A fourth-generation farmer in South Georgia, Will Harris, recently shared concerns about Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates allegedly becoming the largest individual farmland owner in the United States.
Harris, the owner of White Oak Pastures, a six-generation 152-year-old family farm in Bluffton, Georgia, shared his concerns in a recent post to the farm’s Facebook page.
"Hell yeah I have concerns about Gates controlling farmland. Just like I don’t want a child abuser controlling even one child, I don’t want him to control a single acre," Harris wrote.
"First, land is precious," the post says. "It may be more precious than anything. I hate to see someone, who has no idea what to do with it, be put in a position to control it. How well do you think that I would do running a tech company or financial institution? It’s the same logic as letting a guy like Gates manage something as complex as an ecosystem. He lacks the understanding to steward it properly."
"Second, the whole deal has been kept way too secretive," the post continues. "An article that was dated May 4, 2021, informed us that Gates has purchased over 200,000 acres in 18 states. Georgia was not listed as one of the 18 states, but an acquaintance of mine sold his farm located in Georgia to Gates prior to that time. What else are they lying about?"
"Third. Gates believes that the cure for all problems is more technology," the post notes. "Everything looks like a nail if your only tool is a hammer. I have a deep understanding of how misapplied technology is responsible for most of the land management problems that we are experiencing today."
Harris’ fourth concern is that Gates "is heavily invested in plant-based protein."
"He does not understand that proper animal impact is not responsible for climate change," Harris says. "In fact, proper animal impact is an essential component for the mitigation of climate change. This environmental mitigation cannot be replicated within a monocultural pea and soy farming operation.
"Fifth, ask the farmers of India and Africa how beneficial Gates’ influence was to their agricultural systems," he said. "If you research the failed AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) program you’ll get a sneak peak [sic] on the repercussions of letting a businessman make farming decisions. That billionaire-leopard ain’t gonna change the spots that made him the most powerful man in the world."
The post, which lasts several slides, concludes with a direct letter to Gates.
"If you are truly interested in the welfare of people, land, and climate, please 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.