MITCHELL – The United States Senate overwhelmingly passed the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (FY24 NDAA) by a vote of 86-11 last month. The FY24 NDAA included an amendment offered by U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) that bans foreign adversaries from purchasing American farmland and agricultural businesses. Additionally, it would add the Secretary of Agriculture as an ex officio member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to consider agriculture needs when making determinations affecting our national security and require the president to submit a report to Congress on any waiver granted to a prohibited country. The next step in the passage of the FY24 NDAA is a conference committee that will iron out the differences between the House and the Senate versions.
The amendment, Rounds 813, has received wide support throughout the state and is endorsed by the South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA), South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU), South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation (SDFBF), South Dakota Dairy Producers (SDDP), South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA), South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA), R-CALF USA and South Dakota Pork Producers Council (SDPPC).
“The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) strongly supports a federal response on issues with national security implications,” said DaNita Murray, Executive Director for SDCGA. “We greatly appreciate Senator Rounds’ efforts on foreign ownership of agland based upon his unique perspective sitting on both the U.S. Senate Committees on Armed Services as well as Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. It is important that the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s role be elevated and enhanced and Amendment 813 is a step in the right direction to utilize the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s unique knowledge about the needs of production agriculture and rural America.”
“SDFU commends Senator Rounds for his work addressing this issue,” said Doug Sombke, President of SDFU. “It is the federal government’s duty to prohibit adversarial nations of the United States of America from purchasing farmland and having the secretary of agriculture as an ex officio member on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S to consider agriculture needs for our national security is long overdue.”
“The South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation is grateful for Senator Rounds’ leadership on this issue,” said Scott VanderWal, President of SDFBF. “Rounds’ efforts on the Senate Armed Services Committee have improved our country’s national security. Banning foreign adversaries from purchasing farmland is one step in the right direction, and we appreciate the Senator’s action in addressing this important matter.”
“South Dakota Dairy Producers (SDDP) recognizes the view that food security is national security and applauds Senator Rounds work to ensure specific foreign adversaries will not be able to purchase farm land and thereby gain any competitive advantages surrounding United States agricultural resources,” said Marv Post, Board Chairman of SDDP. “SDDP also supports the Secretary of Agriculture being included in the oversight of foreign ag-related transactions as a common sense approach to ensure United States agriculture is represented in these decisions.”
“The South Dakota Soybean Association supports Senator Rounds legislation governing foreign ownership of agricultural land and business that protects U.S. farmers, consumers, national security and economic interests,” said Kevin Deinert, President of SDSA. “We recognize that national security is a federal responsibility and that this legislation will help to eliminate a patchwork of state interests.”
“Given the complexity of trade with international partners, there must be consistent policies among the states to ensure that existing and new import and export agreements are considered,” said Eric Jennings, President of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. “The federal government is in the best position to oversee foreign ownership of ag land in the US. We appreciate Sen. Rounds for addressing this issue on a national level.”
“The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association commends the United States Senate for passing 91-7 Senator Rounds amendment, Rounds 813, that bans for sale of large-scale agricultural property to foreign entities,” said Doris Lauing, Executive Director of SDSGA. “Thank you Senator Rounds for protecting our family farms and domestic farming operations by restricting agricultural land ownership. Any agricultural ground in the United States should be always considered when making determination affecting our national security as well as our livelihoods.”
“We are pleased with the Senate’s passage of Senator Rounds’ amendment to protect America’s agricultural land and businesses from being appropriated by our adversaries, an action essential to ensuring long-term food security for United States citizens,” said Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA.
“We thank Senator Rounds for addressing concerns about adversarial nations such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from attempting to buy American agricultural land,” said Adam Krause, President of the South Dakota Pork Producers Council. “We recognize the link between food security and national security, and support efforts that will allow South Dakota farm and ranch families to continue to do their work in helping feed our nation and our trading partners around the world.”