SD foreign ag land bill advances to full Senate

Some South Dakota ag groups are disappointed the state’s Senate Ag Committee passed a foreign ag land ownership bill out of committee. South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association President and cattle producer Eric Jennings says it’s not that agriculture groups oppose foreign ag land ownership.

“We are concerned about private property rights and the effects that could have on our landowners about who you can sell to and who you can lease to.”

Jennings says if passed, the bill would allow the panel and current governor to review future and past land leases and decide to terminate a lease or seize the land if they don’t agree with the relationship an individual has with a foreign business or connection.

“With any of these bills, it’s the consequences that bites ya,” he says. “On the surface, it looks like we’re trying to prevent an unfriendly foreign country from coming in here and putting our food security at risk, but the consequnces are what we should be watching for.”

The full senate is expected to vote on the bill by Wednesday, the crossover week deadline for the Senate to consider legislation before moving them to the House.

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