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The months-long debate about the proposed corn milling plant from Fufeng Group, a China-based agribusiness, has created a lot of discussion in and around Grand Forks since the plant was first announced in November, at times gaining national attention.

A few U.S. senators, including North Dakota's Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven, have called for a deeper look at the plant, which would sit about 12 miles away from Grand Forks Air Force Base. The company's ties to China, as well as worries about the environment and other concerns, have made for raucous city council meetings at times and a long process for local leaders. Get the latest headlines on the Fufeng controversy right here.


Latest Headlines
South Dakota U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, one of 51 U.S. representatives who signed the Sept. 26 letter, told Agweek in a prepared statement, “China is not our friend, and if a purchase such as the one near the Grand Forks Air Force Base is a strategic move by the Chinese Communist Party to intercept sensitive U.S. military communications, this would cause serious problems."
The state of North Dakota extended the deadline to Dec. 15, 2022, after it received no bids by the Aug. 15 deadline for the pipeline that would carry natural gas from east to west to existing and proposed agricultural manufacturing plants in Grand Forks.
Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski said the city intends to “pause construction work on Fufeng USA specific items” until the federal review is complete.
"Both Kevin and I have advised them that we think that because of security concerns, it’d be better to find some other company to work with on the ag part,” Sen. John Hoeven told the Herald.
The bill comes amid national debate on the country’s relationship with China and companies that have ties to China. Locally, conversations about Fufeng Group and its proposed corn milling plant have gotten heated at times, with some expressing concerns about the company’s ties to China and others worried about its environmental impact.
The legislation would bar entities linked with China and a handful of other countries from buying land or agricultural business in the United States, building on a similar proposal sponsored by Rep. Dusty Johnson in the House last month. Rounds linked the protection of American agriculture to national security, pointing to the controversy over Fufeng Group's purchase of land near Grand Forks Air Base.

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It was the second time that there were no bids for the pipeline project. There also were no bids on the project by the initial May 1, 2022, deadline.
In an hour-long interview on the Plain Talk podcast, Sen. Kevin Cramer talks about the political issues making headlines today.
Also in recent days, CNN has reported that equipment placed at sites in the U.S. by the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has raised concern by the FBI. The city administrator, however, counters that the Huawei issue is much different since it's a telecommunications company, and not an agribusiness.

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