Imagine the threat that would have occurred to our national security if, in the years preceding World War II, Hitler’s Germany and its Axis allies had been allowed to acquire large swaths of farmland across the United States.
Or consider the danger if, in the coldest days of the Cold War when Kennedy and Khrushchev stood at the brink of nuclear warfare, the Soviet Union controlled a significant portion of our agricultural production and supply lines.
Neither of those scenarios actually occurred, but a similar reality is taking place today. China has recently increased its purchases of U.S. farmland by five times and acquired $6 billion in land in one year alone.
At a time when foreign policy and defense experts rank Chinese Communists as our greatest geopolitical and national security threat, the USDA estimates that China and other foreign entities across the globe currently own 40 million acres of U.S. agricultural land.
The Communist nation has also acquired vast amounts of land suitable for U.S. renewable energy production, a move that could prove especially harmful to our home front in times of war or conflict, and it has repeatedly attempted to purchase large parcels located immediately adjacent to Air Force bases and other military assets.
Recognizing the significant threat such moves pose, our state legislature passed the “Alabama Property Protection Act” just last year.
The measure blocks the governments of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia from land acquisitions across Alabama by prohibiting “foreign principals of concern” from buying property used for agriculture or forestry or property that is within 10 miles of military installations and other critical infrastructure, which includes airports, seaports, power plants, water and wastewater treatment plants, gas terminals, and certain other facilities.
When Gov. Kay Ivey signed the measure into law, Alabama became the 15th state to ban land purchases by China and other hostile nations.
While states are doing their part, Joe Biden and his liberal Democrat cronies, many of whom likely share the dream of spreading communism domestically, have blocked attempts to address the impending threat through federal law.
We are fortunate, though, that members of Alabama’s delegation are taking the lead in battling both Biden and Red China.
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) recently introduced the Foreign Adversary Risk Management Act, known more simply as the FARM Act, while U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery, who has stated that “one acre of American farmland owned by the Chinese Communist Party is one acre too many,” is serving as co-sponsor.
Tuberville’s bill cracks down on the Chinese Communist Party’s growing ownership of U.S. farmland and agricultural companies by requiring the federal government to review and publicly report any investment that would allow foreign control of food production. It also adds agricultural systems and supply chains to the definitions of “critical infrastructure” protected under federal law.
I was born and raised on my parents’ cattle farm in Beatrice, Ala., and grew up getting firsthand experience in the challenges that farmers face.
Farmers are at the constant mercy of the weather, and too many days without rain or too many days with it can make the difference between a profitable yield or crippling loss. No matter how tired you may be or how much you want to take a break, certain chores and tasks must be done every day without fail to ensure the livestock remains healthy and the crops continue growing.
Farming is backbreaking and tiring work that far too often goes unrecognized by those beyond the property lines of a farm, but it is also an essential industry that ensures our fellow Americans are well-fed and the economy is strong.
Given these basic truths, one wonders why Biden and his Socialist acolytes believe ceding our farmland to hostile nations and foreign investors is in the best interest of our country, but, then again, using good ol’ everyday common sense has never been among their character traits.
Preserving our faith, freedom, and farms demands that we take every necessary step to ensure our crops and livestock are protected in times of peace and times of war, and we must be willing to stare down China and speak the words, “Not now, not ever.”
As the representative of Alabama’s second congressional district, I pledge to stand tall with Tuberville and Britt in blocking Communist China and other enemies from seizing control of our American agricultural tradition.
Caroleene Dobson, a Birmingham attorney and mother of two, is a candidate for Alabama's second congressional district.