Reps. Bishop, Davis Joined By Rep. Austin Scott As GOP Co-Lead Of HEIRS Property Act

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

 Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) and Congressman Don Davis (NC-01) welcome Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) as the Republican co-lead of H.R. 8198, the Heirs Education and Investment to Resolve Succession of (HEIRS) Property Act. The bill would reauthorize the Heirs Property Intermediary Relending Program. It would also amend existing law to direct the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to work with nonprofit organizations to provide pro-bono legal or accounting services in resolving ownership and succession of farmland for underserved limited-resource or socially disadvantaged heirs.

“Heirs’ property is a complex issue that has left many families without clear title to the land that they have farmed and, in many cases, lived on for generations. The HEIRS Property Act provides necessary resources to help these families navigate the legal process and protect family-owned and operated farmland,” said Congressman Austin Scott.

When they introduced the bill, Congressmen Bishop and Davis noted the importance of the bill in helping preserve land for families to continue agricultural production.

“In order to make sure America continues to produce the highest quality, most affordable food and fiber, we have to support the family farmers who are the backbone of our agriculture industry,” said Congressman Sanford Bishop. “When there is no clear title of landownership, it makes farmland vulnerable to predatory land speculators, which has cost families – and our country – millions of acres of lost farmland over the last century. It affects all agricultural producers but has hit Black farmers particularly hard. This bill will make sure that there are community resources available to families to help them navigate heirs’ property legal issues so that they can keep family land in agriculture from generation to generation.”

“Black farmers and their families have long been a crucial part of the rich agricultural traditions of eastern North Carolina and America. Sadly, too many have lost their land or access to their family history due to heirs’ property issues,” said Congressman Don Davis. “The HEIRS Property Act makes it easier for local non-profit organizations, who provide the necessary legal expertise, to connect and work with heirs in their fight to bring the land back to agricultural use.”

Twenty community organizations support H.R. 8198. For a list of supporting organizations and supporting statements, you can visit Congressman Bishop’s website: