When you hear the name Bill Gates, what comes to mind? Microsoft. Billionaire. Philanthropist. How about farmer? Gates has amassed 242,000 acres of farmland across 18 states, Forbes reports, making him the top private farmland owner in the US. Some of his largest holdings include 69,071 acres in Louisiana, 47,927 acres in Arkansas, and 25,750 acres in Arizona, per the Land Report, which began looking into Gates’ land holdings following the $171 million purchase of 14,500 acres of farmland in Washington. The publication found that the land is held by Gates’ investment vehicle Cascade Investment LLC.
Forbes notes that Gates has some experience with agriculture: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2008 announced $306 million in grants to farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. And it has invested in the development of crops that are resistant to climate change. As for Gates’ US holdings, it is unclear how the land is being used, according to reports. While Gates owns the most farmland in the US, he is not the largest landowner in the country overall. That distinction goes to John Malone, chair of Liberty Media Corporation, who owns 2.2 million acres of ranches and forestland. (Read more Bill Gates stories.)