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IPFS News Link • Worlds Wealthiest People

Bill Gates Set Up 20 Shell Companies to Hide Purchase of $113 Million of Nebraska Farmland

• By Destiny Herbers

A glance at federal records shows the series of Nebraska farms listed as foreign-owned, though there's no country attached and no hint that these farms with unassuming names might be related.

Willowdale Farms, Merrick County Farms, Dove Haven Ranch, Champion Valley Farm, Schroder Family Farms and many more are concentrated in northeast Nebraska but spread to the southeast corner and west nearly to Wyoming.

In Nebraska's business records, they have one similarity: Each farm's office address leads to a single-story brick building in the St. Louis suburbs, an office park housing a dentist, lawyers and, until recently, a farmland investment startup called AgCoA.

For years, AgCoA was owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a government-owned group managing the retirement funds of 21 million Canadians.

But in 2017, the Canadian board decided to offload a half-billion dollar chunk of its American farmland portfolio — including all 22,830 acres of its Nebraska land.

The buyer of those unassuming-sounding Nebraska farms wasn't publicly listed. Until now, the financial details of the transaction and the gargantuan loan he's taken out against it have remained publicly unknown.

The buyer's name: Bill Gates.

Tangled web of Gates

The billionaire who co-founded Microsoft has, in the past six years, spent more than $113 million buying Nebraska farmland.

The Flatwater Free Press analyzed five years of land sales data, between 2018 and 2022, originally gathered by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications data journalism class.

If that data had included the year 2017 — when Mt. Edna Farms, the Gates-owned company that made that massive purchase from the Canadian pension board — then Gates would have been the top buyer of Nebraska ag land by money spent. Since 2017, he has spent more than double the second-place buyer.


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