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.

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.

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.

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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.

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