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LET Jay Hanson, in his April 22 letter to Agri News, obviously fails to understand why most farmers oppose the alien ownership bill. He mistakenly believes that opposition stems from an anti-immigrant sentiment, and he could not be more wrong.

Farmers I know, including members of my own family, oppose the alien ownership bill because it is a brazen attempt to lure foreign investors who have large bank accounts and can outbid local farmers. If immigrants want to move to Minnesota, become citizens and buy land, they are already allowed to do so under Minnesota law.

When my ancestors settled in the Minnesota Territory, they became U.S. citizens and worked hard to help build their community. Their hard work and sacrifice to make a better life for themselves and future generations is an inspiring example to us all. The alien ownership bill would not get more people to follow their example. It would, paradoxically, drive out the descendants of earlier immigrants by forcing them out of the land market.

Today's young, resident Minnesota farmers could find themselves in the same situation as 19th century Europeans -- unable to buy land and looking for someplace else to farm and call home.

-- Margaret Ness, Chester, Iowa

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