Monthly Archives: January 2018
Many prospective buyers have little or no knowledge of running a ranch, but this doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. While it is highly recommended that you learn as much as you can about ranching before considering a purchase, it is possible to hire a team of experienced ranchers to take care of the daily running of the ranch.
For a first-time rancher or investors not planning to work the ranch, hiring a ranch management company can prove to be a sound investment. But, what exactly is the role of a ranch management company?
Access to the Experts
The ranching community is a tight-knit network of people who specialize in different areas, so building relationships with the local community is imperative. However, there may be times when you want to hit the ground running or don’t know where to start. This is where the services of a ranch management company can prove indispensable.
Well-established companies will have spent generations building relationships with the local ranching community and will be able to find the right person for the job. Whether it is a livestock or irrigation expert, a tax specialist, or a ranch manager, the company will get someone on site who will help drive your business forward.
They Know All the Small Print
As Ranch Management Companies have been working in the industry for generations, they will be well aware of the minutiae of state and national tax and conservation projects, as well as mineral and water rights. This area can be particularly challenging to understand for newcomers, but all areas have the potential to affect the value of the property.
When investors start looking for new properties, the management company can advise you on the potential for conservation easements and whether the property has any existing mineral or water rights. Participating in conservation projects can lead to sizeable tax benefits, but each state has precise rules to follow, so having someone on hand to negotiate the small print will be a valuable asset indeed.
Knowledge is Power
Knowledge is one of the keys to success in the ranching industry, and without it, you are likely to make some expensive mistakes. It all starts with being an active member of the local community, which builds up a spirit of cooperation concerning ideas and an extra pair of hands during busy times. Ask any rancher, and they will tell you they would be lost without this community spirit.
However, building relationships takes time, and many investors will want to hit the ground running, which can be difficult if they lack the experience or know-how. This is another area where a ranch management company excels—with their extensive knowledge of modern irrigation, livestock management, and pasture land management just a few areas they can help with.
A management company can help draw up extensive plans to ensure the successful operation of a ranch, whether your primary income stream is cattle, crops, or both.
Help When You Need It Most
The examples above are just a sample of how a ranch management company can help with the successful operation of your ranch. Their knowledge of the industry can be utilized from the moment you start looking at potential sites all the way through to completion and day-to-day ranch operations
Buying a ranch has an almost unlimited potential for people looking to diversify their property portfolios, expand their existing ranch operations, or make a massive change in their lives. No matter the reason, it will involve a substantial investment, regardless of the size of the property.
When you start looking for available ranch land, there are numerous things to consider, which can be particularly overwhelming for prospective ranchers. However, in all cases, there are some important details to think about. Here are our five essential tips for buying your new ranch.
Have a Clear Picture
Having a clear idea of what you want to use the ranch for is one of the first things any would-be investor needs to consider. If you are seeking a place to escape, you will be looking for something very different than people who wish to raise cattle or grow crops. Likewise, investors looking for top-quality hunting and fishing will be looking for ranches with a varied topography close to or within National Park boundaries.
Once you have a clear idea of the type of ranch you want, you can start looking at available locations and the amount of space you will realistically need for your desired operations.
Where Did the Day Go?
Running a ranch is a full-time job, and there will always be a to-do list! The amount of work required will depend on what you use the ranch for, and you may need to hire additional staff during busy periods. This is as true for dude ranchers as it is for cattle ranchers. For example, a dude rancher will have to maintain the lodging and stables to a high standard, while a cattle rancher will have have to look after the livestock, fields, fences, and irrigation.
It is essential that you are fully aware of the time involved in running a ranch. If you are new to ranching, take the time to consult experienced ranchers or property agents to gain a greater understanding. From there, you can create a realistic plan for your property regarding its management.
Where Is the Water?
All ranches need a reliable source of water to operate successfully, so this should be a major consideration when conducting your research.
Owning the water rights of natural water sources passing through or adjacent to the property can add a lot of value to the property while offering the owner a tremendous amount of flexibility to use the water to develop or expand the operations of the ranch.
