Best known as the co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates now lays claim to a new title: the biggest farmland owner in the United States.
According to the Land Report, which bills itself as the “Magazine of the American Landowner,” Gates has amassed 242,000 in farmland acreage. Gates and his wife Melinda own a total of 268,984 acres of land, most of which includes the farmland, along with 25,750 acres of transitional land and 1,234 acres of recreational land.
Part of that land is in Arkansas. The Gates family owns 47,927 acres in Arkansas, according to the Land Report. This acreage accounts for 17.8 percent of the family’s total land holdings. The report did not specify if the Arkansas land was all farmland.
Arkansas had the second-most land owned by the Gates family, after Louisiana. In the Bayou State, the Gates family reportedly own 69,071 acres of land, making up approximately 25.68 percent of the family’s overall land holdings.
The Land Report article provides an in-depth look at how editors tracked down Gates’ farmland acquisitions.
With 242,000 acres of farmland, the Gates family is now comfortably ahead of the rest of the top farmland owners in the country. The next largest farmland owners are the Offutt family, with 190,000 acres, and Stewart and Lynda Resnick with 190,000 acres.
The Offutt family operates a potato farm based in Fargo, North Dakota, as well as owning RDO Equipment, according to agriculture.com. Stewart and Lynda Resnick, the founders of the Wonderful Company, own acreage in California and Texas.
The fourth and fifth largest farmland owners are the Fanjul family with 160,000 acres and the Boswell family with 150,000 acres, based on the 2020 Land Report 100.
However, the largest land owner in the United States is John Malone, the former CEO of Tele-Communications, Inc. A USA Today report lists his land holdings at 2.2 million acres, spread across Colorado, Maine, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Ted Turner, who reportedly owns property in Arkansas, comes up just behind Malone on the USA Today list with 2 million acres. Most of his land is located in Georgia, New Mexico, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons