It isn’t something you think about when you’re googling the pages of Entertainment Weekly, People, or Rolling Stone, but a surprising number of famous Americans are – or have been – ranchers or farmers. Here we gather quotes from some of them.
The first one that comes to mind is Ted Turner, founder of cable news network CNN and owner of two million acres of ranch land in 12 states, plus Argentina. Speaking of his “deep reverence” for the land, Turner writes:
“John (Malone, friend and fellow rancher) is very aware of the responsibilities that come with being a landowner. I also feel that way. We both see landownership as a personal investment, but also an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.”
Respect for land has driven many large landowners and famous individuals. As former United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt said:
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”
Other famous figures in American history, like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, also expressed their appreciation of the land. Jefferson, America’s third president, said:
“Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God….”
And Washington, freedom fighter and first president, said:
“…in the present State of America, our welfare and prosperity depend upon the cultivation of our lands and turning the produce of them to the best advantage.”
For artist Andy Warhol, land was inspiration. “Land is the best art,” he said. Warhol prefaced his statement by noting that no artist ever had, or ever would, capture the grandeur of sunset over the American Great Plains, or the promise of a field of sunflowers.
Bob Dylan, an American music star, is more sarcastic:
“This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway.”
Author Samuel Clemens, writing as Mark Twain, offered some pithy advice on land with the sort of humor we have come to expect of him.
“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.”
Actor Harrison Ford clearly shares reverence of the land with Washington and Jefferson. Speaking not only of his land, but also of easements donated to the Jackson Hole (Wyoming) Land Trust, Ford said:
“You get a sense of reference there. You feel part of something that’s got order and balance and harmony to it. All the distraction and noise, all the confusion of misplaced, misdirected energy just don’t happen there.”
Not all famous landowners show the same respect for land as Ford. For Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, the land – 290,000 acres of it, in Texas – is just a landing field to the moon as his aerospace firm, Blue Origin, uses it to test space exploration vehicles. Says Bezos of his hopes (via the website):
“We’re working to lower the cost of spaceflight so that many people can afford to go and so that we humans can better continue exploring the solar system. Accomplishing this mission will take time, and we’re working on it methodically.”
For Bezos, and for those who crave instant celebrity, owning land on the moon may be just the ticket. LunarLand.com offers everything from one-acre parcels to corporate development land. But is this real? We will leave it to you to find out.
- Do Rich Farmers and Ranchers Make Good Neighbors? (Fillyourplate.org)
- Farmers, Ranchers Contribute to Needy Families Across America (fillyourplate.org)
- Perceptions of Agriculture Have Changed (Fillyourplate.org)