Hall and Hall Brokers Sale of Blue Springs Plantation

Hall and Hall’s Southeastern Affiliate, Elliott Davenport, recently brokered the sale of Blue Springs Plantation. The historic 7,235 acre property near Albany, GA had not changed hands in 50+ years and includes some of the most productive wild quail hunting ground in all of South Georgia.

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Surrounded by neighbors that include Nonami, Pineland and Wildfair Plantations, Blue Springs is trophy recreational land that provides excellent whitetail deer and turkey hunting, in addition to its quail opportunities. The plantation has miles of frontage on the Flint River – an ecologically important and spectacular free flowing river.

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The main house is a quintessential southern plantation home that was first built in the early 1930s by William C. Potter, following a design by Hentz, Adler & Shutze of Atlanta, Georgia. Edward Vason Jones was commissioned to design a wing for the gun room, wine cellar and library in 1957.

Blue Springs Plantation Edited

For more information on the sale, contact Elliott Davenport at 423-364-2092.

Wyoming Winter Snowfall is Welcome Gift

By: Mike Fraley

During the fall months of 2016, we experienced the longest and most beautiful weather here in northern Wyoming that I can remember.  Many of the “old timers” predicted that it was going to be followed by a hard winter, and man were they right.  We are seeing above-average snowpack across our state as a result of a cold and wet winter. Meteorologists say this could be the result of La Nina, caused by colder water in the Pacific Ocean, which affects the weather across many of the central states.  The snow and cold weather bring a variety of challenges as well as benefits for landowners and livestock producers across the Northern Rockies.  Like the weather in the fall, the weather this winter is unlike anything we’ve had for many years.

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The cold, wet winter conditions that ranchers are facing this year create many hardships that chip away at morale.  They face the challenge of getting around to feed livestock and keeping water open because of the ever-changing snowdrifts and below-zero temperatures.  Feed costs surge upward as livestock need to be fed more, for a longer period of time.   Although the future moisture will be helpful in the long run for wildlife, the extreme cold and deep snow decimates wildlife herds as deer, elk and antelope struggle for survival.

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However, there is also reason for optimism for the rancher and land owner as we deal with the cold and snow this year. The increased snow-pack now means more moisture and drought relief this summer – rivers and reservoirs will fill, stream flows will revitalize, ground water aquafers will replenish, needed moisture for crops and native grasses to grow strong will be provided, summer irrigations storage will be increased, and the risk of wildfires will decrease.  All this snow now will benefit both livestock and wildlife later this spring and summer.   After a dry and hot summer in 2016, the moisture that this winter’s snowfall has brought is a welcomed gift.

As we fight the elements of this hard winter, I guess we’ll need to keep our eyes on the prize and look forward to a lush and green spring. In the meantime, keep a snow shovel handy!

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Hall and Hall’s Southeastern Affiliate Broker Elliott Davenport Featured in Wall Street Journal

Elliott Davenport, owner of The Wings Group and our Southeastern Affiliate, was featured in a massive Wall Street Journal story today titled, “Fragile Hunting Grounds in Southeast’s Quail Belt.” In addition to facilitating the WSJ’s meeting with the owners of Loveridge Plantation, Elliott was quoted in the story.

Elliott has been around the quail plantation scene for three decades and has a great understanding of these properties, how they operate, and the history and tradition that surrounds them. He is also highly respected by both landowners and managers. With the support of Hall and Hall’s reputation and brokerage experience as well as our national and international presence, Elliott brings an entirely new dimension to the marketing of quality properties in the Southeast.

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A Love of all Things Western and Wild

By: Tyler Jacobs

You’re not supposed to write about funerals in a blog post. However, it was last month that we buried my uncle “Bo” and the brief eulogy, familiar faces, and the lack of a cell phone distracting me offered some true revelation and clarity regarding my ever-present attraction, even love, for all things western and wild. Cattle, cowboying, hunting, fishing, neighboring, and even life in a Texas deer camp, all came from initial experiences shared with me by “Bo.”

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Tyler Jacobs and a gator.

Being raised in East Texas, my grandparents ranched along several miles of the San Jacinto River bottoms, and the upland mixed timber where we wintered the cows. My first substantial memory of Bo (and always accompanied by my aunt Holly), was that of being invited along with my cousins to bring our horses and camp along the river for two weeks during the early part of summer. I was seven or eight years old. Campfires, tarpaulins stretched between cattle trailers, horses tied everywhere, numerous cousins and friends, all color my memories, regardless of how accurate they are.

The most vivid memory was baiting droplines in the river.   I can see us crisscrossing the river and sandbars, working our way upstream to check each of them. Bo walks to within eyesight of each dropline tied to a limb and can instantly decipher what may or may not be on the hook.  All the kids stood in awe when Bo tells us to hold the small stringer of channel cats, and he takes his shirt off, knowing there’s something big on the line. Slowly approaching the dropline, he suddenly disappears below the water line as his feet fail to find footing below him.   After an eternally long time (for a 7-year-old to watch), Bo re-emerges with a 25-pound blue catfish above his head, gripping it only through its gills with one hand.  Best catfish I have ever had, filleted, fried and finished by all of us kids in one night. That was the wildest thing I had ever seen.

I think I was twelve and was asked to come help pen cattle, and at that time we were running Simmental bulls on our Brahman-cross cows. Those bulls did not like the summer heat, and sure did not appreciate getting bothered with kerr dogs. We had most of the cows and calves penned, and went back to grab everything that had slipped off into the timber and brush in the river bottom. The ranch shared a three or four acre natural lake near the southern boundary, and the long-haired Simmental bull decided to find relief from both the heat and the kerr dogs by wading into the water.

Tyler Jacobs and his daughter.

