Largest Landowner in TX Lives in TN

Brewster Ranch is owned by Brad Kelley and listed for sale. | Image by King Land & Water
Brewster Ranch is owned by Brad Kelley and listed for sale. | Image by King Land & Water

The owner of the most acreage in Texas does not live in or come from the Lone Star State, according to a recent report.

Brad Kelley, a tobacco tycoon who lives in Tennessee, owns 940,000 acres of land in West Texas, per the 2024 Land Report 100. The King Ranch family heirs are close behind in second place, owning 911,215 acres in Texas.

The Land Report is an American magazine and website focused on private land ownership in the United States. Each year, the publication compiles a list of the top 100 landowners in the country, ranked by the amount of acreage owned.

Kelley ranked ninth on the list of top landowners in the United States, owning a total of one million acres, including his holdings in New Mexico.

The largest of Kelley’s properties, spanning 353,495 acres, is Brewster Ranch, located just north of Big Bend National Park. The property is currently listed for sale for $245.6 million.

The top spot on the Land Report 100 this year went to Red Emmerson and his family, who own 2,411,000 acres in California, Oregon, and Washinton with their timber products company, Sierra Pacific Industries. The family became the largest landowner in 2021 after acquiring 175,000 acres in Oregon from Seneca Timber Company.

The second-place ranking goes to Liberty Media chairman John Malone, who owns 2.2 million acres in Wyoming, New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado.

CNN founder Ted Turner holds the third-greatest amount of land, with 2 million acres in Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and South Dakota.

The fourth-largest landholder is Stan Kroenke, billionaire businessman and owner of the Los Angeles Rams and other sports franchises. He owns 1.7 million acres, including the 560,000-acre Waggoner Ranch in North Texas and other properties in Wyoming and Nevada.

The fifth-largest landowner is the Reed family, which owns Green Diamond Resource Company, a sixth-generation family-owned forest products company founded in 1890 by lumberman Sol Simpson. The family owns 1.6 million acres of forested land in California, Washington, and Oregon.

To view the full report, click here.

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