Bill Gates Becomes Biggest Owner of US Farmland, New Report Shows

© AP Photo / Samuel HabtabBill Gates, chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, attends the "Africa Leadership Meeting - Investing in Health Outcomes" held at a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 9 February 2019.
Bill Gates, chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, attends the Africa Leadership Meeting - Investing in Health Outcomes held at a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 9 February 2019.  - Sputnik International
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Although best known as Microsoft's co-founder and one of the richest people on the planet, Gates has had a vested interest in farming since at least early 2000s, funnelling money into the agricultural sector in developing countries.

Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have been named the top owners of US farmland, having acquired 242,000 acres (almost 1,000 square kilometres) across more than a dozen states.

According to The Land Report, their largest holdings are as follows:

  • Louisiana 69,071 acres
  • Arkansas 47,927 acres
  • Nebraska 20,588 acres
  • Arizona 25,750 acres
  • Washington state 16,097 acres

Farmer in a field in Springfield, Nebraska - Sputnik International
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The magazine cited the Wall Street Journal profile of Michael Larson - the fund manager who the Gates family hired back in 1994 to diversify their assets - as saying that the couple invested in more than 100,000 acres of farmland across the US, but that this number has since doubled.

Since the early 2000s, Gates and his wife have been engaged in several endeavours to help farmers in developing countries. About a year ago, the billionaire established Gates Ag One to boost agriculture in less advantaged societies.

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