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Senate Kills Noem’s Attempt to Subject All Ag Land Sales to State Investigation and Gubernatorial Veto

Governor Kristi Noem went to Washington, DC to go on national TV last week to tout her Communist plan to subject ag sales to gubernatorial veto as a great foreign policy initiative to fight Communist China. Yesterday Republicans in the South Dakota Senate rejected that plan.

Governor Noem proposed Senate Bill 185 to take control of the sale of agricultural land in South Dakota. It would ban foreign ownership of South Dakota ag land, seize any ag land held by foreigners, and cancel any existing ag land leases held by restricted foreigners. SB 185 would create a Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States–South Dakota to investigate all ag land transactions. (Wow, and you folks are worried about new IRS customer service reps being turned loose to audit your taxes?) After investigations that would suspend ag land transactions for up to one year, the CFIUS–SD would make recommendations to the Governor, who would have unilateral, unchecked power to deny any ag land transaction she suspects would cede property rights to unsavory foreign entities who might peer over the fence at Ellsworth Air Force Base or the secret Valhalla cabin.

Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources, surprisingly, thought such Communism was hunky-dory and voted 7–0 for the bill last week. But the full Senate came to its Big Ag senses yesterday and killed this Noem initiative on an 11–23 vote.

Senator Jean Hunhoff (R-18/Yankton) noted that this bill could discourage the foreign investment that has been crucial in expanding South Dakota’s CAFO dairies. Senator David Wheeler (R-22/Huron) noted that executive veto power over land sales is bonkers (well, he didn’t say “bonkers”, but as a Republican, he could have!):

Sen. David Wheeler, R-Huron, said the proposal vests too much power in the executive branch.

“You can’t think of our current governor, as to what she might do with this power. You must think to the next governor, and the governor after that,” he said. “That’s who we’ll be giving this power to” [Slater Dixon, “Senate Kills Noem’s Foreign Ag Oversight Panel,” SDPB Radio, 2023.02.21].

Noem’s water-carrier on SB 185, Senator Erin Tobin (R-21/Winner) said she’ll try to bring the bill back today. But the Senate’s rejection of this Executive overreach is just one more blow to Noem’s credibility in what is turning out to be a disastrous Legislative Session for Noem’s agenda and image as an effective leader.


  1. Richard Schriever 2023-02-22 07:17

    None of the Governess’ agenda is about actual governance. It is ALL about gaining national attention.

  2. Donald Pay 2023-02-22 09:31

    “Communist plan” would be an apt description, but “Stalinist” would better describe this bill. The bill would set up a committee of government apparatchiks to oversee all ag land. Oh, you say, that’s hyperbole. Read the fine print in that bill Noem’s apparatchiks can dig around in your financial records to see if you have sold something but not disclosed it. It’s not just a foreign government she wants to keep out, but individuals from Ukraine who may be displaced to the US as a result of Putin’s Stalinist war. Imagine, escaping Ukraine and entering South Dakota, where Comrade Kristi gets to spit on your new freedom by keeping you from farming here. That’s certainly not the sort of FREEDOM Noem likes to falsely advertise. This bill may allow Noem to seize your land if she got it in her vacant little head that your contract with a firm you did business with had some foreign ownership. Sen. Wheeler, who Cory quotes in his post, correctly understands the danger in this sort of bill.

  3. John 2023-02-22 10:36

    Donald nails it. Noem is acting like her Stalin mentor. Authoritarians know best.
    Stalin’s collectivization of farms, a state decision over who may own what land – recall that many folks were ethnic Germans in the Soviet “Ukraine”. Stalin’s Holodomor was a man-made collectivization and famine that killed over a million.

    The letters kept and re-printed by the survivors and escapees who settled in Wishek, North Dakota cast a severe warning against Noem’s scheme. It begins with this group, then adds another group, inventing enemies along the authoritarians way.

  4. All Mammal 2023-02-22 11:39

    It still takes more than six months to transfer a single pickup title. She can’t even line us up with title paper. I remember when it took a week and a half about two years ago. It takes less than five days to get a brand registered in ND, NE, MT, and only a couple days in WY. It takes the five Noem-appointed brand board employees six or more months to get a brand in SD.
    WY and MT have spent tens of million$ to keep the zebra mussel at bay. WY has offered SD all the extra help they can spare to keep our infestation from spreading. But SD is like, “Naw, we like communicable viruses so much, we’ll let the invasive aquatic species run it’s course. ‘Herd mentality’” NnoK. Other states even offered a trained invasive mussel detecting sniffer dog. But that would require too much work. And nobody wants to work in SD, according to Governor Noem’s appointees. Name any faction of SD ran by the gee oh vee and you will name a complete failure or a vital service hanging on by a dingleberry. They don’t understand that South Dakotans will do whatever work needs doing. However, just like Gov Noem’s alien employees, SD employees require monetary compensation too.

  5. John 2023-02-22 11:40

    Another note for Noem and the Dustmeister Johnson.
    China is a paper tiger that will not exist in 10 years. Demographics matter. China over counted its population by 100 million. Two destroyers parked in the Indian Ocean could stop 75% of China’s imported energy. China could inflict some hurt on its neighbors, but China lacks a true blue water navy for all its ships are small and rarely venture 500 miles from shore.
    Peter Zeihan nails it in the first 25 minutes:

    Noem and the Dustmeister ought be work on solving real problems – instead acting like bugs in search of windshields.

  6. Mark Anderson 2023-02-22 13:24

    Jeez, we have a few hundred acres near Hosmer. Are Floridians foreigners? Should I tiktok this? Contact Ian? Jon from the Dells?

  7. DaveFN 2023-02-22 22:04


    Many thanks for posting the link to Ron Vossler’s presentation.

    As far as Zeihan, however, while I can’t comment on his China notions, I will say he his statements at 1.26.25 regarding CO2, H2O, and O2 as being the “most stable molecules on the planet” as well as production of H2 being “the most exothermic reaction you can do at scale” betray a total lack of chemistry knowledge and education.

  8. DaveFN 2023-02-22 22:20

    Correction: Zeihan at 37.43.

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