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.
Nebraska has a rich history when it comes to agriculture, and today its beef and corn are still famous around the country. Nebraskans have always prided themselves on their innovations and have been lucky to be graced with an abundance of natural resources, which helped this along nicely.
The diverse topography and weather systems also attract a wide array of big game and birds, which also makes an attractive place to set up a ranch. Throughout the state, ranches with multiple uses can be found, and many owners run successful farming operations alongside other business operations such as sports retreats. These are just a few reasons why investors look to buy Nebraska ranches.
Beef is a major driver of the local economy with massive production across the state. In fact, Nebraska’s output is second only to that of Texas, which is a significant achievement when you take into account the disparity in the size of the two states.
Nebraska is graced with a wealth of natural resources which enable ranch owners to manage high-quality pasture lands. This leads to happier and healthier cows. If you are looking to invest in a Nebraskan ranch, cattle ranches offer a substantial return on investment. However, the type of site you choose will depend on your level of experience in ranching. For newer ranchers, you will want to have a well-established infrastructure in place alongside well-irrigated pasture lands.
Demand for beef is likely to increase in the coming years, which makes growing other crops a worthwhile operation.
Corn and Other Crops
Nebraska is nicknamed the ‘Cornhusker State’ because corn has always been such an integral part of life here. Corn is the largest crop produced in the USA and has a wide variety of uses, with many producers making it for the cattle industry. In addition to corn, substantial levels of soybeans, wheat, and hay are grown, so there are numerous profitable crops to consider growing on the land.
With growing populations across the US and the rest of the world, demand for food is at an all-time high, so investing in different crops has the potential to bring in substantial returns.
Sporting and Diversification Opportunities
It is not just farming which attracts investors to ranches in Nebraska, but the world-class hunting and fishing opportunities. For a rancher looking to diversify their operations, the options are endless. By adding lodging, it is possible to attract private and corporate sportsmen for hunting retreats.
Nebraska plays host to a wide variety of big game such as big horn sheep, elk, mule deer, pronghorns, and white tail deer, making it a desirable location for the experienced hunter.
There are numerous bodies of water across the state which are located on some of the ranches or are easily accessible. Trophy fishing is big business and offers potential income generating options, alongside the big game hunting.
Whatever your reasons for looking at investment opportunities in the Midwest, Nebraska is well worth keeping in mind when analyzing the available options.
New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the US, but also one of the least populated, which makes it ideal for escaping more densely populated areas. But, what makes the state so attractive for those looking to buy New Mexico ranches is the relatively low cost of land. With some shopping around, the right property will be there.
We advise drawing up a list of requirements and what you want to use the ranch for. Some ranches are suitable for farming operations, while ranches at higher altitudes make excellent bases for the nearby ski resorts.
This is an essential point to consider at the beginning of your search. Do you want to be out in the middle of nowhere or do you want easy access to nearby towns and cities? If you are looking to buy a money-generating ranch, then the location will have an impact on what business operations will be viable.
Ranches at higher elevations are ideal for outdoor pursuits, but you need to check the level of infrastructure to see how easy it is to get in-and-out of throughout the year. These ranches are usually great for accessing nearby ski resorts, making them great getaways.
It is also worth considering whether you plan to continue working off-site, as this will involve factoring in ease of transport and commute times. At more remote locations, these times can be significant.
Many New Mexico ranches offer excellent hunting and fishing opportunities, which can be used for generating on-going revenue. Private hunters and corporate teams are always looking for new sites to do trophy hunting or to catch a prize trout. If this is something you are considering, you need to look at a site which has excellent accommodation already or one where planning permission will be easier to attain.
It is also worth considering the amount of time you plan to put in on the ranch, as even the smaller ranches require a considerable amount of time to manage the day-to-day operations.
Mineral Extraction and Production is big business in New Mexico, with coal and oil being most sought after. This is why having access to the mineral rights for your land could be worth a lot of future income. When searching for sites, make sure you ask the realtor about this because if someone else owns the right, then they will have the right to check for deposits. This could be very damaging to any farming or recreational activities you’re conducting on-site.
This is another important consideration that can have the potential to add or reduce the value of the property. There may be large bodies of water on, or running through, the ranch. But the ability to make any changes to the existing water sources, for example, irrigation, will be down to the rights owner.
The New Mexico state government offers generous tax credits for ranch owners that are willing to participate in conservation programs. This is worth considering if you are looking at ranches that attract or have the potential to attract big game.
