In 2017, the Canadian board made the decision to sell a significant portion of its American farmland portfolio, which amounted to half a billion dollars and included all 22,830 acres of its land in Nebraska. The purchaser and financial details of these seemingly ordinary Nebraska farms remained undisclosed until recently, it has now been revealed that the individual behind this purchase is none other than Bill Gates and over the past six years, Gates has has invested more than $113 million in purchasing farmland in Nebraska.
Gates’ ownership of farmland is structured through over 20 shell companies located across the country. Some of these entities trace back to a P.O. Box in Kirkland, Washington, where Cascade Asset Management, responsible for managing all of Gates’ investments, is headquartered. Bill Gates’ Nebraska neighbors don’t know he owns the soybean field down the road.
Here’s the story of his spending spree, including the massive loan he took out against his land by Destiny Herbers of Flatwater Press.
Spilling Bill’s beans: Tech billionaire spent $113 million on Nebraska farmland.
A glance at federal records shows the series of Nebraska farms listed as foreign owned, though there’s no country attached and no hint that these farms with unassuming names might be related. Willowdale Farms, Merrick County Farms, Dove Haven Ranch, Champion Valley Farm, Schroder Family Farms and many more are concentrated in northeast Nebraska but spread to the southeast corner and west nearly to Wyoming.
In Nebraska’s business records, they have one similarity: Each farm’s office address leads to a single-story brick building in the St. Louis suburbs, an office park housing a dentist, lawyers and, until recently, a farmland investment startup called AgCoA.
For years, AgCoA was owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a government-owned group managing the retirement funds of 21 million Canadians.
But in 2017, the Canadian board decided to offload a half-billion dollar chunk of its American farmland portfolio – including all 22,830 acres of its Nebraska land.
The buyer of those unassuming-sounding Nebraska farms wasn’t publicly listed. Until now, the financial details of the transaction and the gargantuan loan he’s taken out against it have remained publicly unknown.
The buyer’s name: Bill Gates.