Warren Buffett's son researching solution to world hunger - New York News

Does solution to world hunger lie in the Sonoran desert?

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WILLCOX, Ariz. -

You may have heard the name "Warren Buffett." He's one of the richest men in the world. Meet Warren Buffett's son Howard.

Warren Buffet is often called the Oracle of Omaha, and consistently ranks among the world's wealthiest people. Last year, time magazine named him one of the most influential people in the world.

When the financial crisis of 2007 doomed the banking world, it was Warren Buffett the US Treasury Secretary called for help.

But Buffett is also known for his personal frugality despite his huge wealth. He's a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to charity.

Philanthropy is apparently something that runs in the family. As we found out, southeast Arizona is a most unlikely place to find Warren Buffett's son Howard.

"It's a beautiful valley it's not a bad place to hang out," says Howard Buffett.

There's no doubt Howard is a farmer.

"Well jump in here and I'll show you a little technology."

The "farmer" label is a little deceiving. How do you go from being the middle child of mega-billionaire Warren Buffett -- the so-called Oracle of Omaha -- to this wide open, arid landscape outside of the small town of Willcox?

"My mom and dad always told all three of us, my brother, sister and I, you know you need to find what you love to do and go do that, because if you love doing it you'll do well."

What Howard would love to do is end world hunger and stabilize shaky third world governments through his foundation.

Thanks to his father's fortune, he's been traveling the world since he was a teenager, and as he witnessed poverty firsthand, he felt the call to philanthropy.

"It was a whole new world I mean it was like, this is amazing you know that this is actually, this is so different from the world I live in."

Howard is using his Arizona farm to test farming techniques using all the latest technology.

But he's also doing things no one's ever done here, like grow rice and use oxen to pull a specialized plow.

His conservation-based methods mean big changes for those who've farmed here for so long.

"It's a hard sell down here, I'll tell you what I mean, everybody, most people down here work the ground."

This part of southern Arizona has been agricultural for the better part of the last century. So the Buffett Foundation wants to take that tradition and transform it into research and development for the future.

They want to solve problems, and they want to solve them quickly.

"You get something like 40 good years based on that training, experience, education to really make a difference and then you start getting a little old like me," says Howard. "We're looking for things in the world to do that other people won't take the risk to do."

Those risks include a significant amount of money, time, and resources poured into places like Burundi, Uganda and the Congo in central Africa, Central American nations, and of course, in places like Cochise County.

His mission is to make the most of his good fortune through smart and generous giving and to encourage others to do the same.

"Everything you do counts. You don't have time to waste anything so you'd better think really hard about what you're going to do, why you're going to do it and what's the outcome."

Howard Buffett is named after Warren Buffett's father, Howard Homan Buffett, who was an Omaha businessman, and four term republican U.S. Representative.

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