The fight over foreign ownership of Missouri farmland has returned to Jefferson City. Missouri lawmakers are mulling two bills that would ban foreign ownership of agricultural land in the state.
The legislation would reverse a law enacted in 2013 that allows up to 1 percent of the state’s farmland to be owned by foreign entities.
That law was passed as a Chinese company pursued the purchase of Smithfield Foods, which owned Missouri’s leading hog producer at the time. The acquisition of Smithfield ultimately went through.
The new bills would allow continued ownership of Missouri farmland by existing foreign owners, but those owners would not be allowed to sell the land to other foreign entities.