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.

Hunting Montana’s Most Iconic Ranches For Sale

By: Ryan Flair

Recently I had the privilege to spend time with good friends and clients bird hunting on the exceptional IX Ranch and PN Ranch.

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These Montana properties are two of the West’s most iconic ranches and known for their ranching heritage.

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With the Fall colors in full awakening and the crisp air giving notice to the rising winter season, we set out on horseback to follow our brace of pointing dogs with huns and sharptails our main focus and the opportunity for pheasant a distinct possibility.

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Along with exemplary cattle operations these Montana ranches offer magnificent vistas and remarkable wildlife diversity.

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 The IX boasts populations of elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope, mountain lion and five species of upland birds.

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It is experiences such as these that embodies our desire to live in the West.

 

 

Hall and Hall Announces Joint Venture for Farmland Auctions

Leading full-service rural real estate and auction firm, Hall and Hall, is excited to announce a joint venture with Halderman Real Estate Services of Wabash, Indiana, to conduct farmland auctions nationwide. This new partnership allows the reputable, long-standing firms to expand their established services into new geographic regions and a fresh demographic of business.  The effort will combine Halderman’s extensive knowledge of Midwestern farmland and Hall and Hall’s expertise in large acreages and complex transactions to provide an answer to the growing challenge of marketing large agricultural real estate portfolios.

“We are excited to join forces with another national leader to bring even more services to our farmland clientele,” said Halderman President Howard Halderman. “The venture will combine industry leading databases and will also allow both companies to expand into broader geographic regions without affecting current personal and professional service.”

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As one of the largest land auction companies in the Midwest, covering much of the eastern corn-belt, Halderman Real Estate has been a leader in multi-tract land auctions and auction marketing since 1930.

“We are committed to working together to give our respective client base a more comprehensive, transparent and far-reaching resource for selling, sourcing, purchasing, and owning rural property,” said Scott Shuman of Hall and Hall.

Halderman Real Estate Services, one of the largest family-owned professional farm management and real estate organizations in the United States, manages more than 250,000 acres of farmland, sells and acquires 150+ properties, and performs over 650 appraisals annually. The company philosophy remains the same as it was in 1930 — to meet client goals, solve problems and prepare for change in the agriculture industry.

“A unique partnership between our seven offices and multiple affiliates ensures that clients receive local knowledge and personal service as well as the international perspective needed to make informed acquisition and management decisions,” said Shuman. “Adding Halderman as a partner in the Midwest expands our reach into the eastern corn-belt which should be great for our company.”

Opening Day Elk Hunting on a Montana Ranch

By: Keith Lenard

On opening day of the 2014 general rifle season I chose to venture with friends to the upper Shields River Valley, northeast of Livingston, Montana for a weekend of elk hunting. I had been introduced to the area several years prior while showing Montana ranches and more recently had been visiting with owners of  Luxford  Ranch and Diamond B Ranch.  Both of these stellar offerings are located at the headwaters of the Shields River, a first rate fly fishing stream that runs off the western side of the Crazy Mountains.

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When I had toured Diamond B a few weeks earlier, the abundance of fresh elk sign had got my early season juices flowing.  A few days after our tour, the presence of a 7×8 bull elk on the property was reported to me and the decision to return to the area was set. Both of these properties share jaw-dropping views of the Crazy Mountains and are located a little more than an hour from Bozeman and 45 minutes from Livingston. The Luxford property in particular enjoys incredible access with paved roads right to the gate. Opening day featured brilliant Montana sunshine, spectacular mountains and clear waters, but no elk. Now if only I owned the Diamond B . . .

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Legendary Montana Ranch Improves Irrigation System

By: Dave Johnson

The IX Ranch, the legendary Montana legacy ranch for sale,  is making its largest pivot irrigation sprinkler more user friendly, Eco-friendly and less expensive. The current diesel powered pump is being replaced with an electric motor.

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To do so requires pulling 3-phase electrical service into the pivot center under ground. It’s expensive but worth it. This will obviate the need for either a double-wall fuel tank or a containment structure under the 2,000 gallon tank.

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It will reduce operations and labor expenses as well, such as every 10 days oil changes and fuel monitoring and supplying. The payoff will be over time into the future. But investing for the long-term sustainability of the ranch has always been a hallmark of the IX.

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This professionally managed operation runs a cattle herd of 4,300 and covers over 126,000 acres, of which 59,809 is deeded and the majority of the balance being State grazing leases. Besides its position as one of Montana’s great cattle ranches, the IX boasts sizable  populations of elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope, mountain lion and five species of upland birds. It is also an extremely scenic ranch boasting a broad diversity of habitat types from productive meadows to rolling hills which give way to steeper mountain country with scatterings of aspens and evergreens. For more information, visit http://hallhall.com/ranches-for-sale/properties/ix-ranch.

