I doubt very seriously that you haven’t heard of Bill Gates. Even if you aren’t all that much into either the news or technology, it would be very difficult in this day and age not to know who the billionaire and tech genius is.
I mean, this is the man who essentially invented Microsoft and who many would call the father of today’s computers and their software. To say that he’s quite accomplished is a massive understatement.
However, as one man would like to point out, Gates’ success and top-of-ladder privileges shouldn’t give him complete access to anything he wants, such as ownership of millions of acres of U.S. farmland. Or, at the very least, he shouldn’t be the man making decisions on how to manage that farmland.
Will Harris is a fourth-generation farmer from Georgia, where his family has been farming for 152 years now. Harris himself has over 67 years of farming experience.
And according to him, he has come rather concerned about Gates, a man who has been in the tech business for nearly 50 years now, suddenly buying up and controlling massive quantities of America’s farmland.
Harris explained in an open letter to Gates, which was posted on his Facebook account, that Gates’ lack of experience is the number one reason for his concerns.
Gates has achieved much, Harris will admit, and has done wonders where technology and software are concerned. But when it comes to farming, the only thing he knows how to do is purchase the land. And yet, as records show, Gates has not only purchased some 200,000 acres of U.S. farm, but he’s also attempting to control how, when, and why it is cultivated and used.
According to a May 4, 2021, article, the farmland is spread out between 18 states. But as Harris says, he likely owns a lot more than this and in far more states. He explains that he recently learned of an acquaintance who sold his farmland to Gates before that report was ever made. And yet, Georgia was not included on the list of states where Gates owns land.
Naturally, Harris doesn’t like the secrecy of how much land Gates owns, either.
But let’s get back to why Gates isn’t a suitable land owner in Harris’ mind.
For starters, the longtime actual farmer doesn’t believe Gates’ philosophy on farming will work. As you may know, since Gates left his responsibilities at Microsoft in 2020, he has become quite the philanthropist and is more than supportive of climate change and the need to change our ways of doing things.
For Gates, that starts with growing things and farming. But by things, I only mean plants. In recent days, Gates has announced his aversion to agriculture as it applies to animals and livestock. According to the billionaire, livestock is a serious reason why our climate is supposedly failing us. And so, in his mind, we need to forego that tradition and switch to plant-based everything.
But as Harris says, that thought process is just irresponsible. Furthermore, it shows his ignorance of actual farming, land management, and so much more. “This environmental mitigation cannot be replicated within a monocultural pea and soy farming operation.” Animals are needed, too.
And Gates’ recent efforts to influence farming in both India and some African countries have proven that. As Harris says, they are the “repercussions of letting a businessman make farming decisions.”
He asks, “How well do you think I would do running a tech company or financial institution?” as someone with only farming experience, the answer anyone would give is ‘not well.’ But, for Harris, his response is the same when someone suggests Gates is a successful farmer – at least not yet.
As I mentioned before, Gates didn’t really leave the tech industry until just two years ago. And it takes a heck of a lot longer than that to get the hang of farming, let alone be an expert at it.
Now to be clear, Harris isn’t opposed to Gates making efforts in the farming world. But first, he says he needs to learn a few things.
In fact, he’s even invited Gates to visit his farm so that Harris can “share what I know, based on my 67 years of experience.” Perhaps, then, he can better tackle this whole climate change thing.