(KXNET) — The House Agriculture Committee heard three similar bills on Friday relating to land ownership.
House Bill 1356 relates to the restriction on the acquisition of agricultural lands by foreign governments.
The bill proposes the making of a state agricultural foreign investment review board, to permit, deny and monitor those acquiring land, to verify our security is not being compromised.
Representative Bernie Satrom says South Dakota has something similar.
Currently, House Bill 1356 proposes a board full of landowners mostly.
As it stands now, there is no real strength in leaders, outside of members of the governor’s team but this could change.
“I think that might be a good idea, sometimes people don’t trust bearcats and politicians, so maybe it’d be good to have someone else involved,” said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, Doug Goehring.
“This is a conversation starter and it’s a possible tool that you can use or discard at your will,” said District 12 Representative, Bernie Satrom.
Well, beyond who the board would be made of, what other improvements should be made to the bill?
“This bill would require review of land acquisitions by individuals, under state law that’s a natural person, a human being, we think that should be extended to include entities. The legislation also lacks clarity on what factors the board would use to determine if a land acquisition is in the best interest as the bill, states of state security, and agriculture industry,” said ND Farmers Unions’ Matt Perdue.
When reviewing the bill, the conversation on how the board will actually know if sales are made to these foreign entities will be ongoing for clarification as the process for the bill does or does not move forward.
Those opposed to Bill 1356 argue that North Dakotans need to be hands-on and that our ag leaders should have loyalty to our residents.
House Bill 1503, presented by Representative Jeff Hoverson also relates to foreign investments in our land.
To view this bill and information on all three that relate to land ownership, visit the North Dakota Legislative Branch’s website.