A Gift from the IRS
In many states, owning a ranch offers potentially significant tax benefits, especially if the ranch is used for agricultural purposes or participates in statewide conservation projects. Each state has different rules, which can be tricky to understand, so if you are new to ranching, it would be worth consulting with an expert before proceeding. They will be able to explain any existing tax breaks the property currently holds and what needs to be done to maintain them in the future.
This is a crucial factor that you must be aware of when purchasing a ranch. For example, if you planto hunt, you need to know how many tags you are eligible for and whether they are easy to obtain. Also, you need to be aware of the zoning rules of the state, especially if you have intentions for future expansion. This is why it is essential to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve on your ranch long before you start looking for available properties.
At the start of a new year, we often say that “this will be the year for big changes.” One of the major changes which people want to achieve is to escape from the rat race of city living and enjoy life somewhere within this beautiful country. A viable option is to start ranching in one of the western states such as Colorado or Wyoming.
Living the life of a “cowboy” seems unrealistic to many people, but with hard work, there is no reason it can’t be a successful change in life for both you and your family. There are many reasons to buy a ranch this year, and here are five to consider.
Return on Investment
Even if you have no real desire to work the ranch or to live on the ranch, the land represents an excellent opportunity to gain considerable returns on investment. Owning large tracts of land in desirable locations is a valuable commodity, and income from the property can be raised in many different ways.
- Leasing Pasture Land:High-quality pastures are always highly sought after in cattle rearing states.
- Hunting and Fishing: Many ranches have extensive water rights and hunting tags within their boundaries. These can be leveraged to attract trophy hunters looking for premium experiences.
- Mineral Rights: Having access to the mineral rights to the land can lead to considerable profits if any mineral deposits are found under the ranch land.
- Dude Ranching: Another way to gain regular income from the land is to set up a dude ranch offering a wide range of activities.
Each state has different tax rules regarding land ownership, but ranch owners can usually qualify for tax breaks or deductions if they use the land for agriculture or participate in conservation programs.
Get Away from It All
For some people, though, the choice to move out to a ranch is purely to get away from it all. This can be in the form ofa vacation getaway or as a new home altogether. For people who love being immersed in nature, owning a ranch is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Whether you are investing in a small or large ranch, you will have the feeling of being completely disconnected with the rest of civilization. Being surrounded by trees, creeks, and mountains as well as a diverse range of fauna is the antithesis of city living
A Wealth of Opportunities
Living on a ranch presents a wealth of opportunities for work and leisure. Depending on what state you opt for, there will be options to work the land as a cattle ranch or grow crops such as hay to support the local farming community. During your downtime, you can enjoy all the fantastic attributes of your ranch. If you love fishing, you could help cultivate productive fisheries on-site, or maybe there are outstanding trophy hunting within or near the ranch.
Choosing a ranch in a state like Colorado offers year-round possibilities for recreational activities for all members of the family. In the summer, horse rides and hiking are enjoyable, and during the winter, there are numerous world-class ski resorts on the doorstep. If you decide to offer lodging on the ranch, it is possible to maximize income streams throughout the year.
Sense of Pride
There is no doubt that owning and creating a successful ranch is a vast undertaking, but the pride of doing it is well worth it. Many ranch owners see it as a labor of love no matter what they use the ranch for.
After a busy day, the moment you sink into a chair on your porch, looking out across a stunning vista, is one that will never get old.
Agriculture is a major driver of the U.S. economy, and the need for food is only going to increase as population size increases—both at home and around the world. In the United States, we are fortunate to have a diverse and bountiful land ideal for all manner of livestock and crops to flourish, making running a ranch a potentially lucrative venture.
Many people dream of moving to the country but have no idea how to be a rancher or where to start looking for property.
What is a Ranch?
Traditionally speaking, a ranch is an area of land used for agricultural purposes, but these days, many ranch owners diversify their operations and run successful sports clubs or dude ranches.
One thing all ranches have in common is that the owners or workers will spend a significant part of each day outside, tending to the land and property. On a typical cattle ranch, this can involve:
- Tending the cattle
- Doing maintenance jobs such as building fences or repairs to irrigation channels
- Planting crops
Regardless of the size of the ranch, there are three pieces of advice that any prospective rancher will benefit from knowing.
