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The purchase of North Dakota farmland tied to Gates stirs emotions

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Dave Kolpack

Fargo, North Dakota (AP) — The Law of the Great Depression by selling prime farmland in North Dakota to a group tied to Billgates. Intended to protect the family's farm, it raised a question about whether millionaires share the state's values.

The Attorney General should explain to the trust that acquired the land how they plan to use the land to meet the rules outlined in the state's archaic anti-corporate agricultural law. I asked. With a few exceptions, all companies or limited liability companies are prohibited from owning or leasing farmland or ranches.

North Dakota Republican Attorney General Drew Wrigley told The Associated Press Thursday. "It took off, it's everywhere on Earth, but it's not that I'm sticking my finger in Bill Gates' eyes. That's not what this is."

On the other hand, Republican Doug Goehring, a state agricultural commissioner, has many felt that North Dakota television stations are being exploited by ultra-rich people who buy land but don't necessarily share state values. He said he was. Currently, Göring, who is on a state-sponsored trade mission to the United Kingdom, did not immediately respond to the list of questions emailed by AP.

"I listened a lot to this because it's clear across the state, not even from that neighborhood," Goering told KFYR-TV. "These people are upset, but there are others who are just fascinated by this."

Gates investment company spokesman Charles V. Zelen said. , Refused to comment on the AP on Thursday.

Wrigley was informed that his office had sold farmland, in this case from wealthy potatoes in northeastern North Dakota, to buy $ 13.5 million in real estate in two counties. He said that inquiries about corporate agriculture would be made "as a matter of course". Producer Campbell Farm. The call to Campbell Farms was unanswered.

"The goal is to help everyone understand what the ownership arrangement is and what their intentions are for the land," Wrigley said. "If it complies with state law, the problem goes on. If not, you will be notified that you need to sell the land."

The land is "for residential or commercial development." If required, the company is exempt from the law. A building, plant, facility, industrial complex, or similar business or industrial location of a company or limited liability company, or adjacent for the benefit of both parcels. For use in supporting or subsidizing non-farm land. "

This is not the first test of the 1932 legislation. A 2018 federal judge enacted a constitution after conservative farm groups argued that they restricted and interfered with producers' business options by banning out-of-state companies from engaging in North Dakota's agriculture. We carry out interstate trade.

North Dakota Republican Governor Doug Burgham is a former Microsoft executive who received $ 100,000 from Microsoft co-founder Gates when Burgham first won in 2016 and sold farmland. I declined to comment on. The Republican Governor stayed in the middle when asked for his opinion on anti-community farming law. He and the Legislature expanded in 2019 to allow cousins ​​in a mix of ownership.

"The Governor has strong support for family-owned farms and bureaucratic formalism that puts North Dakota farmers at a disadvantage compared to neighboring states. We are cutting off and discussing how to enable ranchers and farmers to succeed. We will expand our business and support the prosperity of rural communities, "said Mike Nowatzki, spokesman for Burgum.

Gates is considered the largest private owner of approximately 269,000 acres of farmland across dozens of states, according to last year's edition of Land Report 100, the country's largest annual survey of landowners. I am. He owns less than 1 percent of the country's total agricultural land.