Bill Gates is the former founder of Microsoft turned pharmaceutical industry advocate who recently became the largest private owner of farmland in the United States.
While Gates is celebrated in many corners, including the mainstream media, advocates for healthy, non-GMO and pesticide-free organic food have become concerned over his growing portfolio of land purchases, especially since Gates is an avowed supporter of genetically modified foods.
Those concerns have been echoed recently by residents of ‘The Peace Garden State,’ North Dakota, as Gates recently won legal approval for making a large purchase that has people “livid” across the region.
Bill Gates Wins Legal Approval for $13.5 Million Land Purchase
Gates has already amassed nearly 270,000 acres of farmland across dozens of states according to a report from Yahoo News, and now he appears set to add to his embarrassment of tangible, real world riches.
Last week, Gates secured the legal approval for the purchase of $13.5 million worth of North Dakota farmland, or about 2,100 acres in this case, from potato growers Campbell Farms.
The news has caught on in some circles of the national media this week.
According to North Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, many residents were not happy about the news, to put it mildly.
“I’ve gotten a big earful on this from clear across the state, it’s not even from that neighborhood. Those people are upset, but there are others that are just livid about this,” Geohring said to KFYR-TV.
After questions over whether the purchase was legal because of a Depression-era law prohibiting corporations and companies from owning farmland in the region, North Dakota’s Attorney General issued a letter saying that the purchase complied with the law.
Gates’ farm plans to lease the land to farmers, the report said.
Farmland is becoming a new target of wealthy investors in an era of volatile stock markets, cryptocurrency, and other ‘digital assets.’
Wealthy investors like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates see it as one of the safest bets.
But will they become stewards of the land, or simply use it for profit above all else?
Is Gates Planning a GMO Takeover in North Dakota?
Now, the question is whether Gates’ farm companies will plant genetically modified crops like corn, soy, or canola sprayed with large amounts of pesticides, methods Gates has been outspoken in favor of in the past.
North Dakota was the second-largest wheat producing state in the country as of 2021 behind Kansas — could Gates and his associates be planning a GMO wheat takeover in one of the country’s most fertile and unspoiled natural landscapes?
Time will tell, but his track record suggests that GMO crops will likely be on the agenda.