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Open O Ranch

$1,590,000 Jordan, MT 3,049± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The Open O Ranch is a productive and well-managed grass ranch that includes 5,000± acres of which approximately 3,049 are deeded with the balance consisting of BLM and state leases. The ranch is predominantly native range with approximately 435 acres of productive dryland hay and approximately 98 acres of improved pasture. There are significant stands of pines as well as several seasonal drainages, the most significant being the South Fork of Snow Creek. Abundant water, good forage and thick cover are the key ingredients to the outstanding hunting found on the ranch. The headquarters is located roughly 23 miles northwest of Jordan, Montana.

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General Description

The Open O Ranch is a good example of a typical eastern Montana ranch with the majority of the ranch consisting of native range, improved pasture, and dryland hay - the topography includes rolling hills and several small seasonal drainages. The range land is in excellent condition, following several years of intense renovation and improvement. The north end of the ranch has some steeper terrain and significant stands of pine. Water on the ranch is provided by two wells and several dams. Over 4 miles of water pipeline provide water to seven tanks, the majority of which are frost-free. There are several two-track roads throughout the ranch providing good access to pastures, dams and wells. The entire property is boundary fenced and crossed-fenced creating five pastures for grazing rotation to include the State and BLM leased lands. The improvements are located at the end of a short driveway off of the county road. Aside from the primary residence, an older but well-kept farm house is available for a manger or additional guests. In addition there are several ancillary buildings such as a shop, grain bin and cattle shed.

Broker's Comments

The Broken O Ranch is a perfectly sized, compact ranch unit near Jordan, Montana. The ranch has well-kept, appropriate ranch buildings, the rangeland shows years of intense stewardship, and the farm ground is productive. There is ample stock water and the fences are tight and well-maintained. A cattle ranch of this size, which is easy to manage without lots of outside labor, is hard to find. This ranch is an ideal place to run a small cattle operation and/or manage a hunting preserve that will combine to generate a diverse income stream.

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Location

The Open O Ranch is located in Garfield County, Montana in the east-central portion of the state approximately 23 miles northwest of the community of Jordan - population approximately 345. Ranches in the area are primarily serviced by Jordan and Miles City which is 85 miles further south of the ranch. Billings, which is the state’s largest city, is less than 3 hours from Jordan via US Highway 200 and US Highway 87. Here you will find a full range of services, markets and supplies as well as Montana’s largest commercial airport. Major carriers such as Horizon, Allegiant, Delta and United combine to offer multiple flights each day to various destinations through the continental United States.Fort Peck, a major recreation destination, is north of the ranch and easily accessed at Hell’s Creek State Park, 25 miles north of Jordan. Opportunities for excellent boating, fishing and water-based recreation are available on Montana’s largest body of water.

Locale

The ranch sprawls across a diverse landscape south of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Given the size and remoteness of the Refuge, the area has changed very little from the historic voyage of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, through the era of outlaws and homesteaders, to the present time. Although the economy is driven by agriculture, with major products being small grains and cattle, the proximity to this vast wilderness has fueled recreation - the largest growing segment of the local economy. Aside from the typical recreational activities like hunting, fishing, camping and boating, Jordan is internationally known for its historic paleontology discoveries. There have been significant finds in the Cretaceous sediments of the badlands, including the first Tyrannosaurus Rex discovery in the Hell Creek area north of Jordan just after the turn of the 20th century. World-renowned paleontologists continue to work in the area every summer. The Garfield County elementary and high schools are located in Jordan and boast a 6 to 1 student/teacher ratio. The county health center serves as the local medical facility and nursing home. All the basic services are available in Jordan which includes a local bank, churches, gas station, grocery store, bar, hardware and feed store. There is also an airstrip that is accessible to small private and charter aircraft.

Climate

The area experiences a wide range of temperatures and continental weather conditions. There is potential for severe winter and late spring storms. Like much of Montana, a drought has plagued the area, although the past season saw some much needed moisture relief. The National Weather Service station in Jordan is the weather recording station located in closest proximity to the subject property. The 30-year snowfall average is 23.9 inches and the average high temperature is 58.6 degrees. The average low temperature is 29.7 degrees and the area receives an average 12-13 inches of precipitation. The average growing season is 90-100 days.

