Farming and agriculture has a poor image in popular culture, but it remains a solid investment for families and people around the world. With a growing population and a shrinking land base, I anticipate farming will only need to get more efficient. Here are several millionaire farmers that have built wealth by following their plan and growing their agriculture business.
Millionaire Farmers: Top 10 Families That Made Millions from Agriculture
Modern agriculture and new technologies have helped foster the development of successful farms around the world. Many millionaire farmers around the world have made a fortune through the use of new technology.
Farming is undoubtedly one of the most proven ventures in history. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have food on earth… That’s a joke. We need food now more than ever before. At the same time, we will always need food. A strong agriculture system is core to our well-being.
An ideal tip on how to become a successful farmer is to treat agriculture like any other business. Farming also requires the formulation of proper strategies and keeping of accounts of the business cash flows. In order to accumulate wealth, you need to own something. One thing I admire about farmers is that they love taking ownership of their work.
Farmers simply don’t get enough credit for what they do. I’m bullish on farming for years to come. Not just traditional farming, but city farming and greenhouses. Let’s get into some background about farming and money.
How Farmers Make Money
Farming is one of the most straightforward business ventures in the world. It is not without cycles, however. Farmers can be somewhat reliant on weather conditions and external factors that will truly influence how much money you can make. However, these millionaire farmers have isolated their businesses away from weather reliant products.
Then, most of these farmers scaled their land from ordinary farmer to millionaire farmer. Farmers make money by selling consumer products to distributors that bring these products to grocery and retail stores.
Farmers have large upfront costs, but if you own the land and assets, you can live off of the income forever. If you reinvest the income from farming, you can really take your business from ordinary farm to an everlasting enterprise.
How to Become a Successful Farmer
If you are trying to become a rich farmer or a successful farmer, there are a few guidelines for success.
Successful farmers don’t always have to be rich farmers. Based on my review successful farmers that have eventually become rich from farming possess the following:
- Successful farmers always have the highest yielding equipment and continue to reinvest into their business.
- They focus on mergers and acquisitions to expand the business into new verticals or lines of distribution.
- Isolate or diversify their business from weather patterns.
- Successful farmers possess the true entrepreneurial spirit. They certainly learned from these accumulated wealth tips. I don’t think they spent much time monitoring their Personal Capital net worth. They focused on investing in their business.
There are many other traits of successful farmers, but these are some of the top traits of successful farmers that come to mind. A few of these farmers on our list are not just millionaires, they are billionaires. Let’s get into our list of the top millionaire farmers in the world.
List of the Top 10 Millionaire Farmers in the World
Our list of millionaire farmers features families from across the world in all different continents. These farmers made the list due to their devotion to growth in business and entrepreneurial savvy. They started as farmers, but grew into much more than that. Some of the richest farmers in the world no longer focus on the grass roots of farming. However, that’s okay.
Without further ado, let’s look at the top ten wealthiest farmers in the world (not in any particular order).
Liu Yonghao and Family
Liu Yonghao is among the most prosperous farmers in the world. He is among the most successful millionaire farmers in China from a humble beginning as a chicken farmer. In addition, he has a net worth of $6.6 billion. He is the man behind New Hope Group. New Hope Group is a conglomerate that controls New Hope Liuhe where Liu’s daughter is a chairperson.
Mr. Liu was once a technical school tutor until 1982 when he quit and began a bicycles business together with his three brothers. He managed to raise $120 start-up capital which he invested in breeding quails and chickens to sell to other farmers near their home in rural Sichuan province.
Soon he branched out into the animal-feeds business. He formed East Hope Group Company in the early 1990s after an amicable business split from his brothers. The Hope Group company was one of the largest animal-feed groups in China and one of the largest non-government conglomerates in the country in 1992.
Taking Farming to the Next Level
Being a founder of China Minsheng Bank, the only bank in the country since 1949 to be established without direct state ownership, Liu holds about 7% of China Minsheng Bank’s shares. His New Hope Group maintains extensive interests in animal feed, property, logistics and dairy products.
Liu and his brothers are millionaire farmers and made it to the top wealthiest farmers list by focusing mostly on the agriculture and animal husbandry sector. By the end of 2013, China Minsheng Bank had more than 500 subsidiaries and branches.
East Hope Group specializes in producing animal feed for pigs, ducks, chickens, and fish among others. It is present mostly in the Chinese market, but also in a few countries abroad, such as Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, or Cambodia.
The company has developed support services and products, such as fodder, plant cultivation and food processing around animal husbandry. Their family is one (if not the) richest farming families in the world.
Howard Buffet is a son of US billionaire investor, Warren Buffet and is not only a businessman but also among the wealthiest American farmers. He has spent most of his life as a farmer.
With little financial support from his father, Howard managed to rank among the topmost agriculture millionaires. However, he recently got appointed the CEO and Chairman of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
Buffett has traveled to over 130 different countries around the world. He documents the challenges of preserving biodiversity and providing sufficient resources to support the ever-growing human demands.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation supports projects in the areas of agriculture, water, conservation, nutrition, humanitarian, and conflict/unaccompanied persons. His wealth is approximately $200 million. Howard Buffett is thus among the once of many millionaire farmers in the world today. I admire Howard Buffett for his devotion to impact investing and leaving a lasting legacy. Not only that, but from what I’ve heard, he’s one of the most down to earth businessmen out there.
Colin and Dale Armer
Colin and Dale Armer is a couple from New Zealand. They are one of the most celebrated dairy millionaire farmers in the world. They own Armer Farms, a company in New Zealand’s North Island.
The Armers have 13,000 cows for milking on 14 farms. They are significant shareholders in corporate business Dairy Holdings which own 59 dairy farms, 48,010 cows and produce 17.3 million kilograms of milk solids per year.
