(Slay News) – A U.S. congressman is demanding that billionaire Bill Gates explains why he is buying up so much of America’s farmland.
Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) has warned that he believes Gates is accumulating the land in an effort to eliminate the meat industry.
Gates has bought tens of thousands of acres of prime U.S. farmland while simultaneously promoting “synthetic meat” and arguing that red meat production impacts “climate change.”
As Slay News has previously reported, Gates, who already owns close to 270,000 acres of land in the U.S., has been granted the legal authority to buy another 2100 acres in North Dakota despite protests by local residents.
Gates is circumventing a 1932 anti-corporate farm ownership law by pledging to lease the land back to farmers after the purchase is complete.
However, concerns are mounting over how Gates could wield his anti-meat influence over the farmers who rent his land.
Now South Dakota Congressman Johnson is demanding answers.
In a letter addressed to committee chairman David Scott, Johnson warns that Gates’s action must not be ignored.
“It has become clear in recent reports that Mr. Gates is the largest private farmland owner in America – he now owns nearly 270,000 acres of farmland across 19 states,” Johnson wrote.
“Comparatively, the average farm size in 2021 was 445 acres, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
“I believe that Mr. Gates’ holdings across much of our nation is a significant portion that the Committee should not ignore.”
Johnson also took to Twitter to ask how Gates buying huge quantities of farmland was consistent with the Microsoft co-founder’s push for Americans to stop eating meat.
“Bill Gates is the largest owner of US farmland,” Johnson noted.
“I’m curious what’s planned for this incredibly productive ag land given that he believes developed countries like America ‘shouldn’t eat any red meat.’
“How are his land purchases related to those aspirations?”
Bill Gates is the largest owner of US farmland. I’m curious what’s planned for this incredibly productive ag land given that he believes developed countries like America “shouldn’t eat any red meat.” How are his land purchases related to those aspirations? https://t.co/16CxSZB6D4
— Rep. Dusty Johnson (@RepDustyJohnson) July 20, 2022
The congressman also highlighted the meat issue in his letter.
“The Committee should be interested in Mr. Gates’ ownership and plans for his acreage, as he has been a leading voice in the push for ‘synthetic meat’.
“In 2021, Mr. Gates was quoted to say ‘all rich countries should move to 100 percent synthetic beef’ to combat climate change,” wrote Johnson.
In an interview with Fox News, Johnson also demanded to know what plans Gates has for the farmland.
Asserting that “ownership of farmland matters, a lot,” Johnson noted that “no one has been buying it up faster than Bill Gates.”
Gates now owns 268,984 acres of multi-use land in 19 states.
He is the largest owner of farmland in America.