Bill to prohibit foreign farmland ownership introduced

Legislation has recently been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives to prohibit foreign acquisition or ownership of farmland.

The bill, introduced by Neil Friske, a fruit farmer from Charlevoix, would prevent foreign governments from purchasing farmland.  Representative Friske says the bill also closes loopholes on foreign government-affiliated individuals and enterprises from making purchases and stops additional purchases for entities that are already operating.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance.

According to a recent USDA report, foreign investors held interest in about three percent of U.S. ag land.  In Michigan, foreign ag land ownership accounts for less than six percent of stakeholders, with most acres categorized as forest.  Investors from the Netherlands and Canada make up the largest foreign landholders in the state.

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