The two brothers began developing their dairy operation around 40 years ago. Having started with zero capital, Colin and Dale bought 140 cows to share the farm with a focus on making profits. Colin and Dale’s wealth is around $240 million, and they also own the Dairy Holding whose value is approximately $535 million.
Another gentleman among the top millionaire farmers is Harry Stine. Harry is not only an entrepreneur and innovator but also one of the wealthiest farmers in the world. He grew up on the family property in Dallas County, Iowa. Harry graduated from Central Dallas High School and McPherson College in Kansas. He joined his father’s soybean cleaning business in Adel, Iowa in 1964.
Harry’s found some unusual soybean plants in one of the company fields which piqued his interest in research and seed breeding. He recognized the value and potential opportunities of reproduction, developing and growing newer higher-yielding soybean varieties for his company and farmers.
While yield-checking the soybean lines, he gained an understanding of what a conventional breeding program could bring to the soybean industry and growers. His net worth is around $3.4 billion.
Harry Stine made his fortune by licensing corn and soybean genetics to large multinationals, such as Syngenta or Monsanto. He is mildly autistic and dyslexic, but he never allows these challenges overcome his drive and ambitious. Harrys’ company, Stine Seeds, is the largest private seed company in the world. Stine Seeds has created some of the most genetically robust soybean seeds.
Stewart and Lynda Resnick
Stewart and Lynda Resnick are millionaire farmers and among the wealthiest American farmers. They now own a company called the Wonderful Company. It all began in 1978 when the Resnicks moved into the agricultural business after the purchase of some orange groves in Kern County.
They got their fortune first from the Teleflora flower delivery service. They later expanded their assets and bought cheap farms during the drought years of the late 1980s. The company which was then known as Paramount Farm soon became the largest pistachios and almonds producers in the world.
Their many brands include Wonderful Pistachios, Fiji Water, Halo clementines, and POM Wonderful. Nearly half of all Americans today purchase one of their products, including Halos mandarin oranges, POM Wonderful, and Fiji Water.
The two millionaire farmers have a net worth of $4 billion. It made lots of it from their almonds, oranges, and grapefruits they grow on their land. The family owns property in the Central Valley of California and South Texas.
Fu Guangming is currently the chairman of Fujian Sunner Development. He shares his fortune with his daughter, Fu Fenfang, who holds the position of the company’s director. Mr. Fu has a net worth of $1.5 billion.
Mr.Fu made his fortune through the poultry business. His company supplies chicken for KFC restaurants throughout China. Fujian Sunner mainly deals with breeding, slaughtering and meat processing of chicken, mostly in China. The company product range includes frozen chicken products for the food manufacturing industry, wholesale meat markets, and other markets as well.
Vadim Moshkovich began the business world by selling vodka, oil, and apartments in the early 1990s. He used his profits to invest in land. He created Rusagro, one of the most prominent sugar and pork producers in Russia. Moshkovich spent close to eight years in the Federal Council of Russia and resigned in 2014. Since 2015, he became the board chairman of Rusagro.
He is also involved in charity projects. The land bank of Rusagro has more than 600,000 ha, and the main assets are in several regions in Russia. Vadim Moshkovich net worth is $2.3 billion.
Andrej Babis is another millionaire farmer in the Czech Republic. His net worth is around $3.4 billion. Andrej is the deputy prime minister and minister of finance of the Czech Republic. He placed his company, Agrofert, into a trust to avoid conflicts of interest. Andrej ventured into business as a fertilized trader. He also owns a Michelin-starred restaurant on the French Riviera.
The Agrofert group is still the leading player in the Czech and Slovak food processing industry and agriculture though it branched out in several other industry sectors. Agrofert owns over 100,000 ha of farmland, producing 265 million eggs per annum and 840,000 tons of animal feed.
Prince Sultan bin Saud Al Kabeer bin Mohammed
Prince Sultan Al Kabeer, a member of the Saudi royal family, founded the dairy company Almarai in 1977. He took the company public in 2005 retaining a 24% ownership stake. Prince Sultan’s real net worth is $3.8 billion.
His company Almarai is one of the largest dairy operators in the Middle East. It transports the milk obtained from its Holstein cows throughout Gulf countries. Besides the dairy farms, Prince Sultan Al Kabeer also owns a stud farm outside of Riyadh, where he trains approximately 100 horses.
Tony and Ron Perich
Tony and Ron Perich are brothers that began with dairy business. The family’s Leppington Pastoral today has 2,000 cows on 11,000 hectares. They own more than half of the listed Freedom Foods.
The two brothers have a significant stake in joint venture Australian Fresh Milk Holdings which is the country’s most massive dairy milking operation. They partner with Chinese agricultural giant New Hope.
Tony and Ron Perich inherited the business from their father, Kolombo Perich. He left his family in Croatian home and sailed to Australia in 1938. Mr. Perich met his wife Julia on the boat, and soon they settled down in the then broad acres of southwest Sydney to do farming. His dairy farm became the foundation that his two sons, Ron and Tony, would later advance. The Perich brothers have since expanded into property development, and the family fortune recently topped $1 billion.
Conclusion on Millionaire Farmers
I believe that this list of the top ten millionaire farmers has offered you valuable insights and is proof that farming is a profitable industry. These millionaires followed several key money hacks to build their wealth and stay dedicated to their business.
Through farming, these people are in a way already financially free. Farmer’s homes are their businesses. This is why financial planning is even more important for farmers. They need to learn how to reinvest properly or build a personal financial plan.
You can also attain wealth by investing and taking advantage of the ‘compound interest snowball.’ If you are a millionaire, you still may not know if you are ready to retire. Use my retirement readiness checklist to cross a few key points off the list.
What millionaire farmers do you know? Please let us know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
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