Disclaimer: This article may contain the personal views and opinions of the author.
Billionaire Bill Gates might be in hot water, courtesy of the Attorney General of North Dakota. In fact, the issue in question concerns a recent bit of farmland that Mr. Gates has purchased. In an outbreak of expenditure, Gates looked into North Dakota’s Pembina County and promptly decided he ought to buy six parcels of it, which he even more promptly did.
It was this past Tuesday that the Attorney General’s office issued out a letter to the Red River Trust where it demanded an explanation on just how the company will use the land. It inquired further to make sure the land would be used in accordance with North Dakota Corporate Farming Laws.
It was recently reported that Agricultural Commissioner Doug Goehring said “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.”
Per the DailyCaller “the letter stipulated that under North Dakota law, there are “certain limitations on the ability of trusts to own farmland or ranchland.”
“The Corporate or Limited Liability Company Farming Law has certain exceptions, such as permitting registered family farms or allowing the use of the land for business purposes,” the letter writes. Those in violation are subject to a civil fine of $100k the letter states.
“Our office needs to confirm how your company uses this land and whether this use meets any of the statutory exceptions, such as business purpose exceptions, such as the business purpose exception, so that we may close this case and file it in our inactive files,” the letter adds.
It was further reported by New York Post that an entity with ties to billionaire Bill Gates bought 2,100 acres of potato farmland in northern North Dakota — prompting the state’s top prosecutor to intervene after complaints from local residents.
Public records cited by AgWeek show that the Gates-linked Red River Trust bought the farmland from the owners of Campbell Farms, a potato farming group that is headquartered in Grafton, North Dakota, which is about 50 miles from the Canadian border.
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring told KFYR that public reaction to the purchase has been largely negative.
“I’ve gotten a big earful on this from clear across the state, it’s not even from that neighborhood,” said Goehring.
“Those people are upset, but there are others that are just livid about this.”
Gates, the billionaire tech mogul and philanthropist whose net worth was pegged by Bloomberg at $113 billion, has quietly amassed nearly 270,000 acres of farmland across the country, according to the Associated Press.
The Microsoft co-founder is considered the largest private owner of farmland in the country with some 269,000 acres across dozens of states, according to last year’s edition of the Land Report 100, an annual survey of the nation’s largest landowners.
Bill Gates has been in the public eye for a very long time. However, it’s only really in the last few years where he has had to deal with criticism and might not enjoy the steam bath of positive sentiment that he had in the past. This is cultural shift that this writer has been welcoming for some time.
If there is one, let’s call it, class of people that deserve critical looks, it would have to be, along with politicians and actors, the billionaire that people keep talking about who seems all too influential. George Soros, for instance, is another name that comes to mind. Public figures of this kind really should be judged guilty until proven innocent, at least in the public square.