UACES Facebook Will more states consider restricting foreign ownership of U.S. farmland?
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April 22, 2022

Will more states consider restricting foreign ownership of U.S. farmland?

By Brooke Bradford
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

  • Ninth annual conference set for June 9-10 in Memphis
  • Six continuing education hours including one hour of ethics will be provided
  • Register online at:
  • Early bird registration deadline May 22
  • Approved for two hours credit

(350 words)

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.

Harrison Pittman
CONFERENCE SPEAKER — Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center, will speak about trends on legislation surrounding foreign ownership of farm land at the 2022 Mid-South Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference. (Division of Agriculture photo.)

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:

For more information on the National Agricultural Law Center, visit  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 Agricultural Library.

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. 

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Media contact:
Will Clark
National Agricultural Law Center