Answers when Purchasing a Farm or Ranch

Answers when Purchasing a Farm or Ranch

March 29, 2023 | Hall and Hall Management

Purchasing a ranch is a journey. Everything from deciding on the area and touring multiple properties to learning and understanding a ranch’s “working” aspects is part of the discovery process. When assisting a client with purchasing due diligence, we aim to ensure that the ranch will effectively perform on day one of the new ownership. 


It starts with purpose. Understanding why a potential new owner is buying a ranch and the purpose they see it serving is paramount for future ranch operations. Upon narrowing down the new ownership goals, we begin formulating a plan to balance the production agriculture with ownership objectives. 


The next step is to evaluate the infrastructure for suitability with the operation and identify what improvements might be needed. The evaluation includes a review of the housing, shops, barns, fences, corrals, water and irrigation, roads, etc. As part of the infrastructure review service, we will map and inventory all the reviewed information for asset allocation and depreciation scheduling.


Aligning with an infrastructure evaluation, a review of the ranch’s resources requires an ample amount of time; this includes identifying different classes of agricultural land, what the highest and best uses are, analyzing the health of the range ground, forest, and irrigated acres, and developing a realistic livestock carrying capacity. Part of the resource review is structuring the ranch’s operation to fit the native environment. No two properties are the same; the terrain and mother nature will help dictate the type of operation to choose for ultimate success.


The personnel running the day-to-day operation are, without a doubt, a crucial aspect of a ranch operation. The right people and team are paramount to a ranch owner’s success. We will interview and evaluate current ranch staff to ensure the staff is suitable to meeting the owner’s operating goals.


A proper valuation is an essential aspect of the discovery process. To help understand the value of equipment, livestock, feed, crops, etc., currently on the ranch, we assist with inspecting and negotiating for their value as well as what may need to be purchased.


Budgeting and scenario modeling is the final piece to the puzzle. Our team will provide a concise breakdown of operating and capital budgets. We may also analyze different operating scenarios (cow/calf, yearlings, selling grass, leasing the ranch, etc.) to confirm the ranch’s operations are the best fit financially and for the environment. With an effective plan, we help bring new owners comfortably to the finish line and ensure their ranch is working for them on day one of ownership.


Our services are flexible and customizable for a client’s needs. If you are in the market for a farm or ranch property and want to establish a comprehensive analysis, engage the Hall and Hall Management team for peace of mind.