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Thread: Gates buying ND farmland

  1. #1
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    Default Gates buying ND farmland

    Bill Gates’ purchase of North Dakota farmland has locals ‘livid’: official

    By Ariel Zilber
    June 23, 2022

    An entity with ties to billionaire Bill Gates bought 2,100 acres of potato farmland in northern North Dakota — prompting the state’s top prosecutor to intervene after complaints from local residents.

    Public records cited by AgWeek show that the Gates-linked Red River Trust bought the farmland from the owners of Campbell Farms, a potato farming group that is headquartered in Grafton, North Dakota, which is about 50 miles from the Canadian border.

    North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring told KFYR that public reaction to the purchase has been largely negative.

    “I’ve gotten a big earful on this from clear across the state, it’s not even from that neighborhood,” said Goehring.

    “Those people are upset, but there are others that are just livid about this.”

    Gates, the billionaire tech mogul and philanthropist whose net worth was pegged by Bloomberg at $113 billion, has quietly amassed nearly 270,000 acres of farmland across the country, according to the Associated Press.

    The Microsoft co-founder is considered the largest private owner of farmland in the country with some 269,000 acres across dozens of states, according to last year’s edition of the Land Report 100, an annual survey of the nation’s largest landowners.

    The trustee of Red River Trust is Peter Headley, who identifies himself on his LinkedIn page as head of agriculture investment management at Investment Management Co. A 2020 article by NFU Mutual Charitable Trust claimed that Headley once headed an entity called “Cottonwood,” which was described as an “ag-investment platform” for Bill and Melinda Gates.

    Earlier this week, North Dakota State Attorney General Drew Wrigley wrote a letter to Red River Trust, care of Headley, notifying it that corporations and limited liability companies were “prohibited from owning or leasing farmland or ranchland in the state of North Dakota.”

    Wrigley wrote that these entities were also barred from “engaging in farming or ranching.”

    “In addition, the law places certain limitations on the ability of trusts to own farmland or ranchland,” the letter said.

    The land, most of which is non-irrigated, was transferred to Red River Trust on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 of last year. Red River Trust filed paperwork with the office of the secretary of state of North Dakota on Feb. 15 of this year. The entity shares the same address as Campbell Farms.

    The trust and Headley were given 30 days to respond to the letter.

    “Our office needs to confirm how your company uses this land and whether this use meets any of the statutory exceptions, such as the business purpose exception, so that we may close this case and file it in our inactive files,” the letter says.

    Gates, in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit last year, said his “investment group” was behind the purchases, and suggested it was linked to seed and biofuel development.

    “The agriculture sector is important,” he wrote. “With more productive seeds we can avoid deforestation and help Africa deal with the climate difficulty they already face. It is unclear how cheap biofuels can be but if they are cheap it can solve the aviation and truck emissions.”

    According to the North Dakota Corporate or Limited Liability Company Farming Law, there are “certain exceptions, such as permitting registered family farms or allowing the use of the land for business purposes.”

    Wrigley’s office said it had “come to our attention” that Red River Trust “may have acquired land for farming or ranching in Pembina County on Nov. 4, 2021.”

    A corporation or LLC “found in violation” of the law has up to a year to divest itself fromt he land or face a penalty “up to $100,000,” according to the letter.

  2. #2
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    Bill gates wipes his ass with $100,000 dollar bills

  3. #3
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    I buy ( bought) Spuds from Campbell Farms.

    Gates owns a bunch of rice growing land in LA, AR, and CA - to sell to his Chink business partners, who can't grow enough food to feed their own people over there. He is a real threat to our national security.
    F**K Cancer

    Just Damn.

  4. #4
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    Better Gates than Chinese?

  5. #5
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    It makes sense. The communists in power keep hinting at using the Lever Act to take over food production and distribution.

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    Damn, I wish he would have made me an offer on my land in Milton. I would have let him hold it.

  7. #7
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    a little different then what I'd be doing with that money... I'd be waltzing around with a monocle and a trident.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highstrung View Post
    a little different then what I'd be doing with that money... I'd be waltzing around with a monocle and a trident.
    I know what I’m bringing you next time I come home…maybe trade for a bottle of Blantons?

    And do not fret…I have exquisite taste in accessories; the gifts I bring will stir envy from the likes of Col. Klink and Snoop-Dogg, and I’ll settle for Woodford.
    Last edited by WhitewaterDuck; 06-24-2022 at 01:39 PM.
    There was a time between the excitement of first light/legal and the first wave of ducks we tried to coax in that I looked to the heavens and talked to Tripp; I don’t think God lets conversations from earth taint the wonder that His children are experiencing in Heaven, but just in case, I had my say.

