Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is now the largest owner of private farmland in the U.S., according to a report by The Land Report. Over the years, Gates, the fourth richest person in the world, has acquired 242,0000 acres of farmland across America.
Biggest Farmland Owner in the U.S.
Gates owns farmland in 18 states. His largest swaths of land are in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres). He also has 25,750 acres of transitional land near Phoenix, Arizona, which is being developed as a new suburb.
According to The Land Report, Gates' land is held privately and through third party entities by Gates' personal investment vehicle, Cascade Investments.
Forbes reports that in 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $306 million in grants to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to promote sustainable agriculture. The foundation also partnered with the Department for International Development to support agricultural research projects in developing countries.
Last year, Gates created Gates Ag One, a nonprofit, to support agriculture in developing countries.
In addition to Gates, billionaire Wonderful Company cofounders Stewart and Lynda Resnick also appear on The Land Report's list of largest private farmland owners, appearing at No. 3 with 190,000 acres.
The largest individual landowner is Liberty Media Chair John Malone, who owns 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests. CNN founder Ted Turner, who owns 2 million acres of ranch land, and Amazon found Jeff Bezos, who owns 420,000 acres of land primarily in Texas, made the list at No. 3 and No. 25, respectively.