Stories about Bill Gates rapidly buying up farmland in America are getting more play – it is all just a conspiracy or is there something more going on? In this article, we provide analysis from various sources so you can decide for yourself what to believe. What follows is a collection of articles on Bill Gates buying American Farmland.
Bill Gates Is This Country’s Biggest Farmland Owner
Knowledge is power. So is ownership, including land ownership. Did you know that Bill Gates is America’s top farmland investor? This short video reveals many of the global strategies Gates has been using to influence your health and the food supply.
Through his founding of the second-largest technological company in the world,1 Gates has developed financial and influential relationships with powerful organizations responsible for many global decisions that affect your life.
Subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, his movements have grown a massive financial empire and expanded his ability to create change to support his goals. Gates is also a supporter of the “Great Reset” that promises “social cohesion, fairness, inclusion and equality,”2 while allowing elite billionaires to practice strategies that grew his and other billionaires’ wealth by 26% during the pandemic in 2020.3
In other words, while supporting Marxist principles to spread the wealth — so by 2030 you can say, “I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy and Life Has Never Been Better”4 — he is enjoying the fruits of his labor by accumulating more wealth and property, a decidedly different approach to the Great Reset he promotes.
Put plainly, the political and ideological foundations of Marxism have once again surfaced, and in some arenas, are celebrated. However, it’s vital to remember that unlike Walgreens’ advertising campaign featuring a picture-perfect town of “Perfect,”5 Marxist philosophy has created tyranny and was responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million people in the last century, as aptly described by James Bovard in USA Today.6
History is studied and shared so the mistakes of the past are not repeated. However, it’s evident there are many who have forgotten, or never learned, what resulted behind the Iron Curtain from implementing the socialist principles which now underpin the Great Reset.
The Great Reset or Fourth Industrial Revolution has strong supporters among wealthy technocrats who will not redistribute their own wealth, but will only continue to grow their financial empires as the rest of the world suffers. Indeed, 2020 has only been a taste of what could come as more people lose their jobs and financial security, while those controlling the event become wealthier.
Bill Gates Is Now the Biggest Farmland Owner
The Land Report announced that multibillionaire Bill Gates currently holds the title as America’s biggest private farmland owner. He owns 242,000 acres, nearly 52,000 more than the next largest farmland owner.7 To put this in perspective, 52,000 is equal to 39,325 football fields, including the end zones.8 His farmland (approximately 378.125 square miles) would rank in total land mass as the eighth largest city in the U.S. in 2010.9
It was Eric O’Keefe from the Land Report10 who ferreted out the story after reading that 14,500 acres of choice farmland in Benton County, Washington, had been sold for $171 million, or nearly $12,000 per acre. O’Keefe describes the area as “some of the richest farmland in the Lower 48,” that “savvy investors have been plowing millions of dollars into.”11
Although the seller was listed as John Hancock Life Insurance, the buyer was reported as a limited liability company from Louisiana. Digging deeper and engaging their research team, he discovered the paper trail led to a company managed by Michael Larson, manager of the Gates’ personal portfolio and much of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the last 25 years.
Larson primarily uses Cascade Investment LLC as the entity through which he manages their personal portfolio. O’Keefe details the sequence in which the land changed hands over 10 years. The largest single block of farmland was quietly acquired by Cascade in 2017, one year after it was purchased by a Canadian firm.12
The sale was revealed in the Canadian firm’s quarterly statement, in which they reported offloading $520 million in farmland offered in a single block. An investigative journalist ultimately found the half-billion-dollar sale led to Cascade Investment LLC.
Gates Is Not the Largest Individual Landowner
Gates owns a substantial amount of land, for a total of 268,894 acres if you count his transitional and recreational properties. But, he’s not the only billionaire who tops the Land Report list. Stewart and Lynda Resnick, co-founders of Wonderful Company, come in at No. 2, owning 190,000 acres. They use their farmland to support their food products, such as Wonderful Pistachios and Wonderful Halos Mandarin oranges.13
Gates also is not the largest individual landowner overall, as that spot goes to John Malone, chairman of the board at Liberty Media Corporation and former chief executive officer for Tele-Communications Inc.14 Malone owns 2.2 million acres of forest and ranch land; media Mogul Ted Turner owns 2 million across eight states.15
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is also heavily invested in land, coming in the 25th spot at 420,000 acres located mostly in Texas.16 The remaining list is filled with recognizable names, including the King Ranch, Ford family and the Kennedy Memorial Foundation.17
In addition to farmland, Cascade Investment has purchased 24,800 acres of transitional property west of Phoenix, which is poised for city expansion projected to include: “up to 80,000 homes; 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space; 3,400 acres of open space; and 470 acres for public schools.”18
Cascade also bought 1,234 recreational acres, making the land Gates owns through just Cascade Investment LLC at 268,984 acres. Separate from the Gates’ personal holdings is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has no ties to Cascade, but does have a farmland initiative called Gates Ag One, which19
“… aims to speed up efforts to provide smallholder farmers in developing countries, many of whom are women, with access to the affordable tools and innovations they need to sustainably improve crop productivity and adapt to the effects of climate change.”
What Is the Leading Harvest Standard?
Although Cascade Investment has declined to make any comment on the quiet transactions through the Canadian company, they have come out in support of sustainable farming. One of the entities owned by Cascade, Cottonwood Ag Management, is an initial member of Leading Harvest, a nonprofit organization formed to advance:20
“… sustainable agriculture, providing assurance programs comprised of standards, audit procedures, training and education, and reporting and claim offerings that are optimized for flexibility, scalability, and impact.”
As O’Keefe describes it, the goal is to create a “sustainability standard that can be implemented across the greatest swath of agricultural acreage.”21 Yet, while this goal is commendable, they remain words on paper without a substantive foundation.
In other words, according to the organization, they do not offer farmers guidance to achieve the goal, only the formation of a certification program to audit the farmers’ results.22 In their publication, they describe the program:23
“It does not prescribe practices necessary to conform with the Standard; rather, it provides family farmers and farm managers the flexibility to select best practices for sustainable outcomes. This approach allows for adaptation across crops and geographies, recognizing that even a single crop can require unique management strategies in different regions.
An outcome-based approach recognizes that prescribing the same processes and metrics across geographies can be ineffective. By encouraging farmers to innovate new approaches and apply best management practices suited for their crops and consistent with regional best practices, management results are improved, and greater sustainability outcomes are achieved.”
In other words, instead of guidance and standards for how the farmer achieves sustainability and protects the future of farming, they created a certification for farmers to demonstrate their participation in developing practices where the end result meets their standard — do the ends justify the means?
Gates Seeking Sustainable Energy in All the Wrong Places
Gates has been calling for sustainable energy and a reduction of carbon emissions for over a decade.24 At one point in a 2010 TED talk, he questioned if we need another Manhattan Project to discover a renewable and safe energy source.
If you don’t remember, the Manhattan Project was the code name given to an operation aimed at discovering a functional nuclear weapon,25 that resulted in a bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. When asked how he would deal with climate change skeptics, he said:26
“The main problem we have here — it’s kind of like AIDS: You make the mistake now, and you pay for it a lot later. And so, when you have all sorts of urgent problems, the idea of taking pain now that has to do with a gain later, and a somewhat uncertain pain thing.”
Gates spoke about climate change and the technological advancements that may be necessary in an interview with a journalist from The Atlantic in 2015. The journalist recorded this response:27
“Yes, the government will be somewhat inept,” he said brusquely, swatting aside one objection as a trivial statement of the obvious. “But the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.”
Gates Calls Plant-Based and Lab-Grown Meat Sustainable
While Gates may not think highly of the government or entrepreneurs, he does believe that plant-based and lab-grown meat alternatives are healthy and sustainable. Historically, some of the decisions from the Gates Foundation haven’t been focused on the environment but, rather, cloaked in rhetoric that appears environmentally friendly.
For example, despite a lack of consensus on GMO safety,28 in 2010 the Gates Foundation aligned itself with Monsanto and Cargill. They invested nearly $23 million in 500,000 Monsanto shares.
Subsequently, a South African watchdog group discovered the Gates Foundation had also invested $10 million in Cargill to “develop the soya value chain,”29 which The Guardian wrote probably meant the “big time introduction of GM soy in southern Africa.”30
In 2010, The Guardian also reported that Gates had funded research to develop machines that would spray seawater into the clouds with the goal of increasing the ability to reflect sunlight into space, and therefore reduce global warming. The move triggered a call for a global ban on geoengineering experiments from the ETC Group and a comment from co-executive director Jim Thomas:31
“We knew Microsoft was developing cloud applications for computers but we didn’t expect this. Bill Gates and his cloud-wrenching cronies have no right to unilaterally change our seas and skies in this way.”
Not to be deterred by naysayers, eight years later in 2018 Gates agreed to help fund experiments for Harvard scientists, who proposed to spray the stratosphere with calcium chloride to help slow the Earth’s warming.32
In keeping with past decisions, Gates also supports plant-based and lab-grown meat alternatives,33,34 which are riddled with patented chemicals and genetically engineered ingredients. Seth Itzkan from Soil4Climate, characterizes one fake-meat product this way:35
“Impossible Foods should really be called Impossible Patents. It’s not food; it’s software, intellectual property — 14 patents, in fact, in each bite of Impossible Burger with over 100 additional patents pending for animal proxies from chicken to fish. It’s iFood, the next killer app. Just download your flavor. This is likely the appeal for Bill Gates, their über investor.”
Presumably, his support of chemical food, reminiscent of the DuPont slogan “Better things for better living through chemistry,”36 is to reduce carbon emissions. However, as has been documented and covered in “More Reasons to Avoid “Beyond” Fake Meat,” regenerative farming practices are better for the land, the animals and your health.
Your Health Depends on Whole Food
Convinced that their method of producing chemical-based food reduces the carbon footprint, Impossible Foods hired Quantis to give them scientific evidence.37 According to the executive summary published on their website, their product reduces the environmental impact between 87% and 96% in the categories Quantis studied, including global warming potential, land occupation and water consumption.
However, Quantis compared fake meat production against CAFOs, which are notoriously destructive. On the other hand, White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia, practices true sustainable, regenerative farming and produces high-quality, grass fed products.
