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Protecting the Homeland from Foreign Ownership – Times News Online

Published on July 18, 2022 at 1:51 p.m.

One of the first patriotic songs that many of us remember learning in elementary school music class is “America the Beautiful.”

This classic was also a favorite of Ronald Reagan, who heard Ray Charles deliver a moving rendition of it at the 1984 Republican National Convention.

In his farewell address to the nation in 1989, Reagan warned us of the challenges facing America, which he called the “shining city on a hill.”

Reagan explained how those 35 or older at the time grew up in a different America. They learned, very directly, what it means to be an American. There was a love of the country and an appreciation of its institutions. But, as the nation was about to enter the 1990s, things were changing.

“Young parents aren’t sure that an unambiguous appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern kids,” Reagan said. “And as for those who create popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is out of fashion.

The 40th president said we need to raise awareness that America is freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise — and that freedom is special, rare, fragile, and in need of protection.

Today, Reagan would be shocked at how badly we have failed to protect landed property at the heart of our country.

For years, the Chinese have used a subtle but consistent strategy to increase land ownership. According to the US Department of Agriculture, at the start of this century, Chinese landowners owned approximately 192,000 acres of US farmland. In 2007 she bought six farms, all in California, and the following year she bought 30 outside of California, Arizona, Texas and Missouri.

Over the past decade, the Chinese have shifted their investment playbook from overseas agriculture to acquiring established businesses and farms and in 2019, its total area in the United States exceeded 35 .2 million acres, an increase of 60%.

This land grab by Chinese corporations not only affects American landowners, but it also compromises national security by handing over the sourcing, distribution and processing of our food supply to a hostile adversary with little oversight.

Several elected officials have come forward.

Congressman Dan Newhouse, an agricultural scientist representing Washington State’s 4th District, recently introduced a bill that would prevent individuals or organizations associated with the Chinese government from buying public or private farmland in this area. country, as well as participate in any U.S. Department of Agriculture Programs except food safety inspections. In his press release, Newhouse said that we were the biggest country in the world and that there was simply no reason for us to depend on a communist country like China for our food supply.

“If we cede responsibility for our food supply chain to an opposing foreign nation, we may be forced to export food grown within our own borders and intended for our own use,” he said. declared.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem strongly believes that when another country controls our food supply, that’s when they really control us.

“If we thought a pandemic was scary, wait until you realize we can’t put food on grocery store shelves because China controls the whole system, and what most Americans don’t have. paid attention is that China – for years – has bought our chemical companies, our fertilizer companies, our treatment systems, and now they’re buying land, and we have foreign countries that are heavily invested in all this supply system,” Noem said.

“We are losing control of our ability to feed our people and that is what challenges us today. We are finally waking up to this, but this is going to be a serious situation where this administration needs to recognize that it has a huge role, and all it has done is empower our enemies and give them more ability to control our food supply. which puts us in a very precarious situation as a country.

More of our elected leaders like Rep. Newhouse and Governor Noem, who are literally fighting for the American Fatherland, need to be proactive.

Hopefully, there are also American voters who are still moved by the opening words of “America the Beautiful”: “O beautiful for spacious skies. For waves of amber specks. For the mauve majesties of the mountains. above the fruity plain.

By Jim Zbick | [email protected]

The foregoing opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or Times News LLC.