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Why Bill Gates is the largest private farmland owner in the United States

NBC News
Cascade Investment
the Land Report
The US
Department of Agriculture
the Center on Rural Affairs
the Gates Foundation
the National Farmers Union
Impossible Foods
Leading Harvest
University of New Mexico
the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Bill Gates
Melinda French Gates
Mother Jones
Johnathan Hladik
John Quarterman
Nick Estes
Bruce Sherrick


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the United States

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Positivity     38.00%   
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The New York Times
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The US Department of Agriculture estimates that about 30 percent of US farmland is rented out by owners who serve as landlords and aren’t involved in farming, like Gates.All this is to say, it shouldn’t be surprising that Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest people in the world, makes investments to serve his own financial interests. And the National Farmers Union has suggested that the growing number of non-farmer owners like Gates buying up farmland — and renting it out — could lead to practices that hurt the environment: Short-term farmers who rent land are less likely to take long-term conservation steps, the organization argues, and non-farmer owners don’t have the experience to “understand the importance of protecting natural resources.”Others have floated the opposite idea: that Gates’s massive investment in farmland might have a direct relationship to his other climate efforts. Newsweek, for instance, recently suggested his land ownership “may be connected to his investments in climate change agricultural developments and Impossible Foods,” though it didn’t offer much support for that premise.While Bill Gates has previously tried to separate his Gates Foundation work on the climate from his private investments, Cascade Investment has defended its record on sustainability.In response to criticism, a spokesperson for Cascade Investment emphasized that it had enrolled all its farmland in a program by Leading Harvest, a nonprofit that releases standards for sustainability focused on biodiversity, conservation, and soil.

As said here by Rebecca Heilweil