Dear Friend, 

The fall harvest is now in full force: the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 29 percent of soybeans, 5 percent of corn, and 13 percent of sugar beets have been harvested as of October 2. 

However, this season has not been without its challenges. Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor for Minnesota reported over 34 percent of Minnesota is in drought status, impacting an estimated 3.8 million Minnesotans. Farmers and ranchers in primary drought counties and nearby counties are potentially eligible for farm assistance through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). To learn more about all available programs and services, reach out to your local USDA Service Center.

Even while managing daily stressors like drought conditions and high input costs, we must look consider the long-term threats to our ag community. One particularly troubling issue has been the growing percentage of Minnesota farmland held by foreign interests—including rivals like China. In the last decade, Chinese land ownership has grown tenfold, and now control 194,179 acres of American farmland.

This is a concerning trend that threatens the security of our food supply and the livelihoods of future generations of farmers. We’ve long been ringing the alarm bell on this issue: this summer, I led a letter to USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking for transparency on the foreign actors acquiring U.S. farmland. The issue has gotten attention from the House Committee on Agriculture, too: earlier this month, the committee’s lead Republican sent, and I joined, a letter requesting a government review of foreign land ownership.

Our farmers’ hard work is not overlooked, and we will continue our effort here in Congress to give our ag community the support they need to put food on our shelves. Thank you for all that you do, today and every day.