Texas leads the nation when it comes to all kinds of agriculture, from cattle to cotton as well as ranch land. But the state is also a front-runner when it comes to foreign-owned agricultural land. Non-U.S. landowners own about $3.3 billion worth of property, and some farmers and politicians are expressing concern that it’s hurting Texans’ interests.
Austin American-Statesman Investigative Reporter Jeremy Schwartz has been reporting on this trend and says foreign owners have bought 1.7 million acres over the last 10 years.
“If you sort of stacked up Hays County, Travis County [and] Williamson County from end to end, it’d be about that big. …It’s more than any other state by far,” he says.
What you’ll hear in this segment:
— What’s driving the growth of foreign ownership of Texas agricultural land
— The role of Chinese and Canadian investors in Texas agriculture, and why tax benefits apply to foreign investors
— How this trend affects smaller, locally owned farms
Written by Caroline Covington.