Bill Gates has now earned himself a new distinction. As well as being the fourth richest person in the world, Gates now owns more private farmland in the US than anybody else.
Gates is now worth $121 billion, and personally owns more than 242,000 acres of land in various parts of the US.
According to Forbes, his massive portfolio of agricultural land has been built up slowly over the years, and now spans holdings in 18 different US states.
There is no conformation on what the land may be used for in many cases, but one swath of land, amounting to just over 25,000 acres on the outskirts of Phoenix, is reportedly slated for conversion into a large suburb.
Given the Gates Foundation's history of interest in improving the efficiency and quality of agriculture all over the world, it is possible that much of the land may be used for research and development in this area.
Ecolab, one of the companies under the Gates umbrella, does in fact specialize in this areas. Ecolab has also been looking into developing higher-yield dairy cows.
There is also the possibility that some or much of the land in question be used simply for conservation purposes.