GFB News Magazine

A View from the Field

by Tom McCaall
GFB President

Posted on June 6, 2024 12:18 PM

It was such a pleasure in April and May to see Gov. Kemp sign several bills, which Georgia Farm Bureau supported,  that will benefit our state’s farmers.

Your GFB Public Policy team helped lawmakers over the past two sessions with legislation that prevents ownership of agricultural land or land near military installations by certain individuals acting as an agent of a foreign adversary. 

In working on Senate Bill 420, sponsored by Sen. Jason Anavitarte, we felt it important that the legislation prohibit the ownership or acquisition of agricultural land or non-residential land within a 10-mile radius of a military location by a nonresident acting as an agent of a government designated as a foreign adversary, entity owned in certain countries, or governments of countries designated as a foreign adversary by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

This law will ban agents of China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela who are not U.S. citizens or legal residents from owning any land in Georgia, except for residential property, within 10 miles of a military installation unless they have spent at least 10 months of the previous year living in Georgia.

Other states have already signed similar bills with strict bans, too. 

I have long said this is a national security issue. Simply put, we can’t have foreign adversaries controlling something as critical as our food supply.

We also appreciate the work state legislators did to address other ag issues, such as passing legislation to restore private property rights to landowners adjacent to navigable waters. You can read about House Bill 1172 by Rep. James Burchett on page 5.

It is important issues like these that your GFB policy team engages in during the legislative session every year. They do a premier job of representing Georgia farmers in the legislative arena, GFB’s primary purpose. 

It is clear to see how effective their efforts are when we see the Gov. Kemp sign important bills that protect all Georgia farmers and the future of our safe and abundant food supply.

Thank you for allowing Jane and me to serve you. We appreciate each of you!

GFB President Tom McCall and his wife, Jane, with their grandchildren McCall Archer,  Wilkes  and Winn McCall.