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.

Nebraska Farm & Ranch Auction Fetches $37.5 Million

The Thomas Land Company auction conducted December 1, 2016 offered more than 28,000 acres of mixed western Nebraska irrigated land, dry farm land, and ranch property.  The sale drew a capacity crowd of about 400 persons, and nearly 130 registered bidders.

Before the auction began, Thomas Land Company President Lola Thomas addressed the crowd. She delivered an emotional thank you to the community for the happiness given her recently deceased husband Mike. She expressed hope that the offering of the land in 50 parcels would allow local farmers to add onto their holdings.


The Hall and Hall team included three Hall of Fame auctioneers and World Champion auctioneer Spanky Assiter was aided by spirited competition between both locals and large out-of-state investors. The land, offered in 50 parcels, was auctioned over nearly eight hours. The auction was a success. Mrs. Thomas expressed her gratitude to successful and unsuccessful bidders.

Montana Rejects I-177

By: Randy Shelton

One of the initiatives on the Montana ballot this November was I-177. As written, I-177 would only allow trapping to take place once a problem arises, and only after determining that non-lethal means were unsuccessful. The initiative was strongly opposed by The Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, the Montana Trappers Association, the Wild Sheep Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Montana Bowhunters Association, and Montanan’s for Wildlife and Public Land Access.

Many felt that I-177 would also end up costing state and federal wildlife agencies thousands of dollars in order to remove problem animals from the wild and keep predator populations in check. This is something that licensed trappers currently buy a license to do and in doing so, generates money for the state. Additionally, many felt that I-177 conflicted with two of the major tenants of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, specifically the idea that wildlife belong to the public and that science is the proper tool for determining wildlife policy.

Montanans rejected the Initiative by voting 62% against and 37% for. So, for the time being, farmers and ranchers can continue to rely on trapping for the management of problem wildlife to protect their stock.

 N Bar Elk027

Diversifying Ranch Income with Hunting

By: Tyler Jacobs

According to a recent article in Beef Magazine, CattleFax CEO Randy Blach states, “low calf prices are likely to remain in the $130 to $140 per cwt. range in 2017.” In other words, prices that cattle producers are likely to see in 2017 are very similar to what they are experiencing today.  What does that mean for ranchers? Now is the time to run a tight ship and make critical business decisions. For many, that may include diversifying a property’s income stream.

One form of income expansion would be to offer hunting opportunities. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation report, 13.7 million people aged 16 or older hunted that year and spent $38.3 billion on equipment, licenses, trips and more. This tells us that there is a strong desire for hunting opportunities in the U.S. and obviously landowners stand to benefit from that. Hunters not only stay in their home state (resident) but they also actively travel out of state (nonresident). This provides a rich pool of hunters to work with.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife – Hunting in America, An Economic Force for Conservation


Hunters are also diversified in their interests, which can range from big game to upland game birds like bobwhite quail, chukar, turkey and pheasants. These are all species for which we, as land managers and wildlife biologists, can actively manage a property for. More often than not we are able to do so in balance with the overall goals of the farm or ranch. This is well illustrated in the book “Beef, Brush, and Bobwhites” by Hernandez and Guthrey. Livestock, agriculture and wildlife can function very well together. The King Ranch of south Texas is one of the best examples of this concept in action.

So what influences hunting prices? One might think it is a multi-million dollar lodge. Others would suggest it is food and amenities such as a swimming pool, wet bars and nice vehicles. However, the critical factor is the quality and quantity of wildlife present on a property. The majority of hunters partake in hunting for more than just the harvest. Outdoor recreationists cherish the opportunity to simply be a part of that environment. They appreciate the wildlife, the associated habitat and the opportunity to hunt.  A large percentage of hunters actually understand the investment in time, energy and finances that are made by landowners to ensure healthy wildlife populations that live in vigorous habitats. Hunters will remember the experiences from time spent in the field far more than the food or lodging.

quail hunting ranch georgia

The business side of hunting operations such as marketing hunts, making the land available for leasing, booking hunters, managing hunting camps, overseeing lessees, lease documents and working with the local state game biologists can be tedious to some. Many landowners simply choose to hire a service, such as that offered by Hall and Hall to manage their hunting operations. In this situation, the landowner knows that the ranch is faithfully represented and that the hunting operations will be professionally managed.

So what does all this mean for landowners, especially ranchers who may have to be tightening their belts due to low cattle prices? This is an opportunity to add income that had previously been left on the table and broaden the ranches income stream into the future. Selfishly, this gives us an opportunity to educate those who spend the majority of their time in urban environments about the importance of ranching and agriculture. Perhaps they will even celebrate their successful hunting experience with a steak. That works for all of us!.

Investment Quality Rural Real Estate for Families

Jim Taylor and Tyler Jacobs were invited by Angelo Robles to speak at a meeting of Single Family Offices at the beautiful Carneros Inn in Napa Valley. Single Family Offices are increasingly ubiquitous as wealthy families are setting them up to manage and diversify their investment portfolios as well as manage their personal affairs.

Carneros Inn in Napa Valley

Carneros Inn in Napa Valley

Jim had an opportunity to speak on his favorite subject – Investment Quality Rural Real Estate (IQRRE). He began by defining IQRRE as real estate whose value comes from qualities that are intrinsic to it. These are enduring qualities that will always have value regardless of what happens in the world.

He had an opportunity to compare rural land to the offerings of previous presenters who talked about more traditional investment real estate like office buildings and apartments. Key differences include the fact that farms and ranches do not depreciate nor do they become obsolete and they have a 55-year history of appreciating at around 6% per year. In addition, while we can build an unlimited number of apartments and office buildings, they simply are not making any more land. Quality rural land will always have value and, by the way,  has a zero vacancy rate.

There will always be tenants for farms and ranches and, while returns are modest compared to the double digit returns promised from leveraged apartments and office buildings, we were able to show that annual cash returns will more than carry investments in operating farms and ranches.

Jim Taylor on a ranch in Montana.

Jim Taylor on a ranch in Montana.

The audience of families and their advisers was made to order for IQRRE. Quite apart from appreciating the concept of having a portion of the family wealth invested in a hard asset that will support itself and appreciate over the years, the intangible benefits derived from the joy and pleasure of ownership and of having a place for the family to gather and to introduce the next generation to nature and to the tangible benefits of production agriculture is immeasurable.

The message was well received and, despite some persistent rain showers, everyone appreciated the understated elegance of the Carneros Inn and the many opportunities to enjoy the Napa Valley which is truly the wine capital of the USA.


Napa Valley

Father Son Fall Hunting in Montana

By: Ryan Flair

As the air becomes crisp and the leaves turn to hues of gold, my favorite time of the year has arrived.  Fall when I share with my son all that Montana has to offer. Whether listening to the bugle of Elk, fishing for fall browns,  or chasing our bird dogs across the prairie,  it is in these moments I find peace and the world comes to a slow and steady pace.

Father and Son-1

Slipping away from the bustle of life, cellphones, internet, and other daily distractions, and spending time with my family in the world as nature intended is cherished time indeed.  I am so thankful and fortunate to call this place my home and have the opportunity to help with our clients’ journeys as they create their own wonderful moments like these.

We at Hall and Hall want to wish you all the best this fall season and are thankful to have been part of your experience.

Outstanding in your field-1

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.