Bill Gates wins legal approval to buy 2,100 acres of North Dakota farmland worth $13.5M
North Dakota’s state attorney general’s office has approved billionaire Bill Gates’ recent purchase of 2,100 acres of farmland. The AG initially scrutinized the investment based on the state’s barring corporations and limited liability companies from purchasing farmland.
Gates’ purchase of farmland in North Dakota initially raised concerns because of a Depression-era law prohibiting corporations and limited liability companies from owning farmland in the region.
North Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring previously told KFYR-TV — a television station in Bismarck, North Dakota — that many people weren’t thrilled about the news.
“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.
However, the anti-corporate farming law does allow individual trusts to own farmland if it is leased to farmers — and that’s what Gates’ firm plans to do.
On Wednesday, North Dakota’s Attorney General issued a letter saying the purchase complied with the law.
This isn’t the first time Gates has invested in the asset class. Having amassed nearly 270,000 acres of farmland across dozens of states, Gates is already the largest private owner of farmland in America.