Everyone knows Bill Gates as a rich man, a CEO, a philanthropist, and a technical genius. But what if somebody told you that Gates was also America’s farmland king? Well, believe it or not, that’s a description that fits Gates, who now owns more farmland than anyone else in the United States
According to The Land Report, a magazine that focuses on land ownership, recent additions to his portfolio mean that Gates is America’s biggest farmland owner. While the likes of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have passed Gates on the list of the richest people in the world, the founder of Microsoft is making up for it by being the largest farmland owner in America.
All of His Land
According to The Land Report, Gates is now in control of roughly 242,000 acres of farmland, making him the largest farmland owner in America. The land is either owned by Gates directly or owned through Cascade Investment, which is the firm that manages much of the $132 billion that Gates is worth. That land is spread out over at least 18 different states.
A significant portion of that farmland is in Louisiana, where Gates owns over 69,000 acres, and Arkansas, where he supposedly owns close to 48,000 acres of farmland. If one were to add up all 242,000 acres of farmland that Gates owns, it would be roughly one-third the size of Rhode Island. All of that is on top of the rest of Gates’ properties that are unrelated to farming, including his 16,000-acre estate in Washington State and a 14,500-acre area in Horse Heaven Hills in Washington that cost Gates $171 million.
What’s Happening on the Farm
Now that Gates is America’s biggest farmland owner, the question on everyone’s mind is what he’s doing with all of that farmland. With Gates and Cascade Investment being in control of so many different farming properties in so many states, it’s impossible to say what’s going on with all of them or what the billionaire’s intentions are with all of that land.
One must assume that the software genius isn’t personally working the land. However, a businessman as smart as Gates knows that farming is a good investment and a great way to diversify his portfolio.
Sustainable Farming Practices
Likewise, Cascade Investment has made it clear that it supports sustainable farming practices. The firm has also invested in technologies related to agriculture, including Impossible Foods, which is a company that makes the kind of fake meat that is made from plants and is becoming wildly popular, even within the fast-food industry.
Keep in mind that last year the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation created a non-profit called Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations, which aims to help small farmers adapt to the challenges created by climate change. Based on that, it’s obvious that Gates has always had a soft spot for farming and agriculture.
While Gates has lost his standing as the world’s richest person, he’s surpassed the competition as America’s farmland king. Rather than going neck and neck with Bezos and Musk, Gates and his 242,000 farmland acres are in the same ballpark as the 190,000 acres owned by the Offut family, which is best known for growing potatoes. Stewart & Lynda Resnick also own 190,000 acres of farmland while the Boswell and Fanjul families are also on the list of American farming royalty.
Of course, if Gates is going to do something, he’s going to try to be the best at it. He’s done it most of his life in the computer technology field while also becoming a world-renown philanthropist. It now appears that Gates is intent on becoming the best farmer in America. For what it’s worth, the 2.2 million acres of land owned by John Malone make him the country’s largest landowner. But in terms of farmland, Gates is now king, adding that to his long list of accomplishments.