AS I SEE IT
By Neal A. Shipman
The sale of two parcels of farmland in eastern North Dakota has been grabbing a fair amount of national attention. The first sale was for the purchase of a 2,100-acre potato farm near Grafton to the Red River Trust, which is owned by Bill Gates, while the second was for the purchase of 370 acres of farmland near the Grand Forks Air Force base by Fufeng Group, a Shandong, China-based company.
No one likes to see state farmland go to out-of-state or foreign buyers. But in America’s free market system, if there is a willing seller and a willing buyer, that’s the way it works.
In the case of Gates’ $13.5 million purchase of the Campbell Farms, who are large potato growers in the Red River Valley, North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley approved the sale noting that since the land would be leased to individual farmers, the sale did not violate the state’s anti-corporate farming law.