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Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres 3,049± BLM Acres 1,315± MT State Leased Acres 640±Total acres 5004±

Deeded Acres: 3,049±

Total Acres: 3,049±

* All acreages are approximations.

Improvements

The main house was constructed in 2006 and is in excellent condition. The main floor is approximately 2,297± sq. ft. and includes a great room, large open kitchen with typical built-ins and a walk-in pantry. There is a large mud/laundry room, two bedrooms and two baths. The daylight basement is approximately 1,530± sq. ft. and is partially finished. It has been completely drywalled and features an expansive walkout patio, large bathroom, two bedrooms, den, furnace room and a safe room. The basement has been designed to provide fall hunters with all the comforts of home. The manager’s house is a single story ranch style home constructed in 1960. It has approximately 1,068± sq. ft. of living area on the main floor with a full basement. It is a wood frame structure on a concrete foundation with wood siding and asphalt-shingled roof. The shop was built in 2001 and is a pole-frame insulated structure with metal siding inside and out, with a concrete floor. It is approximately 1,536± sq. feet and is used for ranch storage and also to accommodate meals and meetings for the paleontology groups which visit the ranch in June. The only other significant buildings are a grain bin and pole-frame cattle shed. The bin is circa 1970 with 1,500 bu. capacity and is in fair condition. The pole-constructed livestock shed was built in 1993 and is in good condition and utility. Inside there are holding pens and a sleeping room used during calving season. There are additional pens and a few older sheds which have limited value and utility.

Water Rights

Full documentation of the ranch’s stock-water rights are available on request.

Mineral Rights

All minerals appurtenant to the ranch and owned by the Seller will be transferred to Buyer at closing.

Taxes

The property taxes are estimated at $4,772 annually.

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Wildlife Resources

The Open O Ranch had been purposely managed to foster healthy wildlife populations. The combined features of good management of the native grasses, abundant water and good cover have protected and enhanced wildlife. There has been limited hunting on the ranch during the past decade. Wildlife in the area is plentiful and the ranch is frequented by upland game birds, waterfowl, antelope, deer and elk seasonally. Along with the upland birds and big game, there are innumerable song birds, raptors and fur-bearing animals all making their presence known on this classic Montana ranch.The property is situated about 4 miles south of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge which is the largest refuge in the lower 48 states. Encompassing over 1.1 million acres, it includes Fort Peck Reservoir, which during normal operations is 134 miles long with an estimated 1,520 miles of shore line. The lake affords excellent opportunities for boating and fishing for walleye, catfish, smallmouth bass, northern pike, sauger, paddlefish and some lake trout, among other species. The area surrounding Fork Peck Reservoir is well known for its trophy elk and mule deer.

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General Operations

The Open O Ranch has been both owner-operated and leased, and has proven to be a nearly ideal cattle ranch under either scenario. It is well suited for running yearlings during the grazing season or for a year around cow/calf operation, which is the present situation. Currently, the property is under lease to neighboring land-owner and is well under-stocked at less than 100 pairs. Although this ranch is a true grass ranch, barley hay is cut on the dryland fields which provides ample winter feed. Hay production is important to the operation, but the focus is on managing the grass by moving cattle between pastures, maintaining fences and looking after livestock water wells and tanks. The St. Louis Science Center has been leading field trips to the area since 2002 in a travel program called “Paleotrek.” The group, which consists of 12-20 scientists and students, arrives in June and spends two weeks prospecting for fossils on the Open O Ranch. The owner of the ranch has hosted, for a fee, this group for several years. Along with allowing the guests to prospect, the owner also provides buffet-style meals in the shop and allows the group to use the building for pre-dinner discussions and presentations.The area in which this ranch is situated is highly acclaimed for its hunting recreation which includes both upland birds and big game. In the past, the owner has chosen to provide lodging and access to hunting for individuals on a trespass fee basis rather than leasing the ranch to an outfitter. Thousands of acres of public land are adjacent or nearby, creating a magnificent playground for the outdoor enthusiast.

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