575-4607 as soon
as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
# # #
Media contact: Will ClarkNational Agricultural Law Centerwwc001@uark.edu479-899-2673