Microsoft founder and billionaire turned philanthropist Bill Gates recently laid the long-time conspiracy theory that he owns some 80% of all U.S. farmland to rest in his 11th appearance in an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Reddit.
What Happened: Gates answered dozens of questions over the course of a few hours during the AMA, including: “Why are you buying up so much farmland, do you think this is a problem with billionaire wealth and how much you can disproportionally acquire?”
While Gates has spent billions investing in agricultural properties to make them more productive, a growing number of retail investors are getting a piece of the real estate market with as little as $100 through companies backed by high-profile investors like Jeff Bezos.
Conspiracy Theorists claimed last year that the Microsoft founder was buying up farmland in the U.S. to starve Americans for some unknown reason, Snopes said, after researchers said in April that the world was facing a potential food shortage due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to a 2022 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Agriculture Statistics Service, there are 895,300,000 acres of farmland in the U.S.
To put it into perspective, if all of Gates’ land was in one place, it would cover about 25% of Rhode Island.