White Oak Pastures commissioned the same analysis, by the same company, which showed they had a net total emission in the negative numbers.38 It’s also worth noting that the Impossible Burger is made from GMO soy containing glyphosate.
Your health and longevity are dependent on providing your body with necessary nutrients from whole food. It’s simply impossible to be sustained by synthetic chemicals, toxic GMO grains contaminated with pesticides and fake meat. Regenerative farming practices can provide whole food and can have a positive impact on the environment.
Imagine the powerful influence Gates could have on the environment and the country if he would move his massive acreage into regenerative farming practices. This could raise the quality of food the land produces and demonstrate sustainable practices that can be followed around the world.
Instead, it appears that financial motivations are helping to drive environmental decisions to support his personal goals. The movement to develop fake food is lucrative as I discuss in “The Fake Food Race is Worth $3 Trillion.” However, you can protect your health and your future by starting with a few simple guidelines that I outline in the linked article.
– Sources and References
- 1 Visual Capitalist, August 4, 2020
- 2 YouTube, August 4, 2020
- 3 Interpress Service, December 1, 2020
- 4 Forbes, November 10, 2016
- 5 YouTube, January 2, 2010
- 6 USA Today, May 5, 2018
- 7, 10, 11, 12, 18, 21 Land Report, January 11, 2021
- 8 Reference, March 29, 2020
- 9 Index Mundi, Top 100 Cities Ranked by Land area in square miles, 2010
- 13, 15, 16 Forbes, January 14, 2021
- 14 Liberty, John C Malone
- 17 The Land Report 100
- 19 Gates Foundation, January 21, 2020
- 20 Leading Harvest, Our Mission and Vision for the Future
- 22, 23 Leading Harvest, A Primer for Understanding the Leading Harvest Farmland Management Standard
- 24 TED 2010
- 25 History, January 17, 2020
- 26 TED2010; Bill Gates
- 27 The Atlantic, November 2015
- 28 Environmental Sciences Europe, 2015;27(4)
- 29 African Center for Biodiversity, September 1, 2010
- 30 The Guardian, September 29, 2010
- 31 The Guardian, May 14, 2010
- 32 Forbes December 5, 2018
- 33 CNBC, March 23, 2018
- 34 Business Insider, June 8, 2018
- 35 Medium, May 25, 2020
- 36 Daily, July 13, 2019, para 3
- 37 Impossible Food, Environmental Life Cycle Analysis: Impossible Burger 2.0, March 20, 2019
- 38 Quantis, Carbon Footprint Evaluation of Regenerative Grazing at White Oaks Pastures Page 6
5 Reasons Why Bill Gates is Buying American Farmland – The Video
This video is from the YouTube Channel ReallyGraceful and discusses 5 theories why Bill Gates is buying American Farmland.
BILL GATES IS ABOUT TO CHANGE THE WAY AMERICA FARMS
(Article by Eric O’Keefe of Agriculture.com)
THE COFOUNDER OF MICROSOFT AND HIS WIFE MAKE AN AUSPICIOUS DEBUT ON THE 2020 LAND REPORT 100, AS AMERICA’S LARGEST PRIVATE FARMLAND OWNERS.
Call it a hunch, but the story did not jibe. I scanned the headline for the umpteenth time and then read and reread the pertinent details. Something was missing. Either that or I had a screw loose.
According to the Tri-City Herald, a 14,500-acre swath of choice eastern Washington farmland in the Horse Heaven Hills of Benton County had just traded hands for almost $171 million. That’s a ginormous deal, one that pencils out to almost $12,000 per acre for a whole lot of acres. Pretty pricey dirt, right? That’s exactly what I thought. Especially when it comes to row crops like sweet corn and wheat, which were grown in rotation with potatoes on 100 Circles, which is the name of the property that changed hands.
Then again, farmers and investors in the Mid-Columbia River market expect to pay $10,000 to $15,000 for good ground. Anyone who has ever studied the Columbia River Basin knows that the tillable acreage there is coveted ground, a geologic wonder. The soil profile and underlying silty loess are in a league of their own.
I had gained this smidgen of geologic proficiency while researching our 2018 Farmland Deal of the Year, Weidert Farm, in neighboring Walla Walla County. One of the most telling moments in the field that summer came when a soil scientist by the name of Alan Busacca grabbed a shovel and stepped into a 10-foot trench that had been ripped open on the farm by a Caterpillar 336. Dusky layers of silt and sand towered over the 6-foot-tall retired Washington State professor. There wasn’t a rock, let alone a pebble, or even a root to be seen in the soil. Busacca was in his element: It was some of the richest farmland in the Lower 48. And from an agricultural perspective, the region surrounding Walla Walla and the Horse Heaven Hills has evolved into a commercial hub, complete with controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure, and ready access to low-cost hydropower.
These are a few of the reasons why savvy investors have been plowing millions of dollars into farmland on both the Oregon and the Washington sides of the Columbia River Gorge. At current valuations, it’s one of the nation’s best farmland opportunities. In 2018, when 100 Circles sold, it was even better. More often than not, farmland sales involve hundreds of acres. Thousand-acre transactions — such as the sale of 6,000- acre Weidert Farm to Farmland L.P. two years ago and the 6,175-acre Broetje Orchards acquisition by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan last year — are blue-moon events.
