There are billions of dollars in farming. We now bring to you the ten richest farmers in the world. Read and get inspired.
- Howard Buffet
Son of US billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, Howard Graham Buffett is an American farmer and businessman. He spent most of his life as a farmer, with little financial support from his father—until recently when he was appointed the CEO and Chairman of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
Buffett has travelled to over 130 countries to document the challenges of preserving biodiversity and providing adequate resources to support human demands.
“I’m a farmer. I know what I can get from improved seed. I know what I get from fertilizer. But technology can’t build organic matter. It can’t create topsoil. It can’t magically protect water quality. It’s a quick fix, and Africa needs a long-term solution,” he once told a US magazine.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation supports projects in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, water, humanitarian, conservation, and conflict/unaccompanied persons.
His wealth is estimated to be $200 million.
- Colin Armer and Dale Armer
The two husband and wife New Zealand dairy farmers remain the most celebrated in the world. Both own Armer Farms company in New Zealand’s North Island, which milks 13,000 cows on 14 farms, and are major shareholders in corporate business Dairy Holdings with 59 dairy farms, 48,010 cows producing 17.3 million kilograms of milk solids a year. The Armers started building their dairy operation 40 years ago, buying 140 cows to sharefarm, starting with zero capital and focusing on profit. They have an estimated wealth of $240 million and owns the Dairy Holding whose value is estimated at $535 million.
- Tony and Rich Perich
Brothers Tony and Ron Perich started out with dairy business. The family’s Leppington Pastoral now has 2,000 cows on 11,000 hectares. They also own more than half of listed Freedom Foods and a big stake in joint venture Australian Fresh Milk Holdings, the country’s largest dairy milking operation; another partner is Chinese agricultural giant New Hope. They inherited the business from their father Kolombo Perich, who left his family in Croatian home and sailed to Australia in 1938. He met his wife Julia on the boat, and they soon settled down in the then broad acres of southwest Sydney to start farming. His dairy farm became the bedrock that his two sons, Ron and Tony, would later inherit.
The Perich brothers have since expanded into property development, and the family fortune recently topped $1 billion.
- Blairo Borges Maggi
He was born in Brazil and owns a large soy plantation. A former governor of the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil, he graduated from Federal University of Paraná, majoring in agronomy.
He is the son of Andre Maggi who founded the Andre Maggi Group, the largest soy producer in the world.
Maggi also owns the Amaggi Group, a large company that harvests, processes, and exports soybeans. The Maggi group is also involved in the infrastructure projects that are necessary to sustain the soy industry, notably soy terminals, highways, and waterways. Maggi is the world’s largest soyabean producer. Maggi’s net worth is estimated by American magazine Forbes at $960 million, based on his 17% stake in Grupo Andre Maggi.
His company has interests in fertiliser, energy, rubber extraction and transportation. Maggi is one of the richest men in the world.
- Harry Stine
Harry Stine is synonymous with many titles – innovator, businessman, entrepreneur – but the title holding the most significance to him is farmer. Raised on the family property in Dallas County, Iowa, Harry graduated from Central Dallas High School and then McPherson College in Kansas. In 1964, he joined his father’s soybean cleaning business in Adel, Iowa.
Harry’s interest in research and seed breeding started when he found some unusual soybean plants in one of the company fields. He saw the value and profit opportunities that breeding, developing and growing newer, higher-yielding soybean varieties would have for his company and farmers. While yield checking the soybean lines, he came to understand what a conventional breeding program could bring to the soybean industry and growers. His estimated Net Worth is $3.4 billion.
- Stewart and (3) Lynda Resnick
Stewart and Lynda Resnick are the biggest farmers in the United States, a fact they have tried to keep hidden. It all started in 1978, when the Resnicks entered the agricultural business with the purchase of some orange groves in Kern County. Their initial fortune came not from agriculture but from the Teleflora flower delivery service. They later expanded their assets, buying farms on the cheap during the drought years of the late 1980s. Their company—then known as Paramount Farms, but now called the Wonderful Company—soon became the largest producer of pistachios and almonds in the world. Their many brands include Wonderful Pistachios, Halo clementines, Fiji Water, and Pom Wonderful and nearly half of all Americans purchase one of their products, including Halos mandarin oranges, POM Wonderful and Fiji Water. Their real time wealth is estimated as $3.9 billion.
- Liu Yonghao
One of the richest people in China, Liu Yonghao and runs the largest agricultural companies in China. Mr Liu is the vice-chairman of China Minsheng Bank and chairman of the New Hope Group. In China, he is often referred to as the richest chicken farmer, thanks to his humble beginnings.
Mr Liu, now 59, was once a technical school tutor until 1982 when he quit and started selling bicycles together with his three brothers. That is how he managed to raise $120 start-up capital. They invested in breeding quails and chickens to sell to other farmers near their home in rural Sichuan province and soon branched out into the animal-feed business.
By 1992, their company, Hope Group, was one of the largest animal-feed groups in China and one of the largest non-government conglomerates in the country. In 1996, the brothers split their empire and branched into other ventures, with Mr Liu building his portion, renamed the New Hope Group, into one of the largest agricultural business enterprises in the country. He also helped found China Minsheng Bank, the only bank in the country since 1949 to be established without direct state ownership.
Today, Mr Liu holds about 7 per cent of China Minsheng Bank’s shares, and his New Hope Group retains extensive interests in animal feed, property, logistics and dairy products.
He is ranked by Forbes list among the 400 richest Chinese with an estimated fortune of $4.9 billion.
- Liu Yongxing
Liu Yongxing is the Hope Oriental Corporation Chairman and has a net worth of $13.5 billion in January 2018. He started selling chicken and quails in China together with his brother Liu Yonghao (above) before venturing into selling pig feeds.
He today chairs East Hope Group, whose business interests include heavy industry, agriculture and real estate. Mr Liu formed East Hope Group in the 1990s after amicably parting ways with his 3 brothers; the siblings launched agribusiness company Hope Group in 1982. Since then, the East Hope Group of Liu Yongxing with headquarter in Shanghai, has developed into one of the biggest privately owned industrial materials manufactures in China. The Yongxing’s cooperation is putting at least $1 billion in an aluminum as well as power complex in Xinjiang. In addition, it is venturing into commercial real estate in the capital of Sichuan.