I’m sure at a certain point in our lives, we’ve thought of a farmer as someone who spends their time on the field or farm, sweating all day. We’ve also wondered if there truly is wealth in agriculture. Believe me! There is! With modern agriculture, not only can you avoid the stress, you can also be successful in the business.
There are people out there who started with little or next to nothing. Through agriculture, they managed to build an empire and are even among Forbes Richest People.
7) Colin & Dale Armer
The Armer family has secured a spot on the list of the richest people in New Zealand, thanks to their highly successful dairy farm. They own the Dairy Holdings, the largest dairy farming conglomerate in New Zealand worth approximately $ 535 million.
Colin and Dale Armer started their business in the 1990s with just a farm, but now the group owns and operates 58 dairy farms in the South Island, along with supporting grazing blocks for the cows.
6. Tony Perich
Tony Perich and his brother inherited a dairy farm from their parents. The farm was founded in 1951, starting with just 25 milking cows. Today, the farm owns more than 2000 cows and has stations in West Wyalong and Trangie in Australia, where the company grows grains and rears stock. Tony Perich’s net worth is estimated at $ 750 million.
5. Blairo Maggi
You could say that Blairo Maggi has the agricultural business in his blood, as he is the son of Andre Maggi, who founded Andre Maggi Group, the largest private soybean producer in the world. The group reported sales of $ 3 billion in 2012, ensuring a spot for Blairo Maggi on Forbes’ richest men in the world.
The Andre Maggi Group is led by Andre’s wife Lucia, but Blairo Maggi owns more than 16% of the group. The company has interests in fertilizers, energy, rubber extraction and transportation.
Blairo Maggi was elected governor of the Mato Grosso state in Brazil in 2002. Mato Grosso is practically a haven for soybean production. Now, he is senator representing the state of Mato Grosso, lobbying for the carbon compensation market, to prevent farmers from cutting down forests.
4. Harry Stine
Ranked by Forbes Magazine the richest man in the state of Iowa in 2015, Harry Stine is the brain behind Stine Seed, a successful genetics company. He has an estimated worth of about $ 3.6 billion.
Harry Stine started his seed breeding business in the 1960s. Suffering from dyslexia and mild autism, Stine is a savant when it comes to data and math. Stine Seed is the largest private seed company in the world, creating some of the most genetically robust soybean seeds.
3. Liu Yonghao
Liu Yonghao is one of the richest people in China, with a fortune estimated by Forbes in 2016 at $ 4.1 billion, built initially on a chicken and quail farm that he founded with his brothers.
Liu Yonghao began his career as a teacher at a technical school. In 1982, he decided to start his own business, together with his three brothers. To raise money and finance the business idea, the four sold their bikes and watches, managing to get about 120 dollars, the working capital to start a business. The brothers invested their money in purchasing and rearing quails and chickens and sell them to farmers in the rural Sichuan province. They grew their business starting a sales network for animal feed.
In 1992, their business, Hope Group was one of the largest networks of animal feed supply and one of the largest non-governmental conglomerates in the country. In 1996, the four brothers split their agricultural empire. Liu Yonghao renamed his business the New Hope Group.
His company is now one of the largest agricultural companies in China. In 2013 he ceded the reins of the business to his daughter, Liu Chang, but has retained a place on the company board.
Along the way, Liu Yonghao has diversified his businesses, to real estate and chemical industries. He has also been a vice-president of the board of China Minsheng Bank.
2. Stewart and Lynda Resnick
The largest part of the Resnick family fortune, estimated at $ 4.2 billion comes from the pistachios and almonds grown on their 64,000 acres farm in California. They invested more than $ 100 million in sustainable technologies, to create drought resistant pistachios, to adapt to the ongoing drought in California during recent years.
Their farming business started in the late 1970s, after they got married, when Stewart Resnick decided to invest in large swaths of farmland in the California Central Valley. Today, the products of their company, Wonderful Company are purchased by nearly half of the Americans. The product ranges includes mandarin oranges, Fiji water or POM Wonderful.
1. Liu Yongxing
Along with his brothers, Liu Yongxing started a small farm of chickens and quails in the 1980s, becoming over the decades one of the richest people in China, with a fortune estimated at $ 6.6 billion.
He formed the East Hope Group in the early 1990s after parting ways with his other three brothers. All the siblings launched their own agribusiness companies, with both Liu Yongxing and his brother Liu Yonghao being ranked on Forbes’ richest list. The East Hope Group operates in agriculture, real estate and heavy industry. In the agricultural industry, the company is focused mainly on producing animal feed, with a product range of more than 100 products.
Interestingly enough, although all the people on this list are millionaires or even billionaires, all making their fortune from farming, none of them owns any of the biggest farms in the world. Nevertheless, it’s worth appreciating that, with a few exceptions, all the people on this list are self-made millionaires who had the courage to invest their money and time in the agricultural industry, facing a very strong competitive environment.