Tens of thousands of acres? Only sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors can stroke a check for tracts in that league, which is exactly what occurred on the sell side of the 100 Circles transaction: The seller was John Hancock Life Insurance, a multibillion-dollar asset manager with key holdings in all the major U.S. markets as well as Canada and Australia.
The story went dark on the buy side, however. The Tri-City Herald reported that the purchaser was a “Louisiana investor,” a limited liability company associated with Angelina Agriculture of Monterey, Louisiana. Sorry, but that didn’t pass the sniff test.
The Land Report tracks numerous Louisiana landowners; Angelina Agriculture is not one of them. Let’s call that strike one. The burgeoning metropolis of Monterey, population 462, rang a bell, but despite my best efforts, I couldn’t connect the dots to anyone whom we had profiled in The Land Report or, for that matter, anyone who was on our watch list. So I took a look at Dun & Bradstreet. At its listed headquarters — 8318 Highway 565 — Angelina Agriculture boasted two employees and reported annual revenues just north of $300,000. Given the size and cost of 100 Circles, both of those figures made no sense at all. Strike two. How about Google Maps? An aerial image of the Highway 565 address revealed a small metal-sided building off by itself in the woods. Strike three, right?
One of my favorite Clint Eastwood movies is the 1999 mystery/thriller True Crime. In it, the four-time Academy Award winner plays an over-the-hill journalist who has a nose for a story. I am quite confident that Eastwood’s character, Steve Everett, would have picked up the stench from this setup a mile off: a $171 million acquisition by an LLC with two employees in a metal-sided building down a dirt road off the Bayou Teche?
I forwarded the lead to our Land Report 100 Research Team. Minutes later, a terse response arrived:
“Ever hear of Bill Gates?”
THE PAPER TRAIL
Actually, when it comes to the extensive farmland portfolio of Bill and Melinda Gates, the question should be, “Ever hear of Michael Larson?” For the last 25 years, the Claremont McKenna College alum has managed the Gateses’ personal portfolio as well as the considerable holdings of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (Although our researchers identified dozens of different entities that own the Gateses’ assets, Larson himself operates primarily through an entity called Cascade Investment LLC.)
In 1994, the Gateses hired the former Putnam Investments bond-fund manager to diversify the couple’s portfolio away from the Microsoft cofounder’s 45% stake in the technology giant while maintaining comparable or better returns. According to a 2014 profile of Larson in the Wall Street Journal, these investments include a substantial stake in AutoNation, hospitality interests such as the Charles Hotel in Cambridge and the Four Seasons in San Francisco, and “at least 100,000 acres of farmland in California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and other states … .” According to the Land Report 100 Research Team, that figure is currently more than twice that amount, which means Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft, has an alter ego: Farmer Bill, the guy who owns more farmland than anyone else in America.
The Gateses’ largest single block of dirt was acquired in 2017: a group of farmland assets owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Based in Toronto, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board began assembling an agricultural portfolio in 2013, when it acquired AgCoA, aka, Agricultural Company of America. This private U.S. farmland REIT was a joint venture between Duquesne Capital Management and Goldman Sachs that launched in 2007. Over the next five years, AgCoA acquired more than 100,000 acres in nine states. By the time it was sold to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in 2013, AgCoA ranked as one of the leading institutional owners of row-crop farmland in the United States.
After AgCoA, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board acquired a second tranche of farmland assets when it paid $2.5 billion for a 40% stake in Glencore Agricultural Products in 2016. The very next year, however, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board began shedding these very same farmland assets as quickly as it had acquired them.
And it did this so quietly one might even say it was done in secret.
There was no public announcement, and no notice in the business press. Instead, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board revealed in the fine print of a quarterly statement that it had sold $520 million in U.S. farmland assets held by Agriculture Company of America. Credit Chris Janiec at Agri Investor for this eagle-eyed investigating. The Americas Editor at Agri Investor, Janiec reported that the assets had been offered as a single block and “that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is thought to be the buyer of CPPIB’s farmland.” Janiec stayed on the story, and the following year, he confirmed the parameters of sale when he reported the addition of 61 properties valued at approximately $500 million to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries’ (NCREIF) U.S. Farmland Index. This half-billion-dollar figure corroborated the AgCoA acquisition, and the paper trail led directly to Cascade Investment LLC.
All told, the 2017 acquisition of AgCoA and the 2018 acquisition of the 100 Circles tract in the Horse Heaven Hills of eastern Washington total an investment in farmland assets of more than $690 million. Janiec’s sources said some of the AgCoA assets were quickly sold off, but according to the Land Report 100 Research Team, an estimated 242,000 acres of farmland remained.
Yet farmland assets aren’t the sole component of the Gateses’ landholdings. In 2017, Cascade Investment bought a “significant stake” in 24,800 acres of transitional land on the western edge of Phoenix, the most populous city in Arizona and the tenth-largest metropolitan area in the country. The acreage sits off Interstate 10, and it is poised to be accessible by Interstate 11, a proposed highway that would traverse 5 miles of the 40-square-mile holding. At buildout, the Belmont development will create a brand-new metropolis, one similar in size to the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, home to Arizona State University and almost 200,000 residents. According to The Arizona Republic, Belmont is projected to include up to 80,000 homes; 3,800 acres of industrial, office, and retail space; 3,400 acres of open space; and 470 acres for public schools.
