Fourth-generation Georgia farmer rips Bill Gates as biggest farmland owner in US: ‘Damn, I have concerns’
A fourth-generation farmer in South Georgia, Will Harris, recently raised concerns that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates would become the largest individual owner of farmland in the United States.
Harris, the owner of White Oak Pastures, a 152-year-old six-generation family farm in Bluffton, Georgia, shared his concerns in a recent post on the farm’s Facebook page.
“Damn, I have concerns about Gates controlling farmland. Just like I don’t want a child abuser controlling even a single child, I don’t want him to controls a single acre,” Harris wrote.
“First, land is precious,” the post read. “It is perhaps more valuable than anything. I hate to see someone, who has no idea what to do with it, being put in a position to control it. Do you think I would do well to running a tech company or a financial institution “It’s the same logic as letting a guy like Gates run something as complex as an ecosystem. He lacks the understanding to handle it properly.”
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“Second, the whole deal has been kept too secret,” the message continues. “An article dated May 4, 2021 informed us that Gates had purchased over 200,000 acres in 18 states. Georgia was not listed as one of the 18 states, but an acquaintance of mine sold her farm in Georgia. Georgia to Gates before this time. What else are they lying about?”
“Third. Gates believes the cure for all problems is more technology,” the message notes. “Everything looks like a nail if your only tool is a hammer. I fully understand how poorly applied technology is responsible for most of the land management problems we face today.”
Harris’ fourth concern is that Gates “is heavily invested in plant-based proteins.”
“He doesn’t understand that the impact on animals is not responsible for climate change,” Harris said. “In fact, appropriate animal impact is a critical component for climate change mitigation. This environmental mitigation cannot be replicated in a mono-crop pea and soybean operation.
“Fifth, ask Indian and African farmers how beneficial Gates’ influence has been to their farming systems,” he said. “If you research the failed AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) program, you will get some insight [sic] about the repercussions of letting a businessman make farming decisions. This billionaire leopard won’t change the spots that made him the most powerful man in the world.”
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The post, which spans several slides, ends with a direct letter to Gates.
“If you are truly interested in the well-being of people, land and climate, come to my farm and let me share what I know, based on my 67 years of experience,” Harris says. “You have an open invitation.