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.

Scott Shuman Hosts Wyoming Children’s Society Auction

The Wyoming Children’s Society recently held its annual Gala to raise funds to provide services to women and children throughout the year.  The event featured a gourmet dinner and a live & silent auction facilitated by Hall and Hall’s very own Scott Shuman.  Nearly 500 people were in attendance and $70,000 was raised through the auction and contributions during this event.

Established in 1911, the Wyoming Children’s Society is the oldest non-profit adoption agency in the state of Wyoming, serving birth parents, children and families for over a century.

Scott Shuman helping Wyoming Children’s Society raise nearly $70,000 via auction.

Scott Shuman helping Wyoming Children’s Society raise nearly $70,000 via auction.

The Cattle Market is White Hot

By: Randy Clavel

Here in the northern plains, the bright spot in agricultural is, without doubt, the cattle market. After years of drought induced herd reductions, fat cattle and beef prices have risen dramatically. I heard an expert talk about the current supply/demand beef situation and he termed it “inelastic demand” (i.e. price does not affect demand).

As an example, a recent visit with a producer client talked about a packer buyer calling and calling to get some finished steers. The producer indicated his steers were not quite ready. The buyer jumped his bid to $1.67# live just to get a load of the heaviest steers available. Price was not the object in this case.

The market for feeder calves is also enjoying the additional benefit of drastically lower feed costs. This allows feeder calf buyers to pay more for animals because their input costs are lower. Historically, cow/calf operators might expect $.05 to $.10 more per pound than previous year when selling their calves. This year the market is near or maybe over $1 per pound higher than last year!

Along these lines, Hall and Hall is excited about our recent forming of a marketing alliance with Superior Livestock, the leading video/internet livestock auction service in the U.S. They have perfected the process of viewing auction cattle over the internet and television and buying by phone or with the click of a mouse.



Beautiful Montana Ranches for Sale

Hall and Hall’s current inventory of Montana Ranches for sale is as comprehensive as it has ever been in our company’s 68-year history. From massive legacy ranches to recreational properties and cattle ranches, our selection of Montana land for sale is the best in the industry.

The IX Ranch is a legacy ranch – it is huge, has a long history of stable ownership and a is highly respected reputation in reputation ranch country.  Its central Montana location is 87 miles northeast of Great Falls and adjacent to the town of Big Sandy.

The 19,419 acre (18,139 deeded) Willow Creek Ranch is located minutes from Livingston and is accessed by a county road which traverses along the east and north boundaries of the ranch and dead ends on the Gallatin National Forest.

The 40,014± acre PN Ranch lies 55 miles north of Lewistown at the confluence of the Judith and the Missouri rivers and includes approximately 14 miles along the south side of the Missouri and nine miles of both banks of the Judith.

The 1,652± deeded acre Daisy Dean Creek Ranch is a mountain ranch. Three ranges are in clear view, including the towering 11,000-foot peaks of the Crazy Mountains, which are snow-capped most of the year. The ranch also physically borders the one million acre Lewis and Clark National Forest of the Little Belt Mountains, with its hundreds of miles of trails.

Is Now The Time to Buy Land?

By: Scott Shuman

Recently while cleaning out an office drawer I ran across a Landowner newsletter article from 1998. Yes, I’m a pack-rat or at the least I need to clean my desk more frequently. Anyway, the article is titled “Is land starting to price itself out of the market again?” It talks about land prices in relationship to earnings called the “value/rent index”, which is figured by dividing USDA’s survey price of cropland and buildings by the current cash rental value. It sites an example: $2,500 land renting for $160 per acre has a value/rent ratio of 15.6. The article further suggests that Midwest cropland should sell for about 15 times the cash rental rate. When the rate drops to 14, that’s a buying signal. The article shows that the ratio was above 14, so many farmers were saying they should probably wait to buy farmland.

The point is that while the article brings an interesting correlation that may have made sense to an investor in the late 90’s, think of the wealth that was lost because people (including myself) didn’t get into the market and buy farmland.

I started selling land in 1989 by auction and can vividly remember having conversations with those that had been in the business for a number of years. They cautioned me about land values being too high. At the same time, I can tell countless stories of people that felt they over paid for a property when they bought it and they now cannot believe how much it is worth.

There are so many variables involved with the price of farm and ranch land, including location, commodity prices, cattle prices, grass conditions, available tenant farmers, property condition, aesthetics, global population demands, the list goes on and on. Contrary to the 1998 article, land prices are still climbing.


For more information on upcoming farmland auctions, visit Hall and Hall Auctions.

Hall and Hall and Superior Livestock Announce Strategic Relationship

By: Rob Hart

A month has passed since Hall and Hall and Superior Livestock announced our strategic relationship.  It has been an exciting time as we hit the ground running, partnering together to track down mutual relationships that understand the enormous value of working with two industry leaders.  We are currently chasing down business opportunities in Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado and Kansas and feel certain that the relationship will be solidified through multiple mutual clients by the end of the year.

Mike, Tom, Brian, Cody, and JC of Hall and Hall participated in their first Superior Livestock Auction in July.  Superior’s “Week In The Rockies XXVI” was a great success with over 200,000 cattle from as many as 27 states selling via Satellite Video Auction.  The Hall and Hall team was very excited to be present and got to officially meet many of the Superior clients and Agents.

Hall and Hall will be back again at Superior’s “Big Horn Classic” in Sheridan, WY the week of August 18th and Superior’s “Labor Day XXXV” in Thornton, CO the week of September 10th.  If you’re interested in learning more about Exceptional Farm and Ranch Real Estate, come and see us.  We would love to get to know you better.

Private Wealth Management: Investing in Rural Land

By: Jim Taylor

Missoula partner Keith Lenard and I recently descended upon Newport, RI, home of Americas Cup sailing where “blue bloods” have summered for generations in grand mansions overlooking hallowed waters. We were attending a Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum where investment ideas were being pitched to a growing number of offices set up to look after the interests of wealthy families.

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Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum

From hedge funds to luxury travel, there was no shortage of advice for the well-heeled participants. We shared our booth with Eric O’Keefe, editor of the Land Report. His beautiful magazine was well received by the participants of this conference.

I sat on a real estate panel with a group of distinguished investors in commercial real estate who dispensed timely and valuable advice. My proposal that ranches, farms, and rural real estate represents a legitimate investment class asset was well received by a somewhat surprised audience who I think were wondering what I was doing among such company.

Jim Taylor during panel discussion.

Jim Taylor during panel discussion.

Our booth was visited by many who were intrigued by some of the spectacular photos of western landscapes that we had on prominent display. Keith and I feel that we definitely got the attention of many families who recognize the value of investing in rural land that holds its value and appreciates for future generations – not to mention creating a family legacy for the enjoyment of individual family members.