USA: Drew Wrigley, the attorney general of North Dakota, is calling on a trust allegedly tied to billionaire eugenicist Bill Gates to justify its recent purchase of some 2,000 acres of ranch land in Grafton, located near the Minnesota and Canadian border.
Red River Trust reportedly acquired six parcels in possible violation of state corporate farming laws. Wrigley, responding to this, wrote a letter to the trust requesting information about how the land will be used and whether the company meets any of the state’s exception requirements for corporate land purchases.
According to reports, if Red River Trust did violate state laws, it will be forced to divest the land, called Campbell Farms, immediately and pay up to $100,000 in fines for the violation.
Gates has fast become the largest private owner of farmland in the United States, having quietly amassed at least 270,000 acres of land in dozens of states. If he is tied to this latest purchase, then Gates is still trying to take over the country’s agriculture system, piece by piece.
Wrigley explained that under state law, corporations and limited liability companies are prohibited from owning or leasing farm or ranchland in North Dakota. These same entities are prohibited from engaging in any type of farming or ranching activities.
“In addition,” Wrigley added in the letter to the trust, “the law places certain limitations on the ability of trusts to own farmland or ranchland.”
“Our office needs to confirm how your company uses this land and whether its use meets any of the statutory exceptions, such as the business purpose exception.”
Upon receipt of the letter, Red River Trust has 30 days to provide a copy of its land ownership title, as well as disclose its true and full intentions for the property.
North Dakotans are NOT happy about the purchase
The “quiet transaction” reportedly took place last November. Public deeds obtained by Ag Week show that Red River Trust spent about $6,600 per acre for the land portion in Pembina County, and $6,000 per acre for that in Walsh County.
According to North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, complaints have been pouring in with opposition to the land purchase.
“I’ve gotten a big earful on this from clear across the state – it’s not even from that neighborhood,” Goehring said. “Those people are upset, but there are others that are just livid about this.”
The people of North Dakota, he went on to state, feel like they are being exploited by the “ultra-rich who buy land in North Dakota but do not necessarily share the state’s values.”
Wrigley’s letter does not mention Gates, and is addressed to trustee Peter Headley. Red River Trust is located in Lenexa, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City. It shares an address with Cottonwood Ag, or Cottonwood farms, and Oak River Farms / Midwest.
Ag Week reported that Cottonwood Ag Management is an agricultural asset management team for Cascade Investment, LLC and Bill and Melinda Gates Investments.
In 2020, analysts revealed that Cottonwood is an “ag-investment platform” for Gates and his former wife, who are now divorced presumably for money-hoarding purposes.
“Gates already has an impressive land portfolio,” reported the Daily Mail (UK). “As of 2021, his largest holdings in the U.S. included 69,071 acres in Louisiana, 47,927 acres in Arkansas, 25,750 acres in Arizona, 20,588 acres in Nebraska and 16,097 in Washington state.”
“Gates also reportedly shopped for ‘hundreds of acres of farmland’ in Turkey while vacationing aboard a superyacht last November … He allegedly wanted to create a large sustainable farm in the country. It is unclear if he ended up purchasing the land.”
by: Ethan Huff
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