Why Bill Gates is Now the Biggest US Farmland Owner
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A mysterious Louisiana investor completed one of the biggest land sales in recent memory. When you look at farmland sales, you’re typically talking about 100’s of acres. But thousands of acres? Those are blue-moon events made by very big buyers. It had it be someone as big if not bigger than a billion dollar insurance company.
O’Keefe dug deeper and forwarded his findings to his Land Report 100 Research Team. A few minutes later, he gets this response: “Ever hear of Bill Gates?”
O’Keefe’s team followed the paper trail up the chain: That LLC is associated with the Angelina Agriculture Co is controlled by Cascade Investment, L.L.C. Cascade Investment, L.L.C. is what’s called a “family office” located in Kirkland, Washington that goes by the name Bill and Melinda Gates Investments, or BMGI.
Michael Larson is the chief investment officer for the Gates Foundation. Larson was headhunted to work for Bill Gates in 1994. And after the 2008 financial crisis, the farmland empire began: Larson swooped up “at least 100,000 acres of farmland” all over the country in places like California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and more, on behalf of Gates. By 2017, the Agriculture Company of America sold half-a-billion-dollars worth of farmland. And the buyer? The paper trail led right back to none other than Cascade Investment. Which is definitely not outside the realm of possibility - buuut that’s probably not the truth.
After Bill bought nearly 25,000 acres of land west of Phoenix, Arizona - the media was quick to pick up the rumor that Bill Gates was planning on building “the city of the future”. So it’s understandable that when news broke of Bill’s farmland gains, the media was quick to call Bill the “Sustainable Agriculture Champion”. But like most things, reality is oftentimes a lot less glamorous than the theories.
Gates and his money manager, Larson, have a very simple relationship. Larson grows the money, and Gates gives it away. When you think of investing, investing in farmland typically isn’t the first thing that comes to mind - but if you think about it, farmland is a really logical choice. And being that Larson is very conservative with how he invests Bill’s money, farmland makes for a great choice.
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