Bill Gates is in the spotlight again as an entity with ties to the billionaire recently purchased 2,100 acres of a potato farm in North Dakota.
This purchase prompted the states attorney general Drew Wrigley to inquire about the purchase after the public response has been massively negative.
Public records published by AG Week show that Red River Trust bought the 2,100 acre plot of farmland from the owners of Campbell Farms. Red River Trust is linked to Gates and this purchase adds to the 270,000 acres the billionaire has quietly amassed across the country.
This purchase is the latest of Gates acquisitions of farmland and the public is not happy about it as North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehrig told KFYR “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.”
Goehrig wrote a letter to the Red River Trust notifying the trust that limited liability companies and corporations were “prohibited from owning or leasing farmland or ranchland in the state of North Dakota.”
Goehrig also wrote that entities such as these are prohibited from “engaging in farming or ranching.” The letter continued saying “the law places certain limitations on the ability of trusts to own farmland or ranchland.”
The letter detailed why it was composed stating that “Our office needs to confirm how your company uses this land and whether this use meets any of the statutory exceptions, such as the business purpose exception, so that we may close this case and file it in our inactive files.”
Local farmers are disgruntled by this recent purchase by Gates and it will be interesting to see how the Red River Trust responds to the attorney general’s letter.
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