Our blog will help keep you informed about news and information related to the farm, ranch and rural real estate markets. If you share our desire for wide open spaces and investment in the land, we hope you will subscribe, read and discuss the stories we find and develop here. More than just an investment, ranch, farm and rural real estate evokes a type of lifestyle that was born over a century ago and still provides a certain romance and passion for those who embrace the pioneering spirit from those days gone by.

Monday Morning Conference Calls

By: Jeff Buerger

Every Monday morning at 7AM sharp, we at Hall and Hall, participate in a conference call. This call includes partners and support staff we simply can’t live without. At first glance, this might sound boring and mundane. However, I have grown to genuinely appreciate and love our Monday morning calls. When I step back and think about the collective experience of my partners, their history and credibility in the industry, and the rationale and purpose behind our weekly call, I am humbled to be part of such a unique group of people.

The men and women on this call are like family and like any family; we discuss a diverse and wide variety of topics including very challenging issues, there may be disagreements, there is humor, there is sensitivity and compassion towards others, we share important events like marriages, child birth, loss, and personal struggles we may be experiencing that require help from other people internally. I was raised on a ranch in Colorado and have over 20 years of experience selling ranches, however this pales in comparison to some of the men I work with. Our Monday is started with opportunity to learn and grow not only individually but as a team. When I need counsel or guidance, there are numerous people I can look towards. This value can not be measured or quantified and is one of the reasons Hall and Hall will always be different and unique compared to other brokerages.

Denver. A native of Colorado, Jeff Buerger joined Hall and Hall as a ranch partner in 2003.

A native of Colorado, Jeff Buerger joined Hall and Hall as a ranch partner in 2003.

If it weren’t for the amazing team of people that take care of the partners and keep us on track, we wouldn’t have the success that we are fortunate to experience. Most importantly, the primary purpose for our Monday call is ultimately for the benefit of our clients. Both landowners and prospective buyers are the beneficiaries of our call. We discuss topics like new ranches we have recently listed and through this process the partners learn that this new ranch may be the perfect fit for the buyer they have been developing a relationship with. Or there may be a change in status on a ranch we have been marketing that leads to a sale. Not too mention, the intel we all share or learn from one another about specific ranches, the market, world events, advancements in technology, the flow of money, and numerous other informational points.

The call is the culmination of men and women of different generations, age demographics, experience, expertise, transnational history, and a whole lot of wisdom all flowing together for the benefit of the people most important to us…..YOU. For those who have decided to use Hall and Hall for one or many of the services we provide; know that you are the lifeblood of what we do and the importance of this is discussed in detail every Monday morning, among the best group of people I know.

For 70 years, Hall and Hall has specialized in serving the owners and prospective owners of quality rural real estate by providing mortgage loans, appraisals, land management, auction and brokerage services.

For 70 years, Hall and Hall has specialized in serving the owners and prospective owners of quality rural real estate by providing mortgage loans, appraisals, land management, auction and brokerage services.




Yaggy Plantation Sells to Television Producer at Auction

On October 5th, American TV executive Craig Piligian and his actress/dancer wife Lucinda Piligian purchased the historic Reno County, Kansas Yaggy Plantation at auction for $5.325 million. Piligian is the President and CEO of Pilgrim Films & Television and best known for creating The Ultimate Fighter, American Chopper and Dirty Jobs series for Discovery Channel. In 2001, he won an Emmy Award as co-Executive Producer of Survivor.

The 1,260-acre property was once the largest shipping point for fruit between the Missouri River and California. In fact, at one time it had as many as 50,000 apple trees and a million catalpa trees – which were sold for fence posts and railroad ties.

The two homes, which are accessed from a quarter-mile tree-lined drive, still reflect the period. The south home was built first, in 1892, as a manufactured Sears and Roebuck home that was shipped in by rail. The north house, built around 1905, has a similar floor plan, with five bedrooms. The home was refurbished in 2005.

“There were 100+ in attendance and 25 registered bidders,” said Scott Shuman of Hall and Hall Auctions.  ”There was constant and lively bidding on a variety of tracts and combinations, yet the property sold to a single bidder.

To read the full story of the sale click here.

