Kristi Noem warns ‘enemy is among’ US landowners – Washington Examiner

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) expressed her desire that the rest of the United States follow in South Dakota’s footsteps and ban foreign countries from buying land for agricultural use.

Noem appeared on Sunday Morning Futures to issue her rallying cry that more states adopt the ban that she signed into law last month. In South Dakota, it was previously against the law that any foreign entity to own over 160 acres, but this newest restriction outright bans buyers from China, Iran, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, and North Korea. All current foreign owners from any other country have three years to transfer their agricultural land or become a legal U.S. resident in order to keep it.

“Well, what I hope the American people realize is that the country that controls our food supply, they control us,” Noem said. “China would never — they would never allow Americans to come over and buy their land. They don’t even allow their own people to buy land in China. Why would we ever allow them to come to America and own our property and own land in the middle of the United States that they will use for nefarious actions to control us? I think America needs to wake up. We have our enemy among us. We have no idea how much land they own.”

Currently, the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Noem’s state is required to report land purchases to the attorney general for that office to enforce the law. However, Noem cast doubt on the ability to accurately record true ownership, placing blame on the federal government.

“I’d like governors to have more of a role in this. I think it’s important governors pass laws to give more reporting requirements and some consequences if evil foreign governments come in and purchase up our assets.”


Noem is fresh from her own testimony earlier this week to the House Agricultural Committee. The governor urged lawmakers to take action to prevent foreign land ownership. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) is on the committee and was present for Noem’s testimony.

According to the Agriculture Department’s most recent National Agricultural Statistics Service report, there were over 42.3 million acres of farmland within South Dakota. This amounts to 87.2% of South Dakota’s total land area.