Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates reportedly owns more farmland in the U.S. than any other individual, according to Left-wing fact-checking site Snopes.
Snopes last week rated a claim that Gates owns “the majority of U.S. farmland” as “false,” but admitted that the tech billionaire “does own a lot of farmland.”
“In fact, he reportedly owns more farmland than any other individual in America,” the fact-check said. “According to 2021 article from the Land Report, a magazine about land ownership, Gates owns approximately 242,000 acres of farmland.”
“While this is certainly a lot of acreage, it represents less than 1% of all the farmland in the United States,” the report emphasized.
“According to a 2021 report from the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Agriculture Statistics Service, there are 895,300,000 acres of farmland in the United States. Gates’ 242,000 acres amounts to about 0.03% of the total,” Snopes added.
The Land Report article linked by Snopes emphasizes Gates’ landholdings by naming his “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,” the report said.
“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,” Land Report explained. “This private US 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 US.”
“Yet farmland assets aren’t the sole component of the Gateses’ landholdings,” the report detailed. “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 10th largest metropolitan area in the country. … 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.”
Gates has recently become a prominent fixture in the media, mostly featured for his opinions on pandemic-related activity, but also for his recent divorce from ex-wife Melinda Gates and his apparent friendship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.