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KANSAS (KSNF/KODE) — In Kansas, farmland occupies over 45 million acres, making it one of the top farming states in America. But who’s in control of all that land? The title of top landowner doesn’t fall on one individual, but rather the United States government.

According to Ballotpedia, 253,919 acres of land in Kansas falls under federal government jurisdiction. This puts Kansas in third for states with the least land owned by the fed. First place in this category would go to Connecticut, followed by Iowa in second.

Land ownership amongst the federal agencies breaks down as such:

  • 45.4% is owned by the Department of Defense
  • 42.8% is under Forest Service
  • 11.6% is under Fish and Wildlife
  • 0.2% is under the National Parks Service
  • 0% is under the Bureau of Land Management

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Over time, federal government ownership of Kansas land has gone down, with some parts being sold off or handed back to the Sunflower State. As the federal ownership in the state decreases, the Kansas government has gradually taken on more responsibility in caring for the land over the years.

Largest Private Landowner In Kansas

For private landownership, Philip Frederick Anschutz, Baughman Farms founder, not only takes first in Kansas, but ranks among highest land ownership in the US. Anschutz, a Russell, Kansas native, owns 250,000 acres in Kansas.

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The wildcatter and oilman has a vast investment portfolio but also followed the example set by his father, and grandfather by investing in ranches throughout Midwestern and western states.

Anschutz purchased the Baughman Farm located in Liberal, Kansas, for $10 million over 50 years ago.