If we told you that it’s open season on US agricultural land and farmers, you might think we’re exaggerating or spreading a conspiracy theory.
You’d be wrong.
American farmers and farmland are in trouble. Big trouble.
On top of droughts, higher prices for diesel, and fertilizer shortages, farmers are facing regulations that could put them out of business.
Even if they do manage to jump through all the new regulatory hoops, there is the issue of billionaires and foreign entities buying up and controlling massive amounts of American farmland.
Before we dive in, understand: This isn’t about politics. It’s about our precious food supply and the people who work hard to put it on our tables.
So, we are sticking to the facts as we explain why we are so concerned about America’s farmers and farmland—and you should be, too.
Regulating Farmers out of Business
One of the biggest problems facing farmers is a surge of regulations coming their way.
While many of these regulations are made with good intentions (there’s nothing wrong with green initiatives), the speed at which they are being forced upon farmers is unachievable and harmful.
Let’s start by looking at the new Inflation Reduction Act Bill, which President Biden signed on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.
This bill is being pushed as a means to reduce inflation (hence the name); however, the bill’s agenda is actually to diminish the climate impacts from farms.
USA Today reports, “Progressive Democrats still celebrated the Inflation Reduction Act as a legislative win and the largest investment in climate in the nation's history.”
In other words, while many are hopeful this bill will ease some of the strain on the American people’s wallets, this is NOT the bill’s real intention.
The bill is 730 pages and covers everything from healthcare to the tax code. You can read it in full here.
As you read, pay special attention to $20 million in funding for farms, such as the “Environmental Quality Incentives Program,” the “Conservation Stewardship Program,” “Regional Conservation Partnership Program,” and the “Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.”
Within the verbose flowery language are some items that should give us concern.
For instance, the goal of the Conservation Reserve Program is to take land out of production to cut greenhouse gas emissions by providing farmers with incentives (aka money).
Glenn Beck explains, “Page 529, of the Inflation Reduction Act. […] It will pay – pay farmers to not farm. They want to restore the soil. So, the measures will include plowing your soil less, implementing climate-friendly crop rotation techniques, and planting cover crops that do not yield any food. […] They are going to start paying farmers, not to farm. […] But what they're going to do to the farmers is tell them, exactly how they can farm. They're going to tell them now, just like they are over in Europe, where the farmers are going out of business and on the streets, protesting. They are now going to tell them that they have to adopt more climate-friendly provisions. They are going to regulate what you can feed your cow. They're going to – they're going to also tell you what you can grow. How you grow it. What you can use as fertilizer.”
Keep in mind that's just one part of the Inflation Reduction Act. We haven’t touched on the other programs or recent regulations farmers were already dealing with.
For example, California passed an animal welfare regulation that required more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens, and veal calves. However, only 4% of hog operations were able to comply with the new regulations.
These types of regulations are hitting family farms more and more every day.
According to the Paso Robles Press, “Family farms cannot afford to keep up with increasing regulations involving how their crop is produced and in complying with labor laws — leaving large corporate farms as the only ones who can withstand the increased output.”
San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau Executive Director Brent Burchett explains, “It hurts our family farms the worst. […] It is regulations that when you aren’t working in agriculture, on paper might look very rational.”
He adds, “It’s harder now to make a living farming than it ever has been.”
Related Read: Food Sovereignty: Feed Yourself, Free Yourself
Consolidation of US Agricultural Land by Billionaires and Foreign Entities
Unfortunately, new regulations aren’t the only thing to be concerned about.
You may be surprised to know that in America, the majority of farmland is owned by a few billionaires and foreign entities.
This is especially concerning when you consider that the aforementioned regulations will shutter even more American family farms giving the few even more control.
These few can decide to stop farming the land, lobby congress for their own gain, push out small farms, and heavily influence our nation’s food supply.
Consider Bill Gates. He’s bought up massive amounts of farmland – and he isn’t stopping. In fact, he just won the appeal in court that will allow him to buy 2,100 more acres in North Dakota.
Gates owns so much farmland that House Agriculture Committee member Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. has raised questions over Gates’ ownership. They want Gates in Congress to testify.
Why is there a concern about Bill Gates owning all this farmland?
For starters, he’s already said we should not eat beef unless it is grown in a lab. Who's to say if one day he will decide not to raise cattle on that land? Remember: the one who controls the food, controls the people.
But it’s not just Bill Gates.
According to the USDA, “Eighty percent of rented farmland (283 million acres, 30 percent of all farmland) is owned by non-operator landlords, those that own land used in agricultural production but are not actively involved in farming.”
And it’s not just American billionaires. China continues to buy land in the United States, specifically near our military bases.
China already owned over 191,000 acres of US lands before acquiring an additional 300 acres in North Dakota.
It’s such a concern that a House committee voted to block China and other foreign countries (Russia, North Korea, and Iran) from farm purchases in the United States in June 2022. But no law has been set yet.
On a related note: Chinese buyers are also buying up homes across the United States (more than $6 billion in home purchases last year).
But it’s not just China.
There are several other foreign entities that own a ton of land in the United States, including countries that America isn’t on the friendliest terms with.
Agricultural Daily reports, “Between 2004 and 2014, […] foreign investors doubled their American farmland holdings, growing from 13.7 million to 27.3 million acres, which is approximately the size of Tennessee. And while this represents only about 2 percent of total US farmland, the value of the land in question leapt from $17.4 billion to $42.7 billion during the same period.”
Aside from the concern that countries like China and Iran own our farmland, the real problem is that we don’t know what these foreign investors intend to do with this farmland.
The Time to Prepare Is Now
The war on America’s farmers and farmland isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s real, and it’s happening. And we need to take action and prepare.
Here’s what you can do right now to TAKE ACTION:
- Educate yourself about what’s going on. Stay aware of what is happening on a national and state level. Read the news. Talk to your local farmers. While you are at it, read The Perfect Storm Is Here – Global Food Crisis.
- Get involved. Get involved in your community. If foreign entities are trying to buy land where you live, go to a meeting and explain how this may hurt your local farmers. Also, contact your congresspeople. Congress is aware that our farms are in danger – especially from foreign entities. Let your voice be heard.
- Buy local. Go to your local farmers’ markets or local farms and buy direct from the source.
Here’s what you can do to PREPARE:
- Build community. It’s important to know your neighbors and to know where your food comes from. Visit the local farmers’ market. Get your meat from a local butcher. Ask questions. Show your support.
- Grow your own food. With America’s food supply in danger, it is critical to start growing your own food. If you live in an apartment or condo, look into container gardening. You’d be amazed what you can grow on a small balcony or rooftop.
- Stock up. There is no doubt that our grocery shelves are about to get thinner. Avoid running out of food by keeping a pantry full of emergency food.
While we’re living in troubling times, remember that education and action are the key to keeping grounded – and not to living in fear of what’s coming. Take action now to prepare. Your future self will thank you for it.
Don’t stay silent, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply