‘There isn’t some grand scheme involved,” clarified Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates regarding his farmland purchases during an annual Reddit Ask Me Anything session. Bill Gates is the largest farmland owner in America. The billionaire owns a whopping 275,000 acres of farmland across 19 states which can be put into perspective by saying he owns more land than 17 Manhattans. Gates’s several hundred acres of farmland came into the limelight owing to the 2022 edition of the Land Report 100, a yearly survey of the biggest landowners in the country. When asked by a Reddit user, “Why are you buying up so much farmland? Do you think this is a problem with billionaire wealth and how much you can disproportionally acquire?”
Gates responded: “I own less than 1/4000 of the farmland in the US. I have invested in these farms to make them more productive and create more jobs. There isn’t some grand scheme involved – in fact, all these decisions are made by a professional investment team.” The $111 billion tycoon called out the wealthy to pay more taxes, “In terms of the very rich, I think they should pay a lot more in taxes and they should give away their wealth over time. It has been very fulfilling for me and is my full time job,” per Business Insider. Bill Gates is one of the founders of the Giving Pledge, along with then-wife Melinda French Gates and philanthropist Warren Buffett.
The world’s most noted billionaires donate most of their wealth through this platform. MacKenzie Scott has signed The Giving Pledge, promising to give away more than half of her wealth, which she is doing at breakneck speed.