WASHINGTON—Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) welcomed Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry where he shared his insight on the extent of foreign investment in U.S. agriculture during a hearing on the topic.
The National Agricultural Law Center, a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is the only agricultural and food law research and information center that is independent, national in scope, and directly connected to the national agricultural information network.
Pittman received his Juris Doctor and LLM from the University of Arkansas Law Schools in Little Rock and Fayetteville, respectively, and has worked at the center since 2001. He is an active member of the American Agricultural Law Association and is a frequent presenter on a range of topics, including the farm bill, water law and environmental law.
“Many food, environment and agriculture stakeholders depend on Harrison and his team’s work to provide accessible, dependable, and objective legal analysis. We’re all proud of the work they do,” Boozman said while introducing Pittman.
In his testimony, Pittman stressed that a lot has changed since Congress passed the Agriculture Foreign Investment Disclosure Act, which gave the U.S. Department of Agriculture authority over the issue, in 1978.
“Agriculture in the United States, and the world around it, has changed considerably—just in the last few years, but certainly in the last three or four decades. Land transactions have typically become more complicated. They’ve become bigger. The world of ag innovation and ag research have changed in ways that are beyond our imagination back in the late 70s. Along that thread, our national economy has become a lot more interdependent with trading partners,” Pittman said in his testimony.
In his opening remarks, Boozman referred to proposals put forth in the Senate to address concerns over foreign land ownership. Among those initiatives is a Boozman-authored provision included in the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which directs the Department of Defense to examine and brief Congress on attempts by the People’s Republic of China to acquire land located in close proximity to U.S. military installations and any ongoing efforts to counter such occurrences.