As a successful entrepreneur who founded the world’s largest technology business, Bill Gates often makes headlines for a variety of topics. In 2021, Bill made a headline for being the America’s largest farmland owner. According to a magazine of the American landowner, The Land Report, Bill and his wife Melinda own some 269,000 acres of farmland. The size of their farmland is more than the entire acreage of New York City. Bill Gates and farmland? What is going on?
McDonald’s Fries Grown on Bill Gates Farmland
The couple own farmland across 18 states in the US. Some of them are:
- 70,000 acre field in north Louisiana that grows soybeans, corn, cotton and rice
- 20,000 acre field in Nebraska that grows soybeans
- 16,000 acre field in Washington that grows potatoes (The potato field is so huge that you can see it even from space)
- 15,000 acre field in Florida that grows carrots.
Interestingly, according to NBC News, some of the potatoes that are grown on Bill’s farmland in Washington are processed into french fries for McDonald’s. In other words, Americans eat potatoes supplied from the tech giant to the fast food giant.
Feel like tasting chips grown in the greatest entrepreneur’s field? Well, if you are in Australia, you are less likely to access Bill’s potatoes. Macca’s use at least 99% Australian ingredients for chips in Australia. However, even if you are outside of the US, you may be able to taste Bill’s potatoes. McDonald’s in some countries such as Japan use potatoes imported from the US.
Bill’s Investment Group Chose to Do It
So, why is Bill Gates doing this? Is it part of his philanthropic social commitment? Or is he trying to take an initiative in agricultural industry? He answered this question when asked on Reddit in March 2021:
“Hey Bill! Why are you buying so much farmland?”
“My investment group chose to do this. It is not connected to climate. The agriculture sector is important. With more productive seeds we can avoid deforestation and help Africa deal with the climate difficulty they already face. It is unclear how cheap biofuels can be but if they are cheap it can solve the aviation and truck emissions.”
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