May 27, 2022
In early 2021, Bill Gates made headlines for becoming the largest private farmland owner in the U.S. According to The Land Report, at the time, Gates had a total of 268,985 acres, almost all of which is active farmland.
Yet he’s hardly alone.
Some of the wealthiest landowners — including Jeff Bezos, John Malone, and Thomas Peterffy — are buying up forests, ranches and farmlands across the United States. Why? Well, investments in farmland are growing as people look for new ways to grow their money.
“It’s an asset with increasing value,” American Farmland Trust CEO John Piotti said. “It has great intrinsic value and beyond that, it is a limited resource.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 30 percent of all farmland is owned by landlords who don’t farm themselves. Buyers often purchase land from farmers who have owned it for decades; many of whom may be asset rich but maybe cash poor.
This video from CNBC delves in deeper.