25. Simplot family
> Land area: 443,091 acres
> Roughly equal to: The size of the island of Maui
Jack Simplot was a potato farmer who forged a deal with the former CEO of McDonald’s to supply the restaurant chain with french fries. Today, the Simplot family oversees a $2.5 billion farming operation and owns over 443,000 acres, largely in southern Idaho.
24. McDonald family
> Land area: 474,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Twice the size of Dallas
The McDonald family’s 474,000 acres are spread across Alabama, Florida, and Oklahoma — but the majority of the family’s land holdings is in Maine. Their land is used for a range of resource extraction industries, including timber, sand and gravel, and oil.
23. D.R. Horton
> Land area: 503,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Two-thirds the size of Yosemite National Park
D.R. Horton owns over half a million acres of land. His holdings include the 292,779 acre Great Western Ranch in New Mexico and Camp Horton, a ranch near Fort Stockton, Texas, where he hosts a children’s summer camp.
22. Westervelt heirs
> Land area: 518,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Half the size of Rhode Island
Herbert Westervelt started a paper company in the late 1800s. The company, now known as Westervelt Company, has operations in renewable energy, lumber, and wildlife services. Westervelt’s heirs own over half a million acres across Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia.
21. Heirs of Holland Ware
> Land area: 534,900 acres
> Roughly equal to: Twice the size of Badlands National Park
Holland Ware, who passed away in October 2019, owned over half a million acres of land primarily in Florida and Georgia. Ware had transferred much of his holdings to the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation, which supports a number of causes, including animal welfare.