© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sen. Rusty Black wants to fully ban foreign ownership of Missouri farmland

Sen. Rusty Black stands in the Missouri Senate on the first day of the 2023 Legislative Session. Black has a black suit on, a gold tie and a rose pinned to his lapel.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, on Jan. 4 during the first day of the legislative session at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.

The issue of foreign ownership of Missouri farmland, including who can buy it and how much can be obtained, has drawn several proposals from lawmakers this session.

A bill passed by the House reduces the amount of agricultural land foreign entities can own from 1% to 0.5%. The bill lists five countries, including China and Russia, that would not be allowed to obtain any land in the future.

Sen. Rusty Black, who has filed his own bill on the issue, thinks the state should revert to the total ban it used to have as opposed to just reducing the amount.

Black, who is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast, spoke on what his bill would do as well as why he thinks this issue is a priority this year.

Here are some of the other things Black talked about on the show:

  • His background as an agriculture teacher and why he decided to run for public office. Black said he’s always been interested in politics.
  • How he’s adapted from being a member of the Missouri House to a senator.
  • The state’s budget, including how much the legislature’s proposal matches the one brought by Gov. Mike Parson. Black serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • Parson’s proposal to spend nearly $900 million to expand Interstate 70 in three parts of the state.
  • Why bills targeting the transgender community, including barring trans girls from playing girls sports and prohibiting trans minors from accessing gender affirming health care, have gotten more focus this session.

Black was an agriculture teacher for 33 years before retiring. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master's in agriculture education.

He was first elected to the House in 2016 and was in office until 2022, when he won election to the Senate.

Black's district encompasses northwest Missouri, including a part of Buchanan County.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Kellogg is a Missouri Statehouse and Politics Reporter for St. Louis Public Radio and other public radio stations across the state.