As one of the richest people in the world, it's natural that there would be a lot of false information floating around out there about Bill Gates. Many of these misconceptions are of a sinister and conspiratorial nature, but there's one that comes down to a simple jumbling of semantics. If you spend any time on social media, you might have come across the stat that the majority of farmland in the US is owned by Gates. If that seems unbelievable, congratulations, your instincts are correct – while Gates owns plenty of US farmland, his total holdings don't even come to a third of a percent of the total amount of farmland in the country.
There are 895 million acres of farmland in the United States. Gates owns a reported 300,000 – or about .03% of that total. Those 300,000 acres are enough to make Gates the largest individual owner of farmland in the country, but that doesn't even come close to making him the owner of the majority of all the farmland in the US.
Gates owns farmland located in at least 18 states across the US, and his interest in farmland extends far beyond the borders of the country. In 2017, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged a total of $300 million towards help for low-income farmers in Asia and Africa in adapting to climate change. Then, the following year, they invested another $40 million in breeding more productive cows and chickens for farms located on those same continents.
Gates is the largest individual owner of farmland in the US even if he doesn't own even close to a majority of US farmland, but he isn't the largest owner of US land in general. That would be John Malone, a billionaire who lacks Gates's household name status but owns 2.2 million acres of land in the United States, not to mention his media company Liberty Media.