The Senate bill aims to limit foreign ownership of land in South Dakota

RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA) – Last year, South Dakota Governor Kristy Noem announced a plan to limit the purchase of farmland by foreign countries.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 43.2 million acres of land in South Dakota are devoted to farms and ranches, making agriculture the state’s number one industry.

Senate Bill 185, which would limit the purchase of agricultural land by foreign countries, aims to protect land in South Dakota and what Noem called “the food supply of our nation.”

Some ranchers support the bill, saying it will protect those who have been in the industry for generations.

“For me this is a good thing. Keep it local. Save it for people who grew up here and want to be a part of South Dakota agriculture. It’s a great thing we have in this state,” said Garrett Kotalik with Cattle Kotalik.

Troy Thomas, owner of Thomas Ranch, added, “I think it’s a really good idea. I don’t think we need to sell South Dakota land to the Chinese. Hopefully we’ll never go to war with them, but when we have outside money and more control over the production side, whether we’re leasing land or competing to buy land, it’s a concern.”

Nationally, South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson co-sponsored two bills aimed at protecting US farmland from the Chinese Communist Party.

Amanda Radke with Nolz Limousine, a ranch in Mitchell, also supports limiting foreign investors within the state.

“You know, if we think about it, we’re a global market. We sell food all over the world, but if we become dependent on other countries for our food, that creates a vulnerability in our food system. So, I I’m all about strengthening our food system and trusting the American people, as well as South Dakotans, to do what they’ve been doing so well for generations,” Radke said.

Twelve other states, including North Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska, have passed laws restricting foreign ownership of farmland.

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