If you dream of escaping the big city, then you should look no further than Montana, which is one of the largest but least densely populated states in the whole US. This means there are many pockets of undiscovered and untouched land, which provides perfect conditions for big game to flourish.
The extensive grasslands across the state also make ideal places to put cattle to pasture, allowing for large-scale stock rotation. Currently, there are some excellent investment opportunities on the market, and there has never been a better time to move into this state. Here are a few options for people looking to buy Montana ranches for sale.
Vast empty plains, uninhabited forests, majestic peaks, world-class hunting, and excellent recreational activities throughout the year. These are just some of the reasons why many savvy investors head out this way.
Antelope Springs Ranch
For an experienced cattle rancher, the Antelope Springs Ranch offers excellent value for money. It plays host to over 31 separate pastures across its 50,000+ acres, allowing a sizeable livestock operation to take place. This ranch has proved to be a very profitable operation, supporting large numbers of cattle and sheep throughout the year.
What helps make this ranch such an attractive proposition is its existing infrastructure and cattle rearing facilities, alongside large-scale water resources. This enables the ranch to weather any ‘dry spells’ and remain profitable.
Cinch Buckle Ranch
A smaller but equally profitable ranch is Cinch Buckle, which currently houses around 900 cows. Due to the size of the ranch, the taxes are also lower than the Antelope Springs Ranch, but it does have only 19 pastures. It all depends on how large scale you want to go and what level of experience you have raising livestock.
We highly recommend this ranch as it has outstanding water resources and cattle rearing facilities, which can be easily scaled up or down depending on the prevailing market conditions.
Chief Mountain Ranch
If you are interested in learning about raising livestock but have little or no experience, then this ranch could be the one for you. It is a very manageable size, and the current owners are in partnership with a local cattle owner, whose cows graze on the property in an area maintained by him.
Montana is home to some of the best game hunting and recreational activates in the US, and this ranch is in a prime location to take advantage of this. Exceptional fly-fishing and hunting opportunities exist on or near to the property, and big game such as mule deer and black bears often wander around the site.
It may be significantly smaller than other ranches for sale in Montana, but it has so much to offer within its 400+ acres, it is hard not to recommend it. In addition to the wealth of recreational opportunities available, there is significant potential to develop the property into a conservation area, which obviously benefits the local eco-systems and threatened species, but also provides sizeable tax benefits for the landowner.
Wyoming plays host to some of the most iconic landscape and vistas in the country, which combined with its status as the least populated state makes it a prime investment opportunity for those looking to buy Wyoming Ranches.
The sheer diversity being offered is enough to pique most investors’ attention, so whatever your interests, there is likely to be a perfect solution waiting somewhere within the state lines. But before making inquiries, we highly recommend deciding what you want from a ranch and how much time you have to put into the ranch operation.
Here are four examples of ranches available which all offer unique buying propositions for savvy investors.
For the Horse Raising Enthusiast
The YO Equine Ranch in Sheridan is a unique buying proposition for those investors interested in working hard and playing hard. The site lies in an area synonymous with top quality horses and is set up to take advantage of the excellent local environment. If the investor has an interest in horses and horse rearing, then this site has almost unlimited potential.
Besides the outstanding on-site facilities, what makes the YO Equine Ranch especially attractive is its location. While you are working on the ranch, you can enjoy superlative views of Big Horn Mountains, and in your downtime, you can enjoy recreational activities on-site or take advantage of the great community of Sheridan, with its exceptional dining and shopping options.
For the Fishing Expert
Wyoming is graced with some of the most bountiful waters in the entire country, and fishermen will find a wealth of options to spend their time on the water. Probably the best option on the market at the moment is the Snowy Range Fishing Lodge in Laramie, with its world-class trout fishing.
The site is ideally located and houses some great lodging options, which attracts fishermen from across the country.
A much smaller but equally attractive investment is the Tailwater Fishing Cabins in Casper, located on a stretch of the North Platte River, which is home to an abundance of trophy fish. It is a much smaller operation and gives the prospective investor an opportunity to literally hit the ground running and see immediate returns on investment.
For the Livestock Rearer
The Halleck Canyon Ranch in Wheatland takes advantage of its unique position on the eastern slopes of the Laramie Range. The combination of stunning landscape, water, and favorable grass growing conditions make it an excellent site for cattle raising, especially when you consider how close the site is to a local Livestock Market. For the right buyer, this location offers a significant return on investment opportunity.
