Restrict Foreign Farm Land Grab

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Foreign Investment and Land Grab in Missouri

Missouri’s Farm Land is up for Grabs to Foreign investors that have the money to buy land as the highest bidder. They build massive corporate farms and CAFO’s with no long term outlook of land management or care for the communities they are adjacent to.   These companies funnel the profits and product of the farms out of the country to secure their food supply without concern what is left behind, the workers on their facilites, or the destruction of habitate.   

The progression in Missouri Legislative actions has facilitated this corporate take over with no respect for local farmily farmers.  The resulting price deflation has jepordized the future of Missouri Livestock farming.

Factory Farms Drive the Price of Pork Down to Unsustianble & Unprofitable Levels for Family Farmers

Factory Farms Drive Smaller Producers Out of Business

The Truth About Foreign Ownership of Farm Land

The Progression of Missouri Legislation that has Allowed Untracked Foreign Ownership of  Farm Land

MO Senate Bill 187 - 2011

Limited the constitutional rights of farmers and landowners to protect their property rights and values in the court system. 

MO Senate Bill 9 - 2013

Opened up 289,000 acers (1% of MO farmland) to be bought, owned and controlled by foreign corporations.  Two weeks later China’s biggest meatpacker with a loan from the Bank of China purchased Smithfield Food and over 40,000 acers of Missouri Farmland. (The deal resulting in a transfer of over $480 million in of farmland throughout the country)

MO Senate Bill 631 - 2012

Retroactively put corporate giant Smithfield Foods in compliance with Missouri anti-corruption farming law it had previously been in violation. Smithfield had purchased farm land in counties it was not allowed to be in.  

MO Senate Bill 12 - 2015

Opened up large loophole that allows foreign corporate interests to by-pass reporting their land purchases to the Missouri Department of Agriculture by simply filing a W-9 which would make accurate tracking of the amount of foreign owned farmland towards the 1% cap virtually impossible.  

Some Issues to consider that Foreign Ownershp of Farm Land’s Cause

Foreign Ownership of Majority Holdings in Pork Market

At this point 50% of the pork in the US is owned by two foreign companies that are vertically integrated into the other proteins markets.  When China took over Smithfield this became the biggest Chinese acquisition of an American company. One in four hogs owned in the USA is owned by a Chinese Company.  China consumes over half the world’s pork.  As the affluence of the Chinas Middle Class has grown the population has moved from eating more grains to a taste for more meat.  China has the consumers and American has the Hogs. 

The Dilemma of the Aging Farmer and Corporate Farm Takeover

The Average age of farmers keep going up.  Their usually is a generational transfer of farmland from parent to child. Yet with the dwindling profits this transfer is not a guarantee on either side of the equation.  The parent may need the funds from the farm to retire and they do not necessarily see the farm as a viable livelihood for their children. The next generation also question the option of having a full time job just to be able to supplement funds needed to keep the farm in operation.  

The new younger farmers that do not have family farms to inherit, do not have the funds to buy the lands regardless of their enthusiasm and the new energy they bring to the industry.

The big companies have deep pockets and are able to outbid young farmers and locals wanting to expand their farms. The big corporations often work through intermediators keeping the buyers secret until after a deal is cut.  

Profits and Products go back to the Owner Country

Money extracted from our country is sent back to the countries that town the land.  Often immigrant workers are paid as low as possible and marginalized in bad work conditions. Countries like China that have had back breakouts of disease in their domestic livestock industries use American sources to supplement their dwindling domestic supplies.  They take the profits the produce back to China while leaving the mess in the USA. 

Foreign Ownership of Meat Packers

Companies like JBS, the biggest meat packer in the world is Brazilian owned. They now own controling interests in the pork, chicken and been processing industries throughout the USA.  They can control the price and can funnel the profits out of the country.  The employees are notoriously badly treated and paid.  

Foreign Corporation use of CAFOs with No Regard to the Land

Missouri State standards allow up to 17,499 hogs to be within 2000 feet of a residence and an unlimited number of hogs to be located 3000 feet from a residence. According to the EPA a CAFO with 4000 hogs can generate as much waste as a city of 16,000 people.  A Class 1A CAFO with (17,500 hogs+)  can generate as much waste as the entire city of St. Louis.

Missouri’s 2.8 million hogs can generate as much untreated waste as 11.2 million people which is nearly double the population of the entire State of Missouri.  This untreated raw waste includes viruses, parasites and antibiotic-resistant bacterial.  This waist is left behind in Missouri while the profits from these operations and the products are shipped overseas to it’s foreign owners. 

Can We Track Which Country's are Buying Land and How Much they Own?

Some countries are parking money in farm land waiting for values to go up while others are purchasing to ensure the food supply for their citizens.  While the Missouri Department of Agriculture is supposed to track who owns what and how much is owned,  the 2015 Loophole from Senate Bill 12 makes it almost impossible to say.

Impact on COVID-19 Outbreaks

According to the CDC COVID-19 outbreaks are tracked to 23 states in meat and poultry processing facilities that resulted in at least 16,233 cases (June 2020) ranging from 3.1 to 24.5% of employees.  Of those cases 87% occurred in racial and ethnic minorities.

Factors that have contributed to these numbers are close workplace contact, long work periods of up to 12 hour per day, share work spaces, shared transportation, congregated housing and frequent community contact with fellow workers.  Foreign workers are often housed by the processing facilities with little outside contact and in questionable living conditions.

Foreign Control of Missouri Farm Land Volunteer Activities

Help us make our voices heard. 

  • Make foreign corporate control of Missouri farmland a campaign issue leading up to the elections.
  • Write a letter to the editor – Ask us how we can help. 
  • Ask candidates about this issue at every opportunity. 
  • Attend candidate forums, meet and greets and tell them enough is enough. 
  • Call and email your Senators and Congresspersons
  • Support Rep Pocon’s Bill and Bi-Partisan 50/14 Bill.
  • Support the “Food and Agribuiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act.”
  • Do not support United Hogs System’s  attempt to build a Class 1B CAFO (10,500 hogs) next to Poosey Conservation Area in Livingston County. Farmers and residents are organizing to stop this proposed CAFO. JBS, the Brazilian Meat Packing Giant owns Untied Hogs Systems.
  • Let your representatives know you do not support Smithfield CAFO’s and Nalle Piggery’s June 2020 appoval by  Missouri DNR to operate two Class 1C CAFO’s in Daviees County.

What can we do the support this issue?

  • Hold meetings with local communities to gather support and educate.
  • Phone bank
  • Supporting local candidates
  • Educate

Currently we are looking for volunteers and support.  If you are interested in helping out get involved with us. 

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