Land is one of the biggest and most beneficial assets a person can earn. Although many people don’t think about investing in land, it is still a smart idea because the land will always be there in the future and will most likely increase in price if you decide to sell again. While some inherit land, others buy it to either live on it, or use it to increase their own wealth.
Land can also be sold off in sections to create areas where houses can be built, but land can also be conserved in order to keep beautiful landscapes and nature where animals can roam free.
Some people just get lucky, but some people just get enough money to own acres of land in America. Here is a list of the 25 biggest landowners in America. Get ready for mind-blowing figures.
25. Jeff Bezos: Owns 290,000 Acres
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, making it to the top 25 for the first time, bought a 290,000-acre ranch in Texas in 2004, and his aerospace firm Blue origin uses it to test space vehicles.
24. The Nunley Family: Owns 301,500 Acres
Specializing in the Santa Gertrudis breed of cow, The Nunley brothers have been in the ranching business for more than 70 year. They also own holdings in Texas and New Mexico, including a major cow-calf operation.
23. The Collins Family: Owns 310,472 Acres
The privately owned company runs timber operations from Pennsylvania to Oregon. Since 2010, the privately owned “The Collins Companies” have added around 17,000 acres to their holdings.
22. Pat Broe: Owns 317,677 Acres
Broe’s Hubble & Green Ranches in New Mexico cover 290,000 acres and he owns land in numerous states. Over 100 companies in real estate, energy, and transportation are being controlled by Pat Broe’s investment and asset Management Company. His Colorado’s Great Western Industrial Park became a major source of the state’s green job growth in 2008.
21. The Hughes Family: Owns 373,000 Acres
The family business, Dan A. Hughes Co., is an oil and gas exploration and production company who owns acreage in Texas used primarily for recreation, with parts devoted to commercial hunting and cattle ranching. They started investing in land in the 1960’s.
20. Malone Mitchell III: Owns 384,000 Acres
Malone Mitchell is an oil tycoon and investor who owns Longfellow Ranch is in the Big Bend Country of West Texas, which is known for game and lodging.
19. The Holding Family: Owns 400,000 Acres
In 1976, Robert Earl Holding’s success began in the oil industry. He bought Sinclair Oil that year and he owns three refineries. He has holdings in various states: ski resorts in Utah and Idaho, six other luxury hotels and resorts across the country, including The Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City, and ski resorts in Utah and Idaho.
18. The J.R. Simplot Heirs: Own 422,164 Acres
The J.R. Simplot Company started its fortune in potatoes but the business diversified over the years to become one of the largest, privately held food companies in the world. They own agribusiness land in Idaho. The land and livestock division has more than 30 farms and 15 ranches with capacity for 30,000 mother cows.
17. The Drummond Family: Owns 433,000 Acres
The writer of the popular blog ‘Confessions of a Pioneer Woman,” Ree Drummond, who married a fourth-generation family member, is a prominent ranching family from Oklahoma. For over a century, they owned Oklahoma ranches.
16. Phillip Anschutz: Owns 434,500 acres
Phillip Anschutz owns the 250,000-acre Baughman Farms in Kansas, the 149,493-acre Overland Trail Cattle Company & Ranch in Wyoming and 35,000 acres in Colorado. Philip Anschutz’s company has investments in energy exploration, telecommunications and agribusiness. His Anschutz Entertainment Group is also the world’s largest owner and operator of sports and entertainment venues.
15. D.M. O’Connor Heirs: Own 500,000 Acres
D.M. O’Connor was awarded in the Battle of San Jacinto, who continued to expand the land his father, Thomas O’Connor. Oil was discovered on their cattle ranches and today, the O’Connors own an estimated half-million acres across Southern and Western Texas.
14. W.T. Waggoner Estate: Owns 535,000 Acres
W.T. Waggoner Estate owns ranching and farmland throughout Texas. W.T. Waggoner began expanding his father’s ranching interests.
13. The Briscoe Family: Owns 560,000 Acres
Throughout Texas, the family owns ranchlands and oilfields. When oil and gas were discovered on his ranchland, Former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr., expanded his holdings.
12. The Lykes Bros. Heirs: Own 615,000 Acres
The Lykes family owns ranchlands and farms in Texas and Florida, which began as a cattle ranching operation and has since expanded into bioenergy and farming.
11. .The Ford Family: Owns 625,000 Acres
The Ford family owns timberland throughout Oregon and California. The Roseburg Lumber Company was founded by owner Kenneth Ford.
10. The Reed Family: Owns 730,000 Acres
The Reed Family continues to operate the privately owned Simpson Investment Company, one of the oldest forest products companies in the Pacific Northwest. They own 730,000 acres of timber across California, Oregon, and Washington.
9. The Pingree Heirs: Own 830,000 Acres
In the mid 1800’s, the Pingree family’s fortune in timber began and has conserved more than three quarters of a million acres of Maine forestland.
8. Stan Kroenke: Owns 848,571 Acres
Stan Kroenke owns cow-calf operations on Cedar Creek and PV Ranch in Montana, Q Creek Land & Livestock Company which runs up to 12,000 yearlings on 550,000+ acres in Wyoming. The sports tycoon who got his start in real estate increased his holdings this year with the purchase of Montana’s 123,000-acre Broken O Ranch for a reported $132.5 million.
7. King Ranch: Owns 911,215 Acres
In Florida, King Ranch operates 825,000 acres of cattle ranches and 60,000 acres of farms producing orange juice, sugar cane, sod, sweet corn and green beans. Primary revenue for King Ranch remains to be ranching and farming but it has also expanded into publishing, retail and eco-tourism.
6. The Singleton Family: Owns 1.1 Million Acres
Before purchasing the San Cristobal Ranch in 1986, Henry Singleton obtained his wealth in digital technology. Across California and New Mexico, the Singleton family’s holdings are comprised of ranches including the picturesque San Cristobal Ranch outside of Santa Fe.
5. The Irving Family: Owns 1.25 Million Acres
Way back in 1882, James D. Irving founded a company that included a sawmill, gristmill, lumber business and farms. Their U.S. landholdings are centered in Maine. Irving Woodlands is a Canadian company.
4. Brad Kelley: Owns 1.5 Million Acres
Brad Kelley’s properties span Texas, New Mexico, and Florida and are used to breed rare species of animals. Kelley founded a tobacco company in 1990 and sold it for $1 billion in 2001.
3. The Emmerson Family: Owns 1.86 Million Acres
Red Emmerson owns just under two million acres of forestland in California and Washington, and added 20,000 acres in 2012. He is the president of Sierra Pacific Industries, a family-run lumber manufacturing business that ranks as California’s largest private landowner.
2. Ted Turner: Owns 2 Million+ Acres
Ted Turner owns 2 million acres in 12 states and Argentina. He recently acquired the 8,800-acre Nonami Plantation, known for quail hunting. This year he bought the historic Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa in Truth or Consequences, NM. He founded the Turner Broadcasting System that launched CNN and several other cable successful programs.
1. John Malone: Owns 2.2 Million Acres
John Malone has served in executive positions in telecommunications firms and is currently the chairman of Liberty Media Corp. In 2011, John Malone coveted the top spot from his friend and business partner, Ted Turner, when he purchased a million acres of woods in Maine and New Hampshire. This year he added two properties in Florida’s equestrian country to his holdings and an Irish castle outside Dublin.
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