Bill Gates, big farmer? Microsoft CEO owns 270,000 acres of farmland
It’s been a week for billionaire news. First, ProPublica releases an investigation that shows how the ultrarich evade paying income taxes. Now, Land Report and NBC News released more information about how Microsoft magnate Bill Gates and his soon-to-be-ex wife, Melinda, have become some of the country’s largest holders of farmland from sea to shining sea (technically, 18 states). Among the almost 270,000 acres they own are potato operations so large they can be seen from outer space and provide spuds that become McDonald’s french fries. This took a lot of work to trace because many of these farms were bought by a “shell of a shell of a shell company investing for Bill Gates,” said one Georgia farmer who got curious about who was acquiring land in his neighborhood. We’re curious, too, about how this land will fare in the wealth redistribution that will be the Gates’ impending divorce.