When the owners are not working the cattle, the diverse topography provides a productive habitat for myriad flora and fauna, enabling the owners to enjoy all kinds of recreational pursuits throughout the year.
For the Big Game Hunter
The lack of humans in the state, alongside the diverse landscape, makes Wyoming an ideal location for thriving populations of big game, all of which can be regularly seen wandering around the properties and national parks of the state. One ranch that stands out is the Elk Haven in Wheatland due to the large population of elk which can be seen on site throughout the year. The area offers some of the highest quality elk and deer hunting opportunities right outside the door, making it an exciting investment for trophy hunters.
Located on the southern side of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is probably one of the most diverse states in the whole of North America. Across the state, you can see extremes of the geographic spectrum, ranging from snow-capped mountains to massive sand dunes and everything else in-between.
These conditions provide many different opportunities for ranch owners, with many having working farm operations in areas such as corn and cattle. Obviously, the location of the ranch will have a massive impact of the operations that can be done on-site, but regardless of where you are there will be a vast range of recreational activities either on-site or in the nearby area. So, there is no wonder many investors want to buy Colorado Ranches
The ranch owner who is looking to escape the monotony of city life and partake in a variety of outdoor pursuits should look no further than the River House on the Anthracite. It enjoys an outstanding elevation with stupendous views of Marcellina Mountain.
Located in the mountains, the ranch has year-round access and is a sportsman paradise whether they enjoy fishing, hunting, skiing, hiking, or horseback riding The options are limitless! In the winter months, world-class ski resorts can be easily reached in no time.
In additions, the operation has significant scope for scaling business operations either independently or in conjunction with nearby resorts and ranches and includes ample lodging for guests.
Another stunning hideaway is the Red Canyon Estate in Vail County, which offers unbelievable value for the money for the equestrian lover. The current owner has used the ranch as a gentlemen’s retreat, and the on-site facilities for horse raising are genuinely first-class, as is the accommodation options for the owner and guests.
For those who love the freedom of trail riding, numerous trails cut across the property and into nearby national parks. Besides the privilege of being in the great outdoors, there are also some outstanding hunting opportunities.
When not on horseback, the property has a well-stocked fishing pond full of Rainbow Trout giving the Red Canyon Estate a chance of becoming a leading fishery in the area.
Best of Both Worlds
For investors who want to combine work and pleasure, the Indian Hills Farm in Pueblo is an exciting investment opportunity. It enjoys access to some stunningly varied landscape, which makes it ideal for big game hunting and raising cattle at the same time. For example, there is a mile stretch of the Arkansas River that cuts through the property, attracting waterfowl and deer in large numbers.
The abundant water rights make it perfect for irrigating the land, and the ranch produces some top-quality alfalfa hay on its working farm operation. Also, the ranch comes with extensive mineral and water rights, which make it a desirable proposition.
Indian Hills Farm has an enormous potential within its 340 acres, and the only real barrier on significant returns-on-investment is the buyer’s imagination.
Time to Head to Colorado
These three ranches are just a small taste of the fantastic ranching opportunities lie within the state of Colorado. There are always new, exciting opportunities coming on the market, so take the time to consider the kind of ranch you are interested in, and you won’t regret your decision to head out west.
Home to world-class ski-resorts, lovely vistas, and a high standard of living, it is no wonder that Utah attracts investors from all around the US. The state is crisscrossed with stunning mountains, rivers, and lakes, so opportunities for hunting and farming are good revenue generators for people looking to buy Utah ranches.
Before making initial inquiries, you should look at different areas and create a shortlist of the most appealing options. When drawing up the shortlist, you should consider several areas.
When you are thinking of buying a ranch, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to do on the ranch and how much time you plan to spend there. If the ranch is a winter or summer getaway, then it needs to be easily accessed but not necessarily that near to civilization. On the other hand, if you are planning on managing a full working ranch, you will need year-round access to the nearby townships, otherwise transport costs for your products will have a negative effect on your margins.
As mentioned above, Utah is home to some truly breathtaking landscapes. It can be the perfect year-round destination. Tourism has played a massive role in the continued growth in the state, with some ranches operating as private clubs for discerning hunters, skiers, and sportsmen.
