There’s been a lot of land ownership news in North Dakota recently, most centered on building the Dakota Access Pipeline. The news that Bill Gates bought 2100 acres of land from Campbell Farms, a potato farming group headquarters in Grafton, North Dakota, can’t help but raise a few eyebrows.
From 2009, Bill Gates owned more than twice as much farmable land as the amount owed by the staggeringly rich landholders, the Koch brothers and Ted Turner, and more than that of the former United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
Michael Larson, an affiliate with Cascade Investment LLC, hired by Bill Gates and Melinda Gates in 1994 to help diversify their portfolio, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as having acquired more than 100,000 acres of farmland throughout several states for the gate family.
In an attempt to retrieve adequate information, Agweek left phone messages, emails, and texts for Tom and Greg (owners of Campbell farms) and visited their offices of Bill at Campbell Properties in Fargo. Still, neither of the individuals involved in the deal seemed eager to talk about it.
However, according to the public deed, about 13 million dollars were exchanged in two counties for a rough average price of $6,400 per acre. Transfers in Pembina County average about $6,600 per acre. The Walsh County documents are complicated, but the sale price is about $6,000.