 Tract 1-2


A Father’s Colorado Dream

By: Rob Hart

My father has always loved Colorado.  As a kid, we drove all the way from Arkansas in the summer, in the winter, and any other time he could convince my mom that experiencing the outdoors was just as important as school.  We got the full experience – whitewater rafting, skiing, visiting the national parks, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, fishing and camping.

Besides the usual fun activities, there was the inevitable and infinite quest to find a little piece of Colorado land we could call our own.  Dad has always dreamed of owning land in Colorado and every single trip included a day of property exploration.  There was rarely a “for sale” sign that we passed without exploring the possibilities.  We walked, hiked and climbed them all, but most proved to be too expensive for our situation or were only accessible by a team of mountain goats.


Life has gotten in the way and he’s yet to find the perfect place to hang his hat.  However, I’ve learned that it was the search and the dreams that he most enjoyed.  There has never been a tract of land where Dad did not see the possibilities.  “This would be the perfect place for a very, very small cabin.” “You’d have to bolt a house to the side of the cliff, but you could certainly teach the kids to repel and climb.” “It might be a flood plain, but it will be a great place to kayak and fish.” – or – “This one is right next to the national forest, you’d just have to hire a team of mules to get you over there.”


Regardless of the ultimate purchase possibilities, we always ran across some of the most gorgeous places on this earth.  Lush green forests, crystal clear rushing creeks, miles and miles of endless views, and meadows that made you want to stay all night and try to count the stars. Colorado really is one of the most amazing places on the earth.

The childhood experiences of exploring the unknown and dreaming of the possibilities has had a permanent impact on me.  I can’t remember ever telling a single person that my professional goals were to work in real estate, much less specialize in large tracts of land.  I now find myself living in Colorado doing exactly what I was unconsciously raised to love.  I find no better comfort than spending the day wandering through the back roads of Colorado looking for that perfect place to build that cabin, hunt, fish, kayak and camp.


Dad and I still haven’t found our little slice of heaven, but at 74 years old he hasn’t given up the search and mine has just begun.  Last week while visiting we went for our annual land run through the Colorado mountains.  As expected, we didn’t find the perfect place but I won’t be disappointed if we never do.  I know now, it’s not about finding perfection but the search that keeps the spirit alive.

Texas Farm & Ranch Wildlife Management: Qualified and Appraised Land

By: Justin Bryan

There is no question that the demographics of rural land ownership continues to change. Where we were once largely an agrarian society with each of us having some ties to a farm or ranch, it is no longer the case as more of us completely live an urban life. Yet the desire to own a farm or especially a beautiful ranch, is still very much in the minds of most of us.


For many new ranch owners, they desire the property but prefer to avoid the ownership of their own livestock herd and/or coping with grazing leases. It’s not that they don’t understand the value of livestock, they just choose not to oversee the issues involved with livestock. Instead their goals tend to revolve around increasing the abundance and health of native vegetation, being able to view a diversity of wildlife, and reinvigorating riparian/stream and fishery ecosystems. In other words, their primary use of the land is managing it for wild things.


Historically in Texas, appraisal districts and appraised land operating with a livestock business qualify for a tax rate lower than other properties. These are known as 1-d-1 appraisals. A 1-d-1 valuation rate was not in place for those ranch owners who possessed little interest in livestock yet valued and actively invested time, money and labor into the enhancement of rangelands, forests, deserts, wetlands, wildlife, and fisheries.

Understanding that the demographics of rural land ownership in Texas was and is changing, and more importantly to support the continued landowner efforts to ecologically care for these properties, the Texas voters approved Proposition 11 in 1995. This amended 1-d-1 of the Texas Constitution thus: “to permit productivity appraisal for land used to manage wildlife.”  This was followed by House Bill 1358, “adding wildlife management as an agricultural use that qualifies the land for agricultural (productivity) appraisal.” At that point, if the primary use of the land is managing for wildlife, the land could potentially qualify for the 1-d-1 valuation rate. The passage of Proposition 11 opened the doors for landowners to maintain the 1-d-1 valuation rate by actively managing for wildlife and without the responsibility of livestock.



  1. The land must have been qualified and appraised as 1-d-1 agricultural land in the year prior to conversion to wildlife management use.
  2. Land must be used to generate a sustaining breeding, migrating or wintering population of indigenous wild animals.
  3. The indigenous wildlife populations must be produced for human use.