Agriculture is another significant economic driver, with large amounts of hay being produced to support the livestock sector. Cattle has a good reputation and is a prized commodity, but it isn’t the only product that landowners generate revenue from. Dairy, poultry, and sheep products, along with fruits such as cherries and apricots, are just some of the examples of the produce that comes from within the state boundaries.
Mineral and fossil fuel production is an essential economic driver in Utah, with coal, petroleum, and salt playing a major role. If new deposits are found, they could be worth a lot of money for the owner of the mineral rights.
When searching for ranches in Utah, you should make sure the property owns the mineral rights to the land and verify the conditions attached to the rights. Holding the mineral rights allows the owner to have full control of the land and anything underneath it. Obviously, if the landowner doesn’t hold the rights, they have no recourse if the rights holder decides to set up a dig.
The same is true of water rights, which add additional value to the property both at the current market price and in relation to future selling price. Owning the rights gives extra flexibility for the owner to diversify their operations. Depending on where you are in the state, you could use the water resources to aid irrigation for pasture lands or lodging developments.
Failure to secure the rights can cause a lot of headaches further down the line if you are trying to change things up on-site.
Utah has numerous conservation projects in place, which help manage the diverse, local eco-systems. As a landowner, there are considerable benefits for participating in these schemes including generous tax credits. But, for many ranch owners that is secondary to the joy of playing such an essential role in the preservation of nature.
The Land of Enchantment lives up to its name, a state with a diversity of both landscape and people. Originally settled by the Spanish, New Mexico officially became part of the United States in 1912. Since then it has continued to be a melting pot of various cultures, with large populations of people of Native American and Hispanic origin.The diversity doesn’t stop with the people, as New Mexico boasts all kinds of land ripe for exploration and cultivation. There are deserts, mountain ranges, and national parks in abundance, so it is no wonder that New Mexico Ranches are seen as a desirable investment proposition.
Landscape Which Can Be Enjoyed Year Round
From deserts to snow-capped mountains, New Mexico has it all. You are never far away from an entirely different vista, with the state full of fantastic national parks, perfect for exploring on foot or horseback. White Sands National Monument is home to some impressive dunes, while skiing can be enjoyed at Taos Ski Valley. This fantastic diversity makes the state an ideal base for a family or for managing a sporting ranch.
Big Blue Ranch in Angel Fire is a perfect representation of this diversity, with excellent hunting, fly-fishing, and ease of access to ski resorts all possible at different times of the year. You will never be far away from forested slopes or a creek teeming with fish.
Flora and Fauna
New Mexico has so many possibilities for a potential rancher when it comes to the native population of flora and fauna. Myriad creatures roam the various terrains making big game hunting and fishing favorite past-times. Black Bears, pronghorn, mountain lions, elk, and bighorn sheep can be found, along with countless varieties of game and fish. All this wildlife live in a range of altitudes surrounded by flora just as diverse.
Getting involved in the various conservation initiatives of the state government is a very worthwhile pursuit which also brings with it several attractive tax credits. Larger ranches also usually have private landowner tags, which makes them very appealing for trophy hunters. For example, Big Blue Ranch eight elk tags, while the Luera Ranch has fifteen elk and two antelope tags.
One of the key features of the early days in New Mexico were the cattle drives, and the spirit of the cowboy still lives on, on the cattle ranches of New Mexico. Dairy products are significant drivers of the state economy, with beef also playing an important role. In fact, cattle are a precious commodity and demand for dairy and beef is likely to increase over the coming years.
Luera Ranch in Magdalena has a large cattle operation, with the potential to scale should the need arise. The fertile soil and rolling grasslands make an excellent place for grazing and raising cattle year-on-year.
A Diverse Landscape with Diverse Opportunities
Whatever draws you to New Mexico you can be sure you will never be bored. Ranching offers unlimited possibilities, and you are sure to find the opportunity which you have been looking for.
The landscape in Utah is simply breathtaking and provides many opportunities for ranching. It has a rich history and is home to some of most sought-after property in the whole of the USA. Deciding to invest in Utah Ranches is an excellent long-term strategy whether you are building a property portfolio or interested in exploring the endless possibilities of managing a living, breathing ranch.One thing you need to be aware of is that properties don’t stay on the market for long, so you should be ready to make an offer if you see a property that gets your interest.
A Great Place to Escape to
Utah is a large state, but it only has a population of around 3 million, with large tracts of land uninhabited. The further away from Salt Lake City, you get, the more isolated you will be, which for some people, will be their idea of paradise.
