New law means immigrants with E-2 visas can buy up to 1,500 acres of land for a dairy farm in the state.

A new law that lets immigrants with E-2 visas buy up to 1,500 acres of land in Minnesota for a dairy has some Minnesota producers crying foul.

Supporters of the law say it is a way to bring buyers in to set up dairies in some now empty farms — something that is needed to help maintain the state’s dairy industry and infrastructure.

Opponents say these new buyers will drive up land prices and essentially price local residents out of the market. In addition, opponents are concerned that these new large farms will drive down milk prices, and that it is the wrong solution to the current problem of diminishing dairies. Instead, the state should be creating programs that help young producers get into dairying.

The law requires immigrants to live in the state at least 10 months of the year and to work toward becoming a permanent resident.

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