Commentary: China’s Land Purchases in U.S. Spark Outcry for Federal Solution

Smithfield Foods factory farm

Over the past two years, nearly half the states in America acted to scrutinize purchases of land linked to China and other foreign adversaries. Concerns focus primarily on national security threats from China, and they’re well-founded.

The federal government has no idea how much real estate Chinese entities own in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture legally is required to track foreign ownership of agricultural land, but underestimates Chinese ownership by at least 50 percent.

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Texas Farmers Ask Judge to Block USDA from Doling Out Disaster Aid Based on Race or Gender

Texas Farmer in field

A group of white farmers in Texas is asking a federal judge to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from using race, gender or other “socially disadvantaged” traits to determine who gets disaster and pandemic farm aid and how much, arguing the agency’s current administration of eight emergency funding programs is unconstitutionally discriminatory.

“When natural disasters strike, they don’t discriminate based on race and sex. Neither should the Department of Agriculture,” the group of farmers wrote in a court filing made public Monday.

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USDA Colludes with Left-Wing Group to Turn Out Voters Under Biden Order, Documents Reveal

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with a left-wing advocacy group to boost voter turnout as part of President Joe Biden’s executive order directing federal agencies to get involved in elections.

The USDA worked directly with Demos, a New York-based group that helped draft Biden’s Executive Order 14019, according to records obtained by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)

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Biden Admin Adds LGBTQ Strings to Foreign Agriculture Grants

Farmer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture intends to cultivate the transgender ideology on a global scale using international farm-aid programs. 

That could mean attaching strings to international grants that the USDA doles out to support the Biden administration’s LGBTQ agenda, which President Joe Biden ordered in a presidential memorandum. 

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Food Prices Expected to Continue Rising Through 2024

Recently released federal pricing analysis from the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that food prices will continue to rise through 2024.

The USDA pointed to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index released earlier this month, which showed consumer prices overall rose 3.2 percent in the previous twelve months. Food prices, though rose more quickly at 4.9 percent during the same time.

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2022 National Food Stamp Payment Error Rates Hit Nearly 12 Percent

For the first time since the COVID pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the fiscal year 2022 national payment error rate for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The PER measures how accurately SNAP agencies determine benefit amounts and eligibility. A payment error means the agency either underpaid or overpaid the recipient, which can result from an error by the agency or a recipient or fraud. 

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Dairy State Lawmaker Leads Fight Against Biden Administration’s War on Chocolate Milk

U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI-07) has introduced a bill that would stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s war on chocolate milk in school lunchrooms.

The Milk is Indisputably Liked by Kids Act of 2023 – MILK Act — would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require schools to offer flavored milk under school lunch program. 

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States See Chinese Purchase of Farmland as a Threat to National Security

Several states have already banned or are considering banning foreign ownership of farmland from U.S. adversaries such as China, a trend that has its recent roots in North Dakota.

Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group purchased 370 acres of land for a corn milling plant in Grand Forks in November 2021.

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Biden Admin Ropes in Agriculture, Interior Departments to Help Stem Tide of Migrants Crossing Border

The Biden administration asked several departments and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Interior, to support border authorities ahead of the end of Title 42, the Trump-era migrant expulsion order, on May 11, according to an internal memo exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

In addition to deploying Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense Department (DOD) personnel to the southern border, the Biden administration also requested the deployment of Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce and Department of Interior personnel, according to the Friday memo, which Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Acting Executive Associate Director Katrina Berger sent internally.

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Security Expert: Use Artificial Intelligence to Fight Benefits Fraud

Nationwide, electronic benefits transfer fraud is estimated to cost taxpayers up to $4.7 billion annually, according to the Government Accountability Office.

In 2022, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program distributed over $113.7 billion to nearly 22 million households.

The federal government entrusts states to reduce fraud in safety net programs. In March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture told all 50 states to plan to fight EBT skimmer fraud, which happens when bad actors install a card reader on top of a legitimate point of sale at a retail store. 

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Report: Chinese Investors Own 384,000 Acres of American Land

A new government report reveals that the total amount of American soil owned by Chinese investors is nearly twice as large as the entirety of New York City.

As the New York Post reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed in last month’s report on foreign-held land that Chinese buyers currently own at least 384,235 of American land. By contrast, the full expanse of New York City covers just 193,700 acres. Even Bill Gates’ total land ownership is dwarfed by China’s, with just 270,000 acres.

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Foreign Investment in U.S. Farmland May Be a National Security Issue, According to Expert

Foreign investment in U.S. farmland has tripled in the past 10 years, reporters at a non-profit investigative journalism group found.

Investigate Midwest used U.S. Department of Agriculture data to call attention to this trend. Farmer Joe Maxwell, co-founder of the group Farm Action, told The Center Square that control of U.S. farmland by foreign investors is worrisome on a number of fronts.

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Americans Could See Grocery Store Prices Skyrocket Even Higher: Report

Food prices in the U.S. may get worse in the coming months as European Union countries predict a dismal wheat harvest on top of the loss in Ukraine’s wheat exports, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The EU may produce 5% less wheat than 2021 because of dry weather, agriculture consulting firm Strategie Grains told the WSJ.

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Biden Admin Ties Federal Funds for School Lunches to Gender Identity

The Biden Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that all state and local agencies that receive federal funding for meals, a category that includes schools, must not discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In a press release dated May 5, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced it would now interpret the ban on discrimination based on sex included in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and food-related legislation and programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp program, to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Feds: Retail Food Prices to Increase by an Additional Five Percent

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects U.S. food prices to increase by at least another 5% on average this year as the majority of Americans surveyed in a new poll cite cost of living increases as a top concern and lack of confidence in President Joe Biden’s ability to do anything about it.

Rising prices are due to inflation, the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates, and consequences of Russia invading Ukraine, the USDA states in its most recent monthly Food Price Outlook, which forecasts retail food inflation.

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Biden DOJ Declines to Appeal Court Order Blocking Reparations for Non-White Farmers

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday failed to formally file an appeal in federal court against an injunction that was issued against one of the most controversial aspects of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, leaving the future of planned reparations for non-White farmers in doubt, as reported by Politico.

Monday was the deadline for the DOJ to do so, 60 days after federal judges ultimately ruled that the $4 billion program, which would forgive the debts of exclusively non-White farmers, was unconstitutional and thus could not be implemented. The measure was one of many elements of the bill passed by Congress and signed into law by Joe Biden in March.

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