Long hikes surrounded by nature will be available on a daily basis, as will a multitude of other activities depending on the season and location of your ranch.
No matter where you are in the state, you will never be far away from some of the most glorious landscape in the state, if not the US as a whole. National Parks such as Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, alongside the Monument Vally Navajo Tribal Park is home to valleys, canyons, and out-of-this-world rock formations. Anyone who is interested in hiking, rock-climbing, and photography will be overwhelmed with the choices of adventures right there on the doorstep.
Diverse Flora and Fauna
In amongst all this fantastic scenery lives myriad species of animals, with big game and bird hunting and fly-fishing being favorite activities across the state. Bison, Wild Turkey, and Bobcats are just a few examples of animals native to Utah, while you will find elks, pronghorns and countless deer wondering the mountains and plains. There are, also, sizeable numbers of trout swimming in the waters, making Utah an oasis for lovers of the great outdoors.
This diversity creates many opportunities for owners of ranch properties. They may decide to develop a hunting lodge, which is an extremely lucrative income stream during the hunting season.
With ranches available in various sizes and locations, development opportunities are available for any investor. For example, extensive and well-irrigated grasslands combined with water rights can allow for the scalable cultivation of livestock for sale or big game conservation projects. Either of these ventures can offer excellent returns-on-investment, and in the case of conservation, tax breaks.
Using the land for the cultivation of crops, also, has considerable rewards for an investor who wants to maximize the efficiency of available land. Hay, wheat, barley, and corn are all important crops which help to sustain Utah’s robust economy.
Even though Utah is sparsely populated, the population in the cities is growing quite quickly, which means demand for meat and crops is likely to increase over the coming years. Whatever you decide to use your land for, there has never been a better time to invest in Utah.
For prospective buyers, Colorado offers so many options regardless of whether you are looking for big game hunting, raising livestock or for enjoying the various outdoor pursuits throughout the state. With a massive range of acreage and usages, Colorado ranches may just be the investment opportunity you have been looking for.
Exceptional Big Game Hunting
Colorado is home to a wealth of big game across a multitude of mountains, grasslands, and forests that make up the diverse landscape of the state.
Bear, elk, pronghorn, deer, moose, and black bear are found in large numbers on or near to most Colorado ranches.
The Smith Basin Ranch in Toponas is ideal for trophy hunters due to the large population of elk which travel through the site throughout the year. The elk are part of the largest herds in the state: the White River Elk and the owner enjoys private hunting rights. This would be attractive enough, but the site also boasts significant water rights and a multitude of other big game regularly travels through the property.
With plenty of rivers, lakes, and streams dissecting the state, Colorado is angler’s dream, with several ranches offering private fisheries and access to waters with abundant fish populations. One ranch with genuinely outstanding options is Calloway Hill Ranch in Larimer County, with an almost endless supply of fishable waters.
The property has private access to several stretches of the Cache La Poudre River. As well as the Halligan Reservoir, enabling year-round fishing in stunning surroundings. Also, the prime location of the ranch provides additional fishing opportunities in nearby national parks.
Another outstanding property for fishing is the Open Box Z Ranch two-hours outside of Denver, which has exclusive access to some of the most exceptional trout fishing in the country. Located in the Central Mountains gives numerous world-class ski resorts in the winter, but it is water which is the primary drawing card of this ranch.
Open Box Z’s fantastic location on a stretch of Troublesome Creek offers excellent fishing, while the site has extensive water rights. All of this combines to make the ranch a very exciting investment.
World Class Outdoor Activities
Colorado is a year-round adventure seeker’s paradise with a wide array of activities to enjoy on and off the ranches. In the summer, hiking, horse riding, and sailing are just some of the activities which can be enjoyed. But, it is the winter that Colorado truly excels with a multitude of world-class ski resorts being a short ride away from most of the ranches. For example, Snowmass Wilderness Estate is only 45-minutes away from Aspen, and Cross Mountain Ranch is just 45-minutes away from Steamboat Springs. This can create many potential business opportunities.
For the keen sportsman, the Mountain Spirit on the Navajo in Chromo is the perfect ranch for spending long days out in nature. The long summer days can be enjoyed on foot or horseback, while in the winter season, the ranch enjoys easy access to Wolf Creek Ski area an emerging ski resort with some of the best snow in the state.
Whatever your reasons for investing in Colorado, you are sure to find the perfect ranch.