Cascade Investment doubled down on Phoenix transitional land two years later when it made a second major investment by acquiring more than 2,800 acres known as Spurlock Ranch in Buckeye for $25 million.
A spokesman for Cascade Investment declined to comment on any of the details associated with these transactions or the Gateses’ holdings, other than to say that Cascade is very supportive of sustainable farming.
Much like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation uses science and technology to achieve a number of worthy goals — including transitioning millions of people out of poverty, improving people’s health and well-being, and ensuring that all people have access to opportunities necessary to succeed in school and in life — Cascade’s farmland holdings also aim to further laudable objectives.
In January 2020, The Land Report announced the launch of a sustainability standard that was developed by U.S. farmland owners and operators. Called Leading Harvest, the organization’s goal is to create a sustainability standard that can be implemented across the greatest swath of agricultural acreage. Currently, more than 2 million acres in 22 states and an additional 2 million acres in seven countries are represented. Among the participants in the 13-member Sustainable Agriculture Working Group are Ceres Partners, Hancock Natural Resources Group, The Rohaytn Group, and UBS Farmland Investors.
Not surprisingly, one of Leading Harvest’s other inaugural members is a Cascade entity called Cottonwood Ag Management. Committing the resources to launch this all-important standard validates the assertion that Cascade supports sustainable strategies that advance resiliency and efficiency, retain talent, and reduce regulatory burdens.
Although the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has no ties whatsoever to Cascade or its investments, it also has a farmland initiative: Gates Ag One, which has established its headquarters in the Greater St. Louis area. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Gates Ag One will focus on research that helps “small-holder farmers adapt to climate change and make food production in low- and middle-income countries more productive, resilient, and sustainable.”
Remember that metal-sided building down near the Bayou Teche? Turns out that very same property had caught my eye way back when The Land Report was preparing to launch in 2006. Does the name Bernie Ebbers ring a bell? Once upon a time, the business press dubbed the colorful entrepreneur “the telecom cowboy.” That was before the Edmonton native was put on trial for his role in what was, at the time, the largest corporate bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.
In 2005, the former WorldCom CEO was convicted of securities fraud, conspiracy, and filing false reports that were instrumental in WorldCom’s $11 billion dollar accounting fraud. After losing his appeal in 2006, Ebbers spent most of the rest of his life in a federal prison before being granted compassionate release by a federal judge earlier this year. He died on February 2 surrounded by his family.
Ebbers was many things — a dreamer, a liar, a swindler — and he loved land. In 1998, when he was the toast of Wall Street, the telecom cowboy paid British Columbia’s Woodward family the astronomical sum of $73 million for Canada’s largest ranch: 500,000-acre Douglas Lake, a 22,000-head cattle operation. Ebbers subsequently pledged Douglas Lake as collateral for $400 million he ended up borrowing from WorldCom, and in 2003, WorldCom sold Douglas Lake to Kroenke Ranches. The $68.5 million that Kroenke Ranches paid was applied to Ebbers’s IOU. He also owned a 26,236-acre Louisiana farm. It, too, was sold, on September 25, 2006, the day before Ebbers began serving his sentence at the Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution. It was his last deal as a free man.
When Ebbers owned this Louisiana farm, it was known as Angelina Plantation. And its headquarters was in — you guessed it — Monterey, Louisiana. That was the missing piece of the puzzle I had been searching for as I read the Tri-City Herald story. In a former life, Angelina, the purchaser that paid $171 million for 100 Circles in 2018, was, in fact, Bernie Ebbers’s Angelina Plantation.
The day before he went to prison, Ebbers sold Angelina for $32 million. The farm was subsequently sold to AgCoA, which was acquired by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. In 2017, Angelina Plantation changed hands one more time and became one of the principal farmland assets in the Gateses’ Cascade Investment’s portfolio.
It took a dozen years, but the ownership of that Louisiana farmland went from Bernie Ebbers to Bill Gates with a couple of stops in between. I readily admit forgetting where and when I first caught wind of it, but the moment I read that Tri-City Herald story, I knew the ending definitely needed a rewrite.
Steve Everett would be proud.
Bill Gates is now America’s biggest farmland owner
(Article by Paul Sacca of TheBlaze.com)
That’s a lot of land
Bill Gates is now the largest private farmland owner in the United States, according to a new report. Gates, who is the fourth-richest person in the world, owns an estimated 242,000 acres of farmland, analysis by The Land Report discovered.POLL: What issue concerns you most with the Biden/Harris administration?
The massive land grab by Gates last year gave the tech magnate his first appearance on The Land Report, a magazine that “provides news, information, and insight into America’s land for existing and potential landowners.”
For the title of America’s biggest farmland owner, Gates beat out the Minnesota-based Offutt farming family who owns 190,000 acres. Also with 190,000 acres of farmland is Stewart and Lynda Resnick. The Resnicks, who have a combined net worth of $7.1 billion, are the owners of California-based The Wonderful Company that controls POM Wonderful, bottled water company FIJI Water, Wonderful Pistachios, and Wonderful Halos.