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    Meh - 2,100 acres in that country is a dot on the map. It will be interesting to see what the state decides to do.
    Formerly DM88

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highstrung View Post
    a little different then what I'd be doing with that money... I'd be waltzing around with a monocle and a trident.
    Have you seen the '22 costs of having your trident factory sharpened and reconditioned? Unreal. This dang inflation...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubs View Post
    Meh - 2,100 acres in that country is a dot on the map. It will be interesting to see what the state decides to do.
    My guess is solar panels or a cricket farm
    Tyler Simmons wasn’t offsides

  12. #12
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    I'm confused. Did they not buy from a willing seller? I would understand if it was about eminent domain, but that's usually developers involved in that (outside of governments).

    If I had his wealth, I would be the largest landowner in the US.
    Last edited by JBtflo; 06-24-2022 at 04:09 PM.

  13. #13
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    Chinese company’s purchase of North Dakota farmland raises national security concerns in Washington
    PUBLISHED FRI, JUL 1 2022
    Eamon Javers

    Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group bought 300 acres of land near Grand Forks, North Dakota, to set up a milling plant.

    The project is located about 20 minutes from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, raising national security concerns.
    Both the Democratic chairman and the Republican ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee told CNBC they are opposed to the project.

    Growing concerns over Chinese project near U.S. military base
    At first glance, the largely barren, wind-swept tract of land just north of Grand Forks, North Dakota, seems to be an unlikely location for international espionage.

    There’s not much on the more than 300-acre patch of prime Dakota farmland right now other than dirt and tall grasses, bordered by highways and light industrial facilities on the outskirts of the city.

    The nearest neighbors include a crop production company, a truck and trailer service outfit, and Patio World, which sells landscaping supplies for suburban backyards.

    But when the three North Dakotans who owned the parcels of land here sold them for millions of dollars this spring, the transaction raised alarm bells as far away as Washington, D.C.

    Grand Forks Air Force Base
    That’s because the buyer of the land was a Chinese company, the Fufeng Group, based in Shandong, China, and the property is just about 20 minutes down the road from Grand Forks Air Force Base — home to some of the nation’s most sensitive military drone technology.

    The base is also the home of a new space networking center, which a North Dakota senator said handles “the backbone of all U.S. military communications across the globe.”

    Now some security experts warn the Chinese corn milling plant should be stopped, because it could offer Chinese intelligence unprecedented access to the facility.

    It’s an only-in-America kind of fight — pitting the property and economic rights of a community against national security warnings from high-ranking officials in the nation’s capital.

    Debate over the project has roiled the small community, with emotional city council hearings, local politicians at odds with one another, and neighborhood groups gearing up to block the project.

    Craig Spicer, whose trucking company borders the Chinese-held land, said he’s suspicious of the new company’s intent. “It makes me feel nervous for my grandkids,” he said. “It makes me feel nervous for my kids.”

    $2.6 million sale
    Gary Bridgeford, who sold his parcel of the farmland to the Chinese company for around $2.6 million this year, said his neighbors have vented their anger at him and planted signs opposing the project in his front yard. “I’ve been threatened,” he said. “I’ve been called every name in the book for selling property.”

    Bridgeford said he believes the national security concerns are overblown. “How would they gain any knowledge of the base?” he asked. “It’s about 12 miles away. It isn’t like its next door.”

    “People hear the China stuff and there’s concern,” Bridgeford said. “But everyone has a phone in their pocket that was probably made in China. Where do you draw the line?”

    The city’s mayor, Brandon Bochenski, said he just wants to do business: The proposed $700 million plant would create more than 200 direct jobs and other opportunities for logistics, trucking and other support services. He’s pushing for the project, but he acknowledges there are national security concerns that are beyond his ability to process as a small-town mayor.

    ‘The best we can’
    “I mean, we’re a municipality of about 60,000 people,” he said. “You know, we don’t have the budget to have an intelligence-gathering apparatus here. We do the best we can and rely on our partners.”

    Among those partners is the United States Air Force, which hasn’t taken an official position on the Chinese project in its North Dakota backyard.

