Reynolds signs bill strengthening foreign ownership of land oversight


(The Center Square) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Tuesday that strengthens the state’s law on foreign land ownership.

Senate File 2204 gives the attorney general subpoena powers to investigate land ownership. The bill also increases penalties for foreign entities that don’t file with the secretary of state or falsify a report.

The state already had some of the strongest laws on the books and was a model for other states, according to the National Agricultural Law Center.

“Yet, in the decades since we first addressed this issue, adversaries like China have grown significantly more aggressive on the world stage, constantly looking for any opening to assert themselves at the expense of our country,” Reynolds said in a statement. “One all-too-common weapon in this battle is the purchase of American farmland.”

Iowa is a natural target for foreign entities wanting to harm the country’s food supply, according to the governor.

“Our farm families produce 10% of the nation’s food supply and Iowa ranks as America’s top producer of biofuels,” Reynolds said. “That makes us a natural leader in the race to stave off the evolving threat to American agriculture.”

The Foreign Holdings of U.S. Agricultural Land report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that 1.6% of Iowa’s farmland is owned by a foreign entity.

Canadian citizens and organizations own the most significant chunk of Iowa land with 198,667 acres, followed by “all others” with 181,258, according to the report that includes data through Dec. 31, 2022.

Submit a Comment