Gates boasts a real estate portfolio that includes landholdings in 19 states. Bill and Melinda Gates own 69,071 acres in Louisiana, 47,927 acres in Arkansas, 20,588 acres in Nebraska, 17,940 acres in Illinois, 16,963 acres in Mississippi, 16,097 acres in Washington, and 14,828 acres in Florida, according to the report.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that there is a total of 897,400,000 acres in farmland in the United States in 2019.
The co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, who has a net worth of $120 billion, reportedly purchased the enormous land resources directly and through “dozens” of third-party entities, principally via Cascade Investment LLC.
The Land Report 100 Research Team stated that Michael Larson, who “operates primarily through an entity called Cascade Investment LLC.,” has “managed the Gateses’ personal portfolio as well as the considerable holdings of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” for the last 25 years.
Cascade Investment LLC., a holding and investment company headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, holds a large number of shares in prominent companies such as Berkshire Hathaway, Canadian National Railway, Coca-Cola FEMSA, Ecolab, and Waste Management.
In 2017, Cascade Investment purchased a “significant stake” in 24,800 acres of transitional land outside of Phoenix. Through Cascade, Gates invested $80 million in developing the Belmont suburb to have “80,000 homes, 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space, 3,400 acres of open space and 470 acres for public schools,” as reported by the Arizona Republic in 2017.
Also in 2017, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $300 million over three years to farmers in Africa and Asia to “support agricultural research that will help the world’s poorest farmers better adapt to increasingly challenging growing conditions brought about by climate change, including rising temperatures, extreme weather patterns (droughts and floods), diseases, poor soil fertility, and attacks from crop pests.”
Gates is far from the biggest landowner in the U.S. That title belongs to billionaire businessman and philanthropist John Malone, who topped The Land Report’s 100 largest landowners list in 2019 with 2.2 million acres of land.
Bill Gates Is America’s Largest Private Owner of Farmland…and Jeff Bezos is close behind
(Story by Angela Mastrangelo of Breitbart.com)
Bill Gates now owns more farmland than anyone else in the United States, as the tech tycoon has quietly purchased 242,000 acres of farmland in several states across the country.
Gates is now America’s largest private farmland owner, with hundreds of thousands of acres spanning across 19 U.S. states, according to the Land Report.
The tech billionaire owns 69,071 acres in Louisiana, 47,927 acres in Arkansas, and 20,588 acres in Nebraska.
Gates also owns land in Arizona (25,750 acres), Illinois (17,940), Mississippi (16,963), Washington (16,097), Florida (14,828), Idaho (9,233), Indiana (9,136), Ohio (8,915), California (4,509), Colorado (2,270), Michigan (2,167), Wisconsin (1,188), Wyoming (975), North Carolina (874), Iowa (552), and New Mexico (1). Gates’ farmland now totals 242,000 acres.
While Gates is still the top farmland owner in the U.S., not all of the property he owns is farmland. As the Land Report notes, 24,800 acres of the land is transitional, located on the western edge of Phoenix, the tenth-largest metropolitan area in the country, and the most populous city in Arizona.
This is not Gates’ first time dabbling in agriculture. In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $306 million in grants to promote high-yield, sustainable agriculture among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, reports Forbes.
The report adds that while it’s not clear how Gates’ land is being utilized, the property could be used in a way that aligns with the foundation’s values, given that Cottonwood Ag Management — a subsidiary of Cascade Investment LLC, Gates’ personal investment vehicle — is a member of Leading Harvest, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture standards.
Gates may own a considerable chunk of America’s farmland, but he is not the largest landowner in the country. According to the Land Report’s list of 100 top American landowners, billionaire businessman John Malone owns 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests.
CNN founder Ted Turner is ranked number three with 2 million acres of ranch land, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is ranked number 25 with 420,000 acres -— much of which is located in west Texas.
Bill Gates Buying Up Huge Amount Of Farmland While ‘Great Reset’ Tells Americans Future Is No Private Property
(Article as seen on HumansAreFree.com)
Indeed, Gates is now the biggest owner of farmland in America, according to a Forbes report.
“After years of reports that he was purchasing agricultural land in places like Florida and Washington, The Land Report revealed that Gates, who has a net worth of nearly $121 billion according to Forbes, has built up a massive farmland portfolio spanning 18 states.”
“His largest holdings are in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres).
“Additionally, he has a stake in 25,750 acres of transitional land on the west side of Phoenix, Arizona, which is being developed as a new suburb.”
Gates now owns 242,000 acres of farmland across the U.S., mostly “through third-party entities by Cascade Investments, Gates’ personal investment vehicle.”
— Forbes (@Forbes) January 14, 2021
According to Forbes, it is not known what Gates is doing with the land and Cascade Investments refused to comment on the issue.
In terms of individual land owners, Gates is still far behind media mogul John C. Malone, who is in top spot with 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests and CNN founder Ted Turner, who owns 2 million acres of ranch land.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is also “investing in land on a large scale,” according to the report.
