Messmer: Bill protecting Indiana farmland passes committee

Messmer: Bill protecting Indiana farmland passes committee

A bill authored by State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) that would protect Indiana farmland passed out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture this week.

Senate Bill 388 would stop foreign entities from purchasing land in Indiana for agricultural use. If passed, SB 388 would go into effect June 1, 2022, and starting June 30, 2022, a foreign entity would not be able to transfer Indiana farmland to another foreign entity. Any use or sale of the land would need to be reported to the Indiana Secretary of the State.

“Allowing other countries to purchase land in the United States may create a threat to our food supply chain,” Messmer said. “China has created a program called One Belt One Road that aims to control a greater part of the nation’s food supply chain by purchasing farmland in other countries, including the U.S.”

In 2020, Chinese landowners controlled an estimated 192,000 acres of land in the United States.

“I believe it’s important that we protect our farmland and maintain our local food supply. SB 388 is an important step in accomplishing this,” Messmer added.

SB 388 will now move to the full Senate for further consideration.

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