LENA — The Executive Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Oconto-Marinette County, Nancy Swenty, reminds foreign persons who acquire, transfer or hold any interest, other than a security interest, including leaseholds of 10 years or more, in agricultural land in the United States are required by law to report the transaction to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture no later than 90 days after the date of the transaction. Failure to file a report, filing a late report or filing an inaccurate report can result in a penalty with fines up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land.
Foreign investors must file Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) reports with the FSA county office that maintains reports for the county where the land is located and for AFIDA purposes, agricultural land is defined as any land used for farming, ranching or timber production, if the tracts total 10 acres or more. Disclosure reports are also required when there are changes in land use from nonagricultural to agricultural or from agricultural to nonagricultural or change in the status of ownership from foreign to non-foreign, from non-foreign to foreign or from foreign to foreign.
Data gained from these disclosures is used to prepare an annual report to the President and Congress concerning the effect of such holdings upon family farms and rural communities in the United States.
For more information regarding AFIDA and FSA programs, persons may call the Oconto-Marinette County FSA office at 920-829-5406, ext. 2, or visit the USDA website, http://www.usda.gov.