What billionaire philanthropists and technocrats are acquiring land at an accelerating speed, they appear to be telling the general public that in the future private property will virtually cease to exist.
“Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city – or should I say, ‘our city.” I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.”
World Economic Forum Article From 2016: ‘Welcome To 2030. I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy, And Life Has Never Been Better’
Apparently, you won’t be allowed to own any private property and your only recourse will be to live in a state of permanent dependency on a small number of rich elitists who own everything.
That used to be called feudalism, which is a form of slavery.
Bill Gates Is Buying Up American Farmland. But Why?
(Article by Dennis Behreandt of TheNewAmerican.com)
Bill Gates is buying up America’s farmland. Why? No one but Bill Gates knows that answer. But the fact remains, as the Daily Mail notes, Gates — computer “nerd” and vaccination enthusiast — “has been revealed as the biggest private owner of farmland in the US, after buying up 242,000 acres in 18 states.”
It’s hard to visualize just how much land 242,000 acres amounts to unless you are a farmer. Most people aren’t working in that field these days, so some perspective is necessary.
A single square mile contains 640 acres. That means Bill Gates owns 378 square miles of the United States. For comparison, the state of Rhode Island covers an area of 1,214 square miles. Liechtenstein, an independent nation tucked into Europe, covers 62 square miles. Gates also owns more land than the Republic of Malta with its meager holdings of only 122 square miles.
Overall, according to the US Department of Agriculture, in 2018 US farmland totaled up to 899,500,000 acres, a number that had dropped by 870,000 acres from the year prior. Gates has a little way to go before he owns it all.
Interestingly, Gates’ methods when it comes to acquiring land seem to be rather secretive. The Land Report, the magazine of the Realtors Land Institute, described one such purchase, that of a parcel totaling 14,500 acres of farmland known as 100 Circles in eastern Washington that sold for $171 million.
Writing for The Land Report, Eric O’Keefe described what his investigation of the sale uncovered.
“The seller was John Hancock Life Insurance, a multibillion-dollar asset manager with key holdings in all the major US markets as well as Canada and Australia,” O’Keefe wrote.
But, he continued, “The story went dark on the buy side, however. The Tri-City Herald reported that the purchaser was a ‘Louisiana investor,’ a limited liability company associated with Angelina Agriculture of Monterey, Louisiana. Sorry, but that didn’t pass the sniff test.”
O’Keefe found that the “Louisiana investor” didn’t seem to have the characteristics of a company or person that could wield the kind of financial power it would take to acquire a parcel worth nearly $200 million.
Tracking down the buyer, he found that it was an entity called Angelina Agriculture. Consulting business directory Dunn & Bradstreet for this firm, O’Keefe wrote: “At its listed headquarters — 8318 Highway 565 — Angelina Agriculture boasted two employees and reported annual revenues just north of $300,000. Given the size and cost of 100 Circles, both of those figures made no sense at all. Strike two. How about Google Maps? An aerial image of the Highway 565 address revealed a small metal-sided building off by itself in the woods. Strike three, right?”
How could such a tiny outfit swallow such a huge financial transaction? Behind it all, it turned out, was Gates, who now owns over 69,000 acres of Lousiana, almost 48,000 acres of Arkansas, and nearly 26,000 acres of Arizona among other large holdings.
The reason for the purchases, according to O’Keefe, is investment diversity. As O’Keefe reports, in 1994, Gates hired an investment “manager to diversify the couple’s portfolio away from the Microsoft co-founder’s 45 percent stake in the technology giant.” That effort led to the acquisition of vast holdings of land. In 2014 the Wall Street Journal reported, according to O’Keefe, that Gates’ land investments then totaled up to some 100,000 acres. Apparently, land is viewed as a great investment still by Gates, considering that that number has now more than doubled.
It’s all a little disquieting, though. Gates is on record worrying that the world’s population is too high and that factor is contributing to carbon emissions that we must cut, somehow, to stave off the apocalypse. Farms are fossil-fuel intensive and produce carbon emissions, cow gas, and food, which keeps too many people on the planet. Leftists are on record over and over calling for reductions and strictures on all of these. And Gates, one of the chief oligarchs of that side of the political divide, probably wonders — if he cares at all — why some people question his intentions.
Still, the land purchases are surely mere investments — as the proverb goes, “they aren’t making any more land.”
But the idea that large investors are buying up vast tracts of American farmland does ring some civilization-level alarm bells that hearken back to the fall of an earlier empire: that of the Romans.
There’s nothing new under the sun and, in fact, the same phenomenon of land consolidation under huge landowners began to raise red flags in the early Roman Empire. In his Natural History, Pliny the Elder registered his concerns about the prospect of just a few landowners owning the vast majority of the empire’s productive farmland:
The ancients were of opinion, that before everything, moderation should be observed in the extent of a farm; for it was a favourite maxim of theirs, that we ought to sow the less, and plough the more: such too, I find, was the opinion entertained by Virgil, and indeed, if we must Confess the truth, it is the wide-spread domains that have been the ruin of Italy, and soon will be that of the provinces as well. Six proprietors were in possession of one half of Africa, at the period when the Emperor Nero had them put to death. With that greatness of mind which was so peculiarly his own, and of which he ought not to lose the credit, Cneius Pompeius would never purchase the lands that belonged to a neighbour.http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0137%3Abook%3D18%3Achapter%3D7
Traditionally, Roman landownership followed Pliny’s advice that farms should be moderate in size. But events would upset the delicate balance Roman society. In Caesar and Christ, the great philosopher and historian Will Durant described the changes that overtook the Roman landscape and the decay that set in as a result.
