State Senator introduces constitution update for foreign ag land

A resolution filed ahead of the state legislative session by Missouri State Senator Bill Eigel would update the state constitution to retroactively address foreign land ownership.

“It will prohibit the sale of Missouri farmland to any foreign entity or country anywhere in the state and it will also require current foreign land owners to divest themselves of their ownership within two months of the adoption of the amendment.”

Eigel tells Brownfield the Senate Joint Resolution 52 might affect the agricultural companies that already own land in the state.

“If they have a piece of ground they’re currently using, that falls under this, they’re still able to lease the ground. This is a move to restore ownership of agricultural ground in the state of Missouri to American interests. That’s the top priority and there will be opportunities for foreign entities to invest in Missouri.”

Eigel tells Brownfield this foreign ag land ownership solution already has bipartisan support and could pass quickly in the 2024 session. Missouri Governor Mike Parson says finding a good solution to the challenge isn’t simple.

“There might be some actions we take at the governor’s office to help this situation, because I think it will be used as a political tool,” says Parson. “The point is, we don’t want any of the enemies of our state to do business. There are ways to do that, but you can’t just put a blanket out there and say every foreign country can’t come to Missouri.”

Missouri’s state legislative session begins January 3.

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