They own the soil where the potatoes in McDonald’s french fries grow, the carrots from the world’s largest producer and the onions that Americans sauté every night for dinner, according to this report by April Glaser for NBC.
Glaser writes that Bill and Melinda Gates, who recently announced they’re getting divorced and are dividing their assets, are deeply invested in American agriculture. The billionaire couple, in less than a decade, have accumulated more than 269,000 acres of farmland across 18 states, more than the entire acreage of New York City. The farmland was purchased through a constellation of companies that all link back to the couple’s investment group, Cascade Investments, based in Kirkland, Washington.
In Washington, the Gateses own more than 14,000 acres of farmland that includes potato fields so massive that they are visible from space and some of which are processed into french fries for McDonald’s.
Along the Columbia River border between Washington and Oregon, the Gateses purchased 100 Circles Farm, a 14,500-acre plot of land, for $171 million in 2018, according to property and business records. There, on Gates’ parcels, an industrial farm grows potatoes for McDonald’s french fries. Cascade declined to comment on its specific land holdings.
Source: NBC. Read the full story here
Photo: The 100 Circles Farm is in Washington state, just north of the Columbia River | Google Maps via NBC