Stopping land grabs by foreign adversaries

Apr. 21—State Rep. Alex Zimmerman (R-North Vernon) believes Indiana's prime farmland plays a tremendous role in our economy, and that Hoosiers, along with the rest of the world, count on its production.

However, he said, alarm bells are sounding in our state and across the country as more and more foreign adversaries like China and Russia are buying our limited agricultural resources.

"During the 2024 legislative session, I supported efforts to stop these land grabs, and protect Indiana farm ground and our food supply chain," Zimmerman said in a news release.

The release notes that the federal government identifies China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela as foreign adversaries as they have engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States.

Zimmerman said that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, foreign ownership of U.S. land is up 40% since 2016, and that between 2009 and 2015 foreign ownership of our nation's agricultural land increased by about 800,000 acres per year.

"Since 2017, that number has increased to nearly 3 million acres per year. In Indiana, over 438,000 acres are owned by foreign entities," he said. "To ensure our state can continue to grow and benefit from our agricultural industry, I supported a new law to keep Hoosier farmland from being leased or owned by foreign adversaries, including mineral, water, and riparian rights on agricultural land."

Zimmerman noted that in places like California and North Dakota, they have faced other potential threats as Chinese companies purchased ground next to sensitive military sites.

"That's why we also took legislative action to prevent China, Russia, North Korea and Iran from purchasing any land in Indiana that is within a 10-mile radius of any military facility," Zimmerman said. "House Enrolled Act 1183 will take effect July 1. Many families in our district and beyond rely on agriculture to both put food on the table and make a living, and I'll continue to find ways to support them."

Contact Zimmerman by email at or call 317-232-9600.

Zimmerman represents House District 67, which includes portions of Decatur, Jefferson, Jennings and Ripley counties.