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Billionaire buys large portion of ND land, prompts letter from Attorney General

Land sale to Red River Trust in Pembina County
Land sale to Red River Trust in Pembina County(KFYR)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT
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PEMBINA COUNTY, N.D. (KFYR) - A large land sale completed in northeast North Dakota that was confirmed by North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring is creating controversy. It’s not the big price tag that is being questioned but who was involved in the transaction.

A trust that has ties to Bill Gates acquired six parcels of land in Pembina County.

Tuesday, the office of the Attorney General sent out a letter asking the Red River Trust to confirm how the company plans to use the land and if it meets any of the exceptions to the North Dakota Corporate Farming Laws.

Some reaction from the public has not been positive.

“I’ve gotten a big earful on this from clear across the state, it’s not even from that neighborhood. Those people are upset, but there are others that are just livid about this,” said Commissioner Goehring.

The transfer of ownership to the trust breaks no North Dakota laws, but the buyers will need to prove it is not in violation of Corporate Farming Laws.

Commissioner Goehring says there’s nothing illegal or unlawful about selling land to a billionaire, but many people feel they are being exploited by the ultra-rich who buy land in North Dakota but do not necessarily share the state’s values.

Letter from the ND Attorney General's office regarding the land sale in northeast ND
Letter from the ND Attorney General's office regarding the land sale in northeast ND(ND Attorney General)

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