    But inside the Air Force, an officer circulated a memo about the project in April, casting it as a national security threat to the United States and alleging that it fits a pattern of Chinese subnational espionage campaigns using commercial economic development projects to get close to Department of Defense installations. The officer, Maj. Jeremy Fox, argued that the Fufeng project is located on a narrow geographic footprint at which passive receiving equipment could intercept sensitive drone and space-based communications to and from the base.

    “Some of the most sensitive elements of Grand Forks exist with the digital uplinks and downlinks inherent with unmanned air systems and their interaction with space-based assets,” he wrote. And any such data collection “would present a costly national security risk causing grave damage to United States’ strategic advantages.”

    Electronic surveillance
    Fox argued that the Air Force would have little ability to detect any electronic surveillance on drone and satellite transmissions being conducted from the Chinese property. “Passive collection of those signals would be undetectable, as the requirements to do so would merely require ordinary antennas tuned to the right collecting frequencies,” he wrote. “This introduces a grave vulnerability to our Department of Defense installations and is incredibly compromising to US National Security.”

    Still, that’s not the Air Force’s official position. An Air Force spokeswoman said Fox wrote the memo on his own: “In an effort to raise awareness of what he deemed concerning with respect to the company in question moving into the Grand Forks area, Maj. Fox submitted his personal assessment of potential vulnerabilities to the Grand Forks Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations,” Lea Greene, spokeswoman for the base, said in a statement.

    The company at the heart of the debate argues that its project will helps Americans, not hurt them. Eric Chutorash, chief operating officer of Fufeng USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Fufeng Group, dismissed concerns the plant could be used to spy on the Air Force base.

    “I can’t imagine anyone that we hire that’s going to even do that,” Chutorash said. When asked if he could definitively say it wouldn’t be used for espionage, he responded, “Absolutely.”

    “We’re under U.S. law, I’m an American citizen, I grew up my whole life here, and I am not going to be doing any type of espionage activities or be associated with a company that does, and I know my team feels the exact same way,” Chutorash said.

    But Fox is not the only official concerned about the farmland in Grand Forks.

    The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission cited Fox’s intelligence concerns in a May 26 report, writing, “the location of the land close to the base is particularly convenient for monitoring air traffic flows in and out of the base, among other security related concerns.”

    Senate opposition
    Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., opposes the project, despite the economic advantages it might bring to his own constituents. He said he’s suspicious of the Chinese government’s intent. “I think we grossly underappreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, using it in nefarious ways,” he said in an interview. “And so I’d just as soon not have the Chinese Communist Party doing business in my backyard.”

    Both the Democratic chairman and the Republican ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee also told CNBC they are opposed to the project.

    “The Senate Intelligence Committee has been loudly sounding the alarm about the counterintelligence threat posed by the (People’s Republic of China),” said Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. “We should be seriously concerned about Chinese investment in locations close to sensitive sites, such as military bases around the U.S.”

    His Republican counterpart, Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, agrees. “It is dangerous, foolish, and shortsighted to allow the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies to purchase land near U.S. military installations,” he told CNBC in a statement, noting that he is co-sponsoring legislation that would give the Biden administration the power to block such a purchase. “This is something we must address.”

    The project is a complicated one, and the city of Grand Forks is not expected to begin building out infrastructure for it until next spring. Bochenski said he’s moving ahead in good faith but is ready to shift gears if new information comes to light. “We want to do what’s best for the community, we want to do what’s best for the country, it’s a difficult balance right now,” he said.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/01/chin...ashington.html

  14. #14
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    China shouldn't be allowed to own any land or facilities in the US, period. And neither should any other known enemy, particularly those who have openly threatened us like China has.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodieSC View Post
    China shouldn't be allowed to own any land or facilities in the US, period. And neither should any other known enemy, particularly those who have openly threatened us like China has.
    But an action like that would negatively effect the wallets of the higher class, excuse me, our government representatives.


    I just wanna say that it makes me mad that no where in the US is sacred anymore. My plans have always been to get to the dakotas, nobody bothers that frozen prairie. The coasts are screwed, Texas ruined (thanks a lot Joe Rogan), the western mountains are done because Californian’s are moving over like locust ready to destroy the next crop. But there were always the dakotas until now.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MolliesMaster View Post
    The coasts are screwed, Texas ruined (thanks a lot Joe Rogan), the western mountains are done because Californian’s are moving over like locust ready to destroy the next crop. But there were always the dakotas until now.


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    He talks about it constantly. All I think when I hear him say that is how much the locals must hate his ass.
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