Cumulatively, the Gates family owns 269,000 acres of farmland across 18 states, making him America's biggest owner of private farmland.
Bill Gates is the largest private farmland owner in the US. The potatoes in McDonald’s French fries, the carrots, and the onions that Americans sauté every night for dinner are all grown on his soil, says a report by NBC.
According to the news broadcaster, data by The Land Report and its own research, show that Bill Gates and his wife – who recently divorced him – have various landholdings across different states.
They range from 70,000 acres in north Louisiana, where their farmland grows soybeans, corn, cotton, and rice, to 20,000 acres in Nebraska, where farmers grow soybeans.
The report further noted that the Gateses bought and later sold an additional 6,000 acres in Georgia. In Washington, they own over 14,000 acres of farmland that includes potato fields “so massive that they are visible from space” and some of which are processed into French fries for McDonald’s. NBC also found that farmers in Florida grow carrots on their property.
It is worth noting that these landholdings by Gates are different from the previous investments he and his wife made in companies that support large-scale farming such as Monsanto and the tractor manufacturer John Deere.
Cumulatively, the Gates family owns 269,000 acres of farmland across 18 states, making him America’s biggest owner of private farmland.
Initially, the Land Report had states that Gates’ US farmland is held both directly and through his investment group, Cascade, which was recently mentioned in a New York Times investigation alleging inappropriate workplace behavior.
Bill Gates is known for his philanthropic work geared towards solving some of the world’s most pressing public health and climate problems. Sadly, the findings by NBC imply that does not consider his American farmland investments as part of his broader plans to save the planet.
“My investment group chose to do this,” said Gates on Reddit in March when asked about his farmland purchases while promoting his latest book, “How to Avoid A Climate Disaster.”
“It is not connected to climate,” he added while acknowledging that more productive farming techniques can help reduce deforestation in other parts of the world.
Gates, while promoting his book also advocated for rich nations to shift entirely to eating synthetic meat as a measure of reducing the greenhouse-gas emissions driving climate change.
But this has left some people wondering, could his advocacy for such meat a strategy for getting more people to eat his farmland produce? Is he only interested in promoting solutions and industries that he has financial investments in?