 

Pronghorns on Ranches in the American West

By: Cody Lujan

The diminutive pronghorn or Antilocapra Americana (American antelope goat) is one of the most unique but under-appreciated North American mammals. Generally referred to as antelope, the pronghorn is neither antelope nor goat. In fact, it is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae. Found throughout ranches of the American West, this tri-colored speedster enjoys an expansive range and unique set of physical characteristics that set it apart from other horned animals. A fact that is surprising to most is that the pronghorn is the only horned animal in the world that sheds and regrows its horns each year. Not only does it shed and regrow its horns, the pronghorn is also the only horned animal in the world that possesses branched horns.

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While they are often thought of as denizens of prairies and deserts, pronghorn can be found summering at surprisingly high altitudes and will regularly seek shelter in wooded areas. Indeed, antelope on Colorado Ranches can often be found at elevations in excess of 9,000 feet. With a range that extends north from Mexico and into Canada, it is no wonder that the pronghorn boasts one of the widest temperature range tolerances and is capable of surviving temperatures as high as 130 degrees and as low as negative 50. Possessed of keen eyesight, the pronghorn can detect predators at great distances. Not only can it out-sprint any predator it has spotted, a pronghorn can also maintain high speeds for miles without stopping. Interestingly, certain pronghorn herds in Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho are also highly migratory, engaging in migrations exceeding 100 miles in length.

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Though relatively quiet compared to the bugles and vocalizations of the elk rut, the pronghorn rut or mating season can be as equally dramatic and entertaining to witness. Bucks will typically maintain a specific territory throughout the spring, summer and early fall. During the October rut, mature bucks will gather does to breed – focusing their efforts on maintaining their herd. Many mature bucks will move their harem into an area that is less visible to other pronghorn and will spend hours chasing and herding any does that attempt to leave. Younger bucks and mature bucks looking for does will cruise ridge lines and open areas searching for companionship during the rut. They will cross into the territories of other bucks until they locate does, often challenging the herd buck for control. Witnessing two pronghorn bucks compete over does can be very exciting. The two bucks will confront each other, often walking or trotting side-by-side before one of the bucks is intimated and breaks away from the more dominant animal. Occasionally, two like-sized bucks will square off, trotting and then breaking into impressive sparring matches that are interrupted by brief chases. This violent sparring and sprinting can last for several minutes before the most dominant buck returns to the does and the loser melts to the fringes or is chased away.

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Both beautiful and resilient, the pronghorn is threatened by the fragmentation of habitat and increasing frequency of barriers throughout its historic migration corridors. In short, the future of the pronghorn and many other species hinges upon the conservation-minded landowners that are preserving and enhancing native habitat throughout the American West.

Billionaire Businessmen Buying Up Rocky Mountain Ranches

By: Jim Taylor

The underlying theme to last Friday’s Wall Street Journal story entitled “The Cowboy Moguls” is that ranchland is recognized as an investment class asset by many wealthy individuals and the fact that it is fun to own has not gone unnoticed. A part of the untold story is that Hall and Hall represented one or both sides of three of the four “biggest ranch deals” mentioned in the article and they have been quietly involved to one extent or another in the majority of major ranch sales over the last 25 years. Of course it goes almost without saying that the other untold part of the story is that, for us, this is not news.

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We have recommended ranchland and farmland as an investment class asset since the 1970s. We began working with now deceased billionaire Earl Holding of Sinclair Oil and Sun Valley in 1983 to put together his ranching empire, which is still carried on by his family. He was followed by Lee Hirsch, founder of U.S. Surgical Supply which held the patent for the surgical staple, and who we represented in building and subsequently disbanding a cattle empire that quickly grew to be one of the 20 largest cattle operations in the U.S. Ted Turner followed in the 1990s and we helped him accumulate what was once the largest private land holding in the U.S. – now second largest. New entries to the market like the Wilks brothers bought their first 175,000 acres in Montana through Hall and Hall and continue to employ us to assist them in the management of their growing ranching empire.

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This is a trend that continues with the recent Wall Street Journal recognition of some of the new players in what has been going on quietly for a long time. We are honored and proud to be a part of the story. If one looks at the fabled castles and estates in Europe and the United Kingdom that have been passed down within families for centuries, it is easy to understand what is going on here. We are not sure what the thoroughly overused term “legacy ranch” means but these individuals are undeniably building legacies for their families. [see full WSJ story]