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Rep. Mike Haffner on why some foreign-based companies shouldn’t own Missouri land

Speaker of the House Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, (left) and Rep. Mike Haffner, R-Pleasant Hill, (right) stand in front of other House Republicans. Haffner is speaking at a podium.
Tim Bommel
Missouri House of Representatives
Rep. Mike Haffner, R-Pleasant Hill, addresses a news conference in March about his bill to curb the foreign ownership of agricultural land.

State Rep. Mike Haffner is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the Pleasant Hill Republican talked about efforts to curtail some foreign-based companies from owning Missouri land.

Here’s what Haffner talked about on the show:

  • How his extensive experience in the military prepared him to enter Missouri politics. 
  • Why he’s optimistic his effort to try to curtail companies based in China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Russia from purchasing land in Missouri can gain momentum during the 2024 session.
  • With Republican lawmakers likely to pursue making the Missouri Constitution more difficult to amend, Haffner discussed what sort of plan could be put before the state’s voters next year.

Haffner represents the 55th District, which takes in a portion of Cass County. He was first elected in 2018 and reelected in 2020 and 2022.

Before being elected to his House seat, Haffner had a long career as a Naval officer. He led combat air patrols over New York City immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

He eventually decided on a different vocation: owning a Christmas tree farm. He said his wife’s family has extensive ties to agriculture, which gave him the firsthand experience necessary to be the chairman of the House Agricultural Policy Committee.

Haffner is forgoing another term in the House and is instead running for the 31st District Senate seat next year. That puts him on a collision course with Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, and state Rep. Dan Houx, R-Johnson 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.