Missouri governor barring some foreign purchases of ag lands  

University of Missouri Extension and partners will hold a free forest and wildlife management workshop Sept. 9 at the property of Bill and Margie Haag in Portland, Missouri. (Photo courtesy of Brian Schweiss.)

By David Murray  
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a farmer, recently issued an executive order barring certain countries designated as “adversary nations,” including China, from buying agricultural land within 10 miles of military installations. 

Missouri Governor Mike Parson. (Courtesy photo.)
Missouri Governor Mike Parson. (Courtesy photo.)

“With heightened concerns regarding ownership of Missouri farmland by foreign adversaries, especially China, we are signing this order to safeguard our military and intelligence assets, prevent security threats to our state, and give Missourians greater peace of mind,” said Parson during a news conference. “When it comes to China and other foreign adversaries, we must take commonsense precautions that protect Missourians and our security resources.” 

The state’s military assets include the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency West, Whiteman Air Force Base, Fort Leonard Wood, Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, and 65 Missouri National Guard Armories and Training Sites that include 12,000 Guardsmen of Missouri. 

The order gives the Missouri Department of Agriculture enhanced authority to approve or disapprove any such proposed sales. The order affects citizens of any nation deemed a “foreign adversary” by the U.S. State Department. It also requires more information be given to the department about any proposed agricultural and sale. 

Current Missouri law allows an alien or foreign business to acquire land in Missouri as long as the total aggregate alien and foreign ownership of agricultural acreage does not exceed 1% of the total aggregate of agricultural acreage in Missouri. 
Parson said the order was necessary because the current election year made passage of the necessary protective legislation less likely. 

David Murray can be reached at [email protected].