A Job Unlike Any Other
Make no mistake, running a ranch is tough work, but the ability to spend long days outside with nature and seeing something you have nurtured grow before your eyes is truly fulfilling work. So, it is important not to consider operating a ranch a “job,” but rather as a way of life—one that will never get boring. The sheer variety of work required will keep things fresh.
If you plan to work the land yourself, knowledge of land cultivation will be a major asset, as will the ability to operate heavy equipment like tractors. This experience can be gained through various agricultural schools, but it isn’t essential if you don’t plan to manage the livestock operation yourself.
Build a Community
Ask any experienced rancher, and this is likely to be the first piece advice that they will give you, especially if you are new to the game. From the moment you start looking at properties, it is important to put the feelers out amongst the local community to gain insider knowledge about the local area.
It is vital that you build relationships with the local farming community as a spirit of cooperation is extremely valuable when you encounter problems or need an extra pair of hands. Also, as a new rancher, it might be worth considering a ranch management team that is familiar with the local area and who have already established relationships. This can significantly aid in the transition from the outside world to ranch life.
Expect the Unexpected
No matter what capacity you work in on a ranch, it is best to expect the unexpected, as you are living directly with nature. Nature marches to the beat of its own drum. It is, therefore, critical that you have a flexible approach to your day-to-day management and that you or your partner are armed with excellent problem-solving skills.
Across the ranch, small changes can have far-reaching consequences. Maybe you have some unexpected visitors in the form of flora or fauna that could cause damage to your cattle, or it could be that some unusual weather systems have caused damage to your fences or caused trees to fall. All of these things will need to be dealt with quickly and efficiently, but this lost time can affect harvests,as well as the feeding habits of your cattle.
Ranching is one of the oldest family-run industries in the United States, and running a successful ranch will hopefully provide income for the family for generations to come. More and more people have begun to see the value of raising a family on a ranch and the vital life lessons that can be learned. For example, running a ranch will teach people of all ages essential skills such as communication, teamwork, networking, problem-solving, and the good old-fashioned value of hard work.
Every year, the members of the family will sit down together and plan for the next few business cycles. It doesn’t matter if the ranch specializes in agricultural or recreational activities; it is essential to plan and make sure there is a plan, should an unexpected “rainy day” come along. Here are some tips for leading the family ranch forward in 2018 and beyond.
For any established rancher, this is a no-brainer, but for new ranchers, it is critical that you are aware of the sheer amount of work required to run a successful ranch. The best way to manage the workload is to identify the key strengths of family members and the other staff. This will allow you to divide the workload more efficiently.
One massive mistake many ranchers have made over the years is to assume that good years will be followed by more good years. The temptation, which has caused many problems, is to invest last season’s profits into new assets—machinery, equipment, or buildings. Although all these things are important, it is essential to be realistic about your cash flow.
Improvements are a fact of life on any ranch and can incur significant expenses, but does a brand new tractor have to be one of them? And what about if next year is a poor year in terms of cash flow? It is vitally important that you always consider the medium and long-term consequences of your expenditure, and if that old tractor still works as required, then why replace it?
The Exchange of Skills and Knowledge Is an Ideal Currency
As mentioned above, you should always plan according to the strengths of your family members and workers. If someone isn’t especially practical but is good with numbers, get them to do the accounting. The same goes for people in the community.
Since the beginning of time, humans have been exchanging goods and services, and this currency is particularly valuable in the ranching industry. Maybe a member of your ranch has a particular skill that another ranch owner might need and vice versa. In this situation, it is well worth creating a spirit of cooperation, which will be mutually beneficial to you both.
You may be raising a young family on the ranch, but perhaps when your kids grow up, they will prefer to leave the nest and develop different career paths. This is a common situation that families face over the years and must be planned for. If a family member wants to move into a position of leadership, they may need to look outside the ranch to gain the necessary skills to do so.
Open and honest channels of communication will eliminate potential surprises and problems with ownership and leadership in the years to come.