Tyler doing what daddies do.

Bo and I, and two or three others, sat horseback on the bank to devise a plan, dogs barking as the bull swam away from us, not knowing there were always two or three alligators on the far bank. It did not take long for the alligators to awake from their slumber among all the commotion to notice that stubborn bull swimming right towards them. Bo said, “Well, this will be worth watching,” and soon thereafter a 2,000-pound bull met three alligators nose-to-nose. The immediate and direct reversal of the bull resulted in the alligators on his tail, and shortly thereafter on dry land surrounded by cow dogs. Bo remarked, “Never expected those ‘gaters to be the best cow dogs we ever had!” That was the wildest thing I had ever seen.

A few years later, we were penning cows and had some friends there helping us, one of which was “Bubba.” I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but we were casually riding without dogs among the palmettos and oak trees, when Bo hollered “Pig, pig! Somebody rope it!” Bubba was riding a three-year-old colt, but as the pig crossed his line of sight, he could not resist the urge to shake out a loop. Bubba roped that pig, but a dead, standing tree quickly came between his horse and the pig on the end of the rope, immediately reversing the pig’s trajectory towards Bubba’s three-year-old colt.  Bubba was tied on hard and fast, the colt thoroughly rejected the idea of the pig being under his legs, and the entire event was anchored to a dead tree. That was the wildest thing I had ever seen.

There are so many stories, many of which were shared by eulogy or fellowship afterwards – of elk hunting in New Mexico, the numerous accounts of helping neighbors when they were in a tragic bind, calving heifers, building deer camps, training mules, and endless other accounts. It is strange that it took a funeral for a man in his mid-40s (myself) to identify the primary genesis of my love of all things western and wild. You know what they say, “funerals are for the living!”

Tyler's daughter roping a cow.

Tyler’s daughter Molly.

Happy Holidays & Welcoming New Managing Director Monte Lyons

By: Joel Leadbetter

This time of the Holidays spent with friends and family is quite special.  We all have the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and count our blessings.  This year has been very special for us at Hall and Hall for which we are very grateful.

We celebrated our 70th Anniversary and I believe each and every one of us are extremely proud to be associated with this company and what it represents.  We feel privileged to be a part of something bigger to carry forth the vision of the founders: Henry Hall Sr., Henry Hall Jr. and Warren Hall.

We have had great success in each of our business enterprises through the course of last year.  Of course, the catalyst to this success is due to our unbelievably supportive clients and customers.  Without them, none of this would happened.  Thank you.

I have finished my five-year tenure as a Managing Director of the company.  It has been my pleasure and honor to serve in this capacity.  Monte Lyons, in our Lubbock, Texas office, will take the reins on the first of January and he and Mike Hall will continue to drive this company forward providing the highest level of service for our clients.

I would like to thank my partners and colleagues at Hall and Hall for affording me this opportunity. It is something I will cherish and remember for the remainder of my career.  Most of all, I would like to thank my wife, Dawn, for putting up with me.  She is the one that had the heavy lifting.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and all of us at Hall and Hall wish all of you, the greatest of success in 2017.

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Good Time to Leverage Ranch & Farm Real Estate

By: JT Holt

Seems everyone wants to be debt free.  Recently, a mentor referred to a statement his mother made to him when he graduated college and was purchasing his first home in the early ‘80s.  The statement that has resonated with me for some time now, goes like this: “Son, I’m sorry that you had to purchase your home on the time.”  As this makes me chuckle, it brings up a good point and makes one begin to deliberate when is, or when will, debt be a good thing?  If you are able to obtain a greater return than the interest rate available, doesn’t it make sense to leverage an asset to generate greater returns?

The biggest competitor for me as a lender these last several years has been cash!  Why would you not utilize your cash in a farm or ranch real estate purchase, with no other stable returns of any significance in the market place? It was proven by the large amounts of cash that flooded the farm and ranch real estate market.  The recent moves in interest rates, the availability of financing, and the equity that has been lost all pose the question, “Is now the time to leverage my farm or ranch real estate?”

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Lucky Star Ranch

Since the recent election we have seen the 10-year treasury go from 1.80 To 2.54, which has some direct correlation to our interest rates.  Long-term fixed rates have taken the greatest hit overall, at this point, but we have seen a significant increase in farm real estate interest rates recently, although they are still significantly lower than historical averages.  The concern is, will rates continue to rise in this economic environment?  Now may be the time to take advantage of these low rates and pull some of the equity out of your farm or ranch real estate.  Do you need to lock in a low fixed rate today?

The availability of financing may be a greater issue than you realize.  As we saw the collapse of the financial markets in 2008, we saw a significant tightening in farm real estate loans.  As farm loans became more difficult to acquire, it caused greater strain and financial concerns for producers.  The offset of this was the profitability of farming and ranching during this cycle and the cash in the marketplace.  Right now we are actively seeking opportunities to finance farms and ranch real estate.  In this search, we are seeking out the top producers, those that have a strong financial position and those that have equity in their farm or ranch real estate that we are able to leverage.  Is this you?

Significant equity has been lost over the last three years in farming and ranching.  Row crop farmers are going on three years of losses while the rancher is most likely seeing it for the first time in his operation this year, and if not, definitely a drop in income.  Now may be the time to restore that liquidity position.  Did you utilize cash to purchase some ground and now need to restore your cash position?

Robinson Bar Ranch

Robinson Bar Ranch

All in all, now may be the time to look at utilizing the equity in your farm or ranch real estate by taking out a farm loan before rates move too far.  Farm real estate loans are still attractive to your lender, and it allows an opportunity to restore your liquidity position.  Is now the time to leverage one of your most valuable assets and “buy it on the time?”  Call us today and let’s talk through your many farm and ranch loan options.