House unanimously passes bill barring foreign enemies from buying NC farmland 

The chamber of the N.C. House of Representatives is shown during a recess at the General Assembly in Raleigh. A.P. Dillon/North State Journal

RALEIGH — The bill filed to stop adversarial foreign governments from buying farmland in North Carolina unanimously passed the House by a vote of 114-0. The bill will now be taken up by the Senate. 

“By preventing these foreign land grabs, this legislation will mitigate an unnecessary threat to our national and food security,” said House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) in a press statement. “With agriculture and military making up our state’s top two economic impacts, it is critical that we ensure our military bases and farmland are protected and secure.” 

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House Bill 463, the N.C. Farmland and Military Protection Act, would prohibit China, Russia, Iran and other foreign adversaries and state-controlled entities from purchasing agricultural land in North Carolina. The bill also includes property surrounding military installations.  

According to the bill, “no adversarial foreign government shall purchase, acquire, lease, or hold any interest in the following: (1) Agricultural land. (2) Land situated within a 25-mile radius of a military base, military installation, or military airport.”  

In addition to Bell, primary sponsors of the bill include Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain), and Reps. Jeff Zenger (R-Forsyth) and Jennifer Balkcom (R-Henderson).  

“As someone who grew up on a family farm, preserving North Carolina’s farmland is a top priority,” said Balkcom in the press statement. “Our state’s agricultural land is one of our most important assets and it is common sense that we protect it from foreign governments that do not have America’s best interests in mind.”   

About A.P. Dillon 1342 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_