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Bill Gates began to work as a farmer. He is now the largest owner of farmland in America

(Photo by Jimmy McCarthy / Getty Images for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

This article was written by Ariel Shapiro is Back Your Forbes.com website.

Bill GatesThe fourth richest person in the world, a nerd by his own definition, best known for his early skills as a programmer rather than his love for the outdoors, he has quietly amassed 242,000 acres of farmland across the United States. Enough to make him the largest private farm owner in America.

For years there have been reports of a founder Microsoft He was buying land in areas like Florida and Washington state. Currently Earth report I showed That Gates has estimated assets of $ 121 billion Forbes, Has built a huge portfolio of farmland spread over 18 states. Its largest holdings are in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres), and Nebraska (20,588 acres). It also has a stake in 25,750 acres under transformation in West Phoenix, Arizona, which will become a new suburb.

According to the search Earth reportGates owns the land directly or through others Cascade Investments, Gates’ personal investment tool. Other Cascade investments include Ecolab, a food safety company, Vroom, a used car dealer, and Canadian National Railways.

It might come as a surprise that the tech billionaire is also the largest owner of farmland in the United States. However, this was not Gates’ first foray into agriculture. In 2008, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a grant of $ 306 million to promote sustainable, high-yielding agriculture among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The corporation has made more investments in developing and spreading climate-resistant “super crops” and dairy cows. Last year, the organization announced the birth of Gates Ag One, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing on these fronts.

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It is not entirely clear how the Gates’ land is being used, or whether a small portion is designated for preservation (Cascade did not respond to a request for comment from Forbes). However, there are some indications that the land may have a use in line with its base values. Cottonwood Ag Management, a subsidiary of Cascade, is a member of Leading Harvest, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture policies that prioritize protecting crops, soil and water.

Gates is not the only billionaire in the ranking Earth report One of the largest owners of private farmland in America. Wonderful Company founders, Stuart E. Linda Resnick (Assets: $ 7.1 billion), in third place, with an area of ​​190,000 acres. Their lands produce goods that their brands use, such as POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios, and Wonderful Halos Mandarins.

If Gates is the largest landowner in the country, then he is by no means the largest land owner overall. At the top of Arrangement Earth report One of the 100 largest landowners in America There is a head of Liberty Media, John MaloneWhich possesses 2.2 million acres of grassland and forests. Founder of CNN, Ted TurnerAnd the third, with two million acres of farmland spread over eight states. Even the CEO of Amazon, Jeff BezosIt makes extensive investments in land: it ranks 25th in the ranking, with 420,000 acres, most of which are concentrated in West Texas.

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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