He wears many caps, literally and has inherited his father’s sense of humour and integrity. Howard Graham Buffett is a farmer at heart and by occupation. Left to himself, he would rather photograph wildlife, implement and evangelise sustainable farming practices for the rest of his life. The Howard G Buffett Foundation set up by him is tirelessly working to ensure food security for the poorest in Latin America and Africa. The lessons that he has learnt over the years were succinctly summarized in “Forty Chances”, a book co-authored with his son Howard Warren Buffett. It seemed a strange coincidence that on our way to interview a passionate farmer, we meet a taxi-driver who goes home and farms part time. Driving us down to Tekamah, where our meeting with HGB is to take place is Hamid, who divides time between taxi-driving in Omaha and farming in his home country Morocco
Could you share some of your most memorable moments with your father?
When he gave us a billion dollars! (laughs aloud). At Christmas time in 1999, our parents told us they were setting up a foundation for all three of us. At that time, it was $30 million. That was a big deal for us. In 2006, when my dad said he was going to put $1.4 billion into the foundation, and again when he said a year ago that he was going to double the amount to the foundation, those were big moments. Thinking about why he is doing it and why he thinks we can do a good job — those are all important moments. I think backing up, I had hundreds of experiences where I got to observe my dad in many different circumstances, which was fascinating. Little did I know that Berkshire would turn out to be the company that it is today and he would be the world’s greatest investor.