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Gov. Reeves signs bill creating study group focused on foreign-owned land in Mississippi

Mississippi Farm
Photo courtesy of Mississippi State University

Governor Tate Reeves has signed a bill into law creating a study group focused on the impact of foreign-owned farmland in Mississippi.

Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, introduced House Bill 280 which was originally intended to completely prohibit foreign investors from purchasing farmland in Mississippi.

However, the bill was amended with a proposal to create a committee study group on the purchasing, acquiring, leasing, or holding an interest in the Magnolia State’s agricultural land by a foreign government prior to implementing a strict law.

The move from Currie followed a revelation that China has purchased approximately 192,000 acres across the U.S.

“Communist China is here. It’s in Mississippi,” Curry said on The Gallo Show. “One of the largest chicken companies and one of the largest grain companies have now been owned by communist China. That information will be coming out. We have a mess on our hands.”

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, roughly 747,267 acres, or 6.67 percent, of Mississippi’s land is owned by foreign entities, but primarily European ones:

  • Netherlands – 357,622 acres
  • Germany – 60,352 acres
  • United Kingdom – 57,800 acres
  • Canada – 9,885 acres
  • Italy – 5,495 acres
  • All others (unspecified) – 256,114 acres

Of Mississippi’s 82 counties, Leake County has the most land operated by a foreign entity. The Netherlands controls all 73,430 acres of land owned by a non-U.S. investor in the county.

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