No. 1 John Malone
In 2015, the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation paid $1.7 million for the 230-acre Gorrill Farmstead near Lawrence, Kansas. Not a big deal, right? Think again. The purchase reflects a handshake of far greater consequence. The Gorrill is a tract that its prior owner, The Land Institute, used to study perennial grain crops. Perennials live more than one year, yet current agriculture practices focus almost exclusively on ecologically taxing annuals. The idea behind perennial crop research is to develop grains that reduce the harm on the environment while saving farmers time and money. This piqued the interest of the Foundation, which pledged $1.5 million per year to a joint project with The Land Institute called the Perennial Agriculture Project.