The peasant family of the early Republic owned two or three acres, tilled them with all hands and occasionally a slave, and lived abstemiously on the product. They slept on straw, rose early, stripped to the waist, and plowed and harrowed behind leisurely oxen whose droppings served as fertilizer….Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. 76-77
War transformed this picture of rural toil. Many of the farmers who changed plowshares for swords were overcome by the enemy or the town and never returned to their fields; many others found their holdings so damaged by armies or neglect that they had not the courage to begin anew; others were broken by accumulated debt. Such men sold their lands at depression prices to aristocrats or agricultural capitalists who merged the little homesteads into latifundia (literally, broad farms)…. This process, already under way in the fourth century B.C., had by the end of the third produced a debt-ridden tenant class in the countryside, and in the capital a propertyless, rootless proletariat whose sullen discomfort would destroy the Republic that peasant toil had made.
Surely that sounds familiar to modern American ears.
As for the “rootless” and the “propertyless,” the oligarchs associated with the World Economic Forum have been at pains trying to convince these people and others to free themselves of their property. In the future, WEF propaganda asserts, “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy.”
If all goes according to plan, in that future (scheduled for 2030!) Bill Gates, et al., will own everything. They’ll be happy.
The rest of us, perhaps not so much.
Why Is Bill Gates (And China) Buying America’s Farmland?
(Article by G Walrath of ConservativeDailyPost.com)
Bill Gates has been silently purchasing farmland in the United States, and so has a number of Chinese companies… in fact, Gates and other leftist billionaires are snatching it up at an alarming rate.
Why? Oh yeah, and don’t forget he’s paying to literally block the sun…
That’s what’s scary.
Bill Gates, the fourth richest person in the world and a self-described nerd who is known for his early programming skills rather than his love of the outdoors, has been quietly snatching up 242,000 acres of farmland across the U.S. — enough to make him the top private farmland owner in America.
After years of reports that he was purchasing agricultural land in places like Florida and Washington, The Land Report revealed that Gates, who has a net worth of nearly $121 billion according to Forbes, has built up a massive farmland portfolio spanning 18 states. His largest holdings are in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres). Additionally, he has a stake in 25,750 acres of transitional land on the west side of Phoenix, Arizona, which is being developed as a new suburb.
According to The Land Report’s research, the land is held directly and through third-party entities by Cascade Investments, Gates’ personal investment vehicle. Cascade’s other investments include food-safety company Ecolab, used-car retailer Vroom and Canadian National Railway.
While it may be surprising that a tech billionaire would also be the biggest farmland owner in the country, this is not Gates’ only foray into agriculture. In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $306 million in grants to promote high-yield, sustainable agriculture among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The foundation has further invested in the development and proliferation of “super crops” resistant to climate change and higher-yield dairy cows. Last year, the organization announced Gates Ag One, a nonprofit to advance those efforts.
It is not entirely clear how Gates’ farmland is being used, or whether any of the land is being set aside for conservation. (Cascade did not return Forbes’ request for comment.) However, there is some indication that the land could be used in a way that aligns with the foundation’s values. Cottonwood Ag Management, a subsidiary of Cascade, is a member of Leading Harvest, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture standards that prioritize protections of crops, soil and water resources.
Gates is not the only billionaire on The Land Report’s list of top private farmland owners. Wonderful Company cofounders Stewart and Lynda Resnick (net worth: $7.1 billion) ranked number three with 190,000 acres. Their farmland produces the goods for their brands including POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios and Wonderful Halos mandarins.
While Gates may be the country’s biggest farmland owner, he by no means is the largest individual landowner. In its list of 100 top American landowners, The Land Report gives the top spot to Liberty Media Chair John Malone, who owns 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests. CNN founder Ted Turner ranked number three with 2 million acres of ranch land across eight states. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is investing in land on a large scale, landing the 25th spot with his ownership of 420,000 acres, mainly in west Texas.
And, check out these articles about China buying massive swaths of American land, especially farmland:
Chinese buy strategic land in Texas, U.S. intel may not be pleased—June 2020 (Lifezette)
Californians, Chinese Scooping Up Farmland in Washington State—July 2015 (NBC)
‘American Soil’ Is Increasingly Foreign Owned—May 2019 (NPR)
Why China is buying up Oklahoma and Texas—June 2015 (Washington Post)
So, why is this being done?
I have speculations… because China and global elites have a plan to control the world’s food production?
If you’ve never seen the Georgia Guidestones, search them and discover that these mysterious tablets of stone have, as their first ‘tenant,’ a population of 500 million… Just saying, think about it.
Think also about Gates’ vaccine ‘results,’ in Africa and other third world countries… All of these plans seems to connect.
Why do YOU think Bill Gates is buying so much Farmland?
If you have an opinion on this story and/or you have another article to share about it, let us know in the comments below.