A hedge-fund billionaire and his wife, a community bank CEO, originally aimed to use their 1,800-acre California ranch to show off soil conservation techniques—but today, it's become a model sustainable farm, and apparently a highly profitable one. At TomKat Ranch, Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor raise grass-fed cattle, and according to Steyer, "We could sell 10 times the amount we raise in 10 minutes." The movement of the herds over the ground, an expert says, actually improves grass quality.
That grass can then be eaten by the migrating cows the next time they visit a particular area of the ranch, the New York Times reports. Chickens and turkeys that live on-site get a chance to eat the bugs drawn by cattle droppings, which clears away parasites that could bother the cattle in the future. Meanwhile, Steyer is shelling out for a range of other environmental causes, Politico reports in a profile: For instance, his political action committee called out Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli on his climate views. Putting up nearly $8 million, Steyer effectively paid more per vote than Sheldon and Miriam Adelson did in the 2012 race. Indeed, Politico sees the Steyers as "closest thing Democrats have to the Adelsons," with the environment at the forefront of his activities. (Read more Tom Steyer stories.)