  1. The landowner must submit a wildlife management plan to the chief tax appraiser in the county between January 1 and April 30 of the tax year.
  2. The landowner must perform 3 of the 7 management practices each year.
    1. Habitat Control (Management)
    2. Erosion Control
    3. Predator Control (Management)
    4. Providing Supplemental Supplies of Water
    5. Providing Supplemental Supplies of Food
    6. Providing Shelter
    7. Making Census Counts to Determine Population

For more detailed information or assistance with the agricultural tax valuation for wildlife use, feel free to contact us at Hall and Hall Farm and Ranch Management Services: Justin Bryan ([email protected]).

Additional information regarding the wildlife valuation can be found at: http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/proptax/pdf/96-354.pdf or http://forages.tamu.edu/PDF/Wildlife%20Management%20as%20Agricultural%20Use%20for%20Property%20Tax%20Valuation%20in%20Texas.pdf


A Day with Holland & Holland in Montana

Article & Photos by: Tim Murphy

Arguably, the finest shotguns in the world are made in England.  And one can also argue that Holland & Holland stands alone in this arena.  These “bespoke” guns are made in the same fashion as they were originally when the company was founded in 1835-one at a time.  These are not just weapons, they are a form of functional art collected and coveted by buyers who often hand them down through generations.  And with a price tag in excess of $100K, inheritance is meaningful.


Every step of the unmaking process involves a master craftsman each of whom has their own specialty.  Barrels are forged and fitted to receivers. Stocks are selected from brilliant burled walnut, cut, fitted, finished with checkering cut by hand.  Engravers spend weeks etching receivers with elegant scrolling, articulate scenes and gold in-lay.  In some cases, the cost of engraving can exceed the cost of the gun depending on the level of time and detail involved.  After being crafted for over a year, the parts all come into final form with a luster and high-tolerance fit that only hundreds of hours of meticulous crafting by hand can produce. The weapons are finally sent to the small handful of showrooms located in London, Moscow, New York City and Dallas.


Recently, David Cruz from the New York Gunroom and English born Keith Lupton flew to Montana for the final phase of the highly customized process; the fitting.  Once purchased, each gun is precisely fitted to the shooter.  This process is generally performed by Keith Lupton whom is one of the best shooting instructors in the world.  A private sporting clays course was arranged, and Keith went to work on our small group checking eye dominance, length of pull, stock cast and other fundamentals before going into live fire on the clay birds.  Our small group consisted of veteran and novice shooters and after two half-day sessions, and sound advice from Keith, our groups proficientsy leveled off and the clay birds were breaking with greater consistency.  Keith’s mastery continued as he was able to stand next to a shooter with a hand on the barrel controlling the swing of the gun and allowing the shooter to break on troubled shots.  A feat that could only be mastered by shooting tens if not hundreds of thousands of rounds.  Truly amazing.


An array of guns were provided by Holland & Holland for our shoot and it was an incredible privilege to have been allowed to handle and shoot the worlds finest shotguns.



York Lodge at Delta Marsh: Top Duck Hunting Property in Canada

The 50,000-acre Delta Marsh is an extensive open marsh located along the south shore of Lake Manitoba 60 miles west of Winnipeg that provides critical breeding and staging habitat for numerous migratory bird species. In waterfowl circles, Delta Marsh is among the most storied hunting destinations in North America and renown for its large concentrations of canvasback ducks which stage in the marsh each fall.

Beginning this month, waterfowl hunters from around the world make a pilgrimage to Delta Marsh in search of “cans”  and other sought after diving and puddle ducks such as redheads, bluebills, ringnecks, mallards, pintails, and teal.   Much of the marsh is managed by the Province of Manitoba as part of the Delta Marsh Wildlife Management Area, although there are scattered private holdings within the marsh.

Hall and Hall is honored to offer for the sale the largest of these private tracts referred to as York Lodge at Delta Marsh, which consists of 3,600+/- acres and 8+/- of shoreline along Lake Manitoba.  Combining marsh, open water, and beachfront, this diverse property was originally purchased in the 1920s by James Ford Bell, founder of General Mills, who was drawn to Delta Marsh because of its epic canvasback hunting.  A series of water controlled management areas have been developed within the property and can be managed to attract an impressive number of dabbling ducks, while points, channels, and open water bays offer classic diver hunting.  The property’s forested lake shore separates Delta Marsh from Lake Manitoba and provides excellent whitetail hunting.