UPDATE: Senate committee passes bill on foreign-owned farm land in South Dakota
February 15, 2023
PIERRE, S.D.–Though nearly every farm group in the state opposed the bill, a South Dakota Senate committee passed a Noem Administration-backed measure that would set up a board to review farmland transactions involving foreign entities.
Under the bill, the governor would make the ultimate decision which could then be appealed to a court.
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee passed Senate Bill 185 on a 7-to-0 vote.
Lobbyists from the following organizations opposed the measure, saying it was too cumbersome and would put South Dakota ag producers, commodities, and processors at a competitive disadvantage in the international marketplace.
Organizations opposing the bill were the South Dakota Farm Bureau; S.D. Corn Growers Association; S.D. Cattlemen’s Association; S.D. Soybean Association; S.D. Farmers Union; S.D. Bankers Association; S.D. Agribusiness Association; S.D. Association of Realtors; S.D. Wheat Growers Association; S.D. Dairy Producers Association; and the S.D. Association of Conservation Districts.
They argued that the issues of bad-actor countries’ nationals buying or leasing land and threatening national or food security should be handled at the federal level, not the state level.
The register of deeds for Stanley County, Patty Duff, said fellow registers of deeds find portions of the measure “problematic.”