Farming can be one of the most lucrative career paths, but only if you’re able to remain competitive with what you produce. That’s why many farmers are now looking to expand their business beyond U.S. borders, with Russia and China as top targets, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Why this decision was made
It is better for American producers to sell their products at home than send them abroad, said Joe Biden, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. This decision will allow Americans to reap more rewards from their hard work—and that is something we should all be able to support. The committee agreed with Biden’s position, as it passed a resolution unanimously in favor of banning foreign sales. The bill must still pass through Congress before it can become law. However, many predict it will easily make its way through both houses of Congress before becoming law in 2015. What’s next: What does all of this mean for you? Well, if you are looking to buy or sell land, now may not be your best time. If you already own land and are thinking about selling it in order to move into another industry or live closer to family, you have to question the possibility of selling outside the country. If your dream has always been owning land or living off the grid, however, don’t let these new regulations get you down!
Why this decision was so controversial
As soon as news spread that selling farmland to foreign companies would be banned, many were outraged over President Joe Biden’s decision. Why did he make such an impulsive decision with little thought? Obviously, he knows nothing about farming. Was there some sort of ulterior motive behind his decision making process? Many people don’t understand why it was necessary for Joe Biden to come up with such a rash decision like banning farm sales when other options could have been explored first. However, in my opinion, I think Joe Biden made an excellent choice because I believe it is in our best interest to protect our land from foreign ownership. First of all, if we allow foreign investors to buy out American farms, then we are essentially giving away America’s food supply. If we continue down that path, then eventually we won’t even have enough food here in America to feed ourselves! Second of all, if you look at what happened back in 2008 during our economic crisis, you can see how quickly things can change. The housing market crashed and thousands upon thousands of homeowners lost their homes due to foreclosure.
Who voted for/against this decision
Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and ranking member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) voted for it; Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), David Scott (D-Ga.) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) voted against it. The vote came after an amendment was added that would require notification of Congress before any land is sold. The amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), said that while he doesn’t believe there is any evidence that Russia or China would buy land in America, I think we need to make sure we know about it if they do. The full bill now goes to the House floor for a vote in June or July, when more amendments could be added to it. If passed by both chambers, it would then go to President Obama for his signature. Why is the American Legislative Exchange Council worried? Several years ago, two former senior U.S. officials raised concerns that Chinese investors were buying up farms in places like Iowa as part of a plan to eventually undermine food security in America. In 2012, Bill Gertz at The Washington Times reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had asked his oligarchs to invest $10 billion overseas—including in agriculture—to ensure the food supply for our country.
What this means for American Farmers
If you’re worried about growing demand from big foreign entities like Russia and China—and, let’s be honest, who isn’t?—you might want to brace yourself for some potentially challenging times ahead. But just as Americans faced similar challenges in years past, we can come out stronger as a nation if we work together with our existing farming infrastructure; after all, American products are always tops in quality and flavor! Let’s face it: You can take away our land, but you can never take away our spirit! We may not be able to produce food for everyone around the world, but that doesn’t mean we won’t continue trying until every last one of us is standing proud in America once again. Let freedom ring!
We mustn’t sell ourselves short: This news comes at an especially troubling time, given that drought conditions are causing many producers to lose money hand over fist.