Trouble on the Land

September 27, 2011
As populations expand and food prices hit record highs, international investors are hoping to strike it rich in an unlikely place, Africa. We investigate one controversial deal and the surprising cast of players involved – including one of America’s oldest land grant universities.

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One of the principals in the Tanzania land deal is Bruce Rastetter, a millionaire businessman and political powerbroker in Iowa. Mr. Rastetter wouldn’t sit down with us for an interview, but his public relations representative, John Kyte, did reply to written questions we sent.

Bruce Rastetter Responds

Iowa State University is also involved in the deal. Initially, the university was promising to help design and run a socially responsible component for the hundred million dollar project. Mr. Rastetter is a major donor to ISU and a senior officer on the Board of Regents that oversees the university. ISU also declined our request for an interview, but in response to our written questions about the potential conflicts of interest, ISU announced that it was scaling back its role in the project.

ISU Responds

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