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Foreign investors must report holdings, transactions to USDA
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Katharine Lewison, Vernon County Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, informs foreign investors who buy, sell or hold a direct or indirect interest in agricultural lands in the United States that they are required under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act to report their holdings and transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

The Agricultural Foreign Investment Act became effective on February 2, 1979 and requires any foreign person who acquires or transfers any interest other than a security interest in agricultural land to report the transaction to FSA within 90 days of the sale or purchase.

The Secretary of Agriculture designated the Farm Service Agency to collect the reports which are to be submitted on form FSA-153, Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act Report.  The completed form must be filed at the FSA county office where the land is located.

“Failure to submit an accurate or timely FSA-153 could result in civil penalties of up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the property,” said Lewison.

County government offices, bankers, realtors, attorneys, and others involved in real estate transactions are encouraged to notify foreign investors of these reporting requirements.  It is the foreign landowner’s responsibility to report the land transaction.

An FSA-153 form can be obtained from the Vernon County FSA office in Viroqua or downloaded from: