Friday, May 9, 2008

Cities in a Slump....Rural on the Rise

While the housing market is in a slump, rural land values continue to rise. Farm Real Estate Values Escalate According to Montana Ag Statistics, the value of non-irrigated cropland increased $100 to $730 per acre in 2007, compared with 2006. Pat Hansen, for the Montana Standard, continues....

The value of irrigated cropland was $3,700, an increase of $900 from 2006. Pasture values increased $200 to $850 per acre. Montana farm real estate values have been steadily increasing, and have more than doubled in the past three years.

In 2001 the average value of all farmlands was $350/acre and in 2006 it was $760/acre. Non-irrigated cropland was worth $355 in 2001, $370 in 2003 and $730 in 2007. Irrigated cropland was valued at $1,470 in 2001, $1,580 in 2003 and $3,700 in 2007. Pastureland more than tripled in value during the past five years from $240/acre to $850/acre.

The increase in farm real estate values is attributed to non-agricultural factors, including relative low interest rates and strong demand for non-agricultural land uses. Demand for farm real estate as an investment continues to be a strong market influence.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

MT Nature Benefits from Stream Bed Restoration

The Big Hole Valley in Southwest Montana is home to some of the most picturesque and productive ranches in the state. The "Big Hole" grazes more cattle than any other county in the U.S. The beautiful Big Hole River meanders through this large, high elevation valley surrounded by snow capped peaks. The 100+ year old cattle & hay outfits have been passed down through several generations. The ranching traditions here run deep, but recently, area ranchers teamed up with the state of Montana to help wildlife that share their most precious resources, the water.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks worked to educate some Big Hole Valley ranchers on stream bed restoration. A Bozeman area filmmaker produced a film highlighting the cooperative efforts of these groups restoring the streams shared by livestock and wildlife, specifically, the rare Arctic Grayling. The film, "Fish & Cow, Restoring the Upper Big Hole", sponsored by the Nature Conservancy, was finalist at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

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Photos by Wayne Mumford for the Nature Conservancy

Saturday, May 3, 2008

So you think you can dance? MSU POW WOW

If you're in the Bozeman area this weekend, don't miss the annual Pow-Wow! A don't miss colorful cultural event. A weekend of friendship, dancing and singing. Enjoy the variety of dances and songs from religious, to war and social. The MSU pow wow is one of Montana's largest. The student produced, non-profit event is free and open to the public. Browse the booths of traditional art and foods. Audience members can participate in dance, as well.

Interested in learning more about the Native American Pow Wow tradition? Click here: What is a Pow Wow ?

Interested in SW Montana property? Search MT property at
MSU photo by Stephen Hunts.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Historic Riverwood Ranch Fly Fishing Park, Bozeman, MT

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MLS# 141695
The Historic Riverwood Ranch Fly Fishing Park
Asking Price: $2,850,000
Type: Residential
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 4
Lot/Acreage: 11+/- acres
Address: 75 Josie's Lane, 11 acres Riverfront
City: Bozeman
State, Zip: MT, 59718

The Riverwood Ranch Fly Fishing Park. 11+/- acres of a historic family ranch with 1/8 mile of W Gallatin River frontage. Park-like Meadows, woods, and spring fed creek loaded with trout. A sanctuary of flora and fauna.

New, creek-side architecturally designed home incorporated into a historic family log cabin. Designed to bring the elements of the environment in and to showcase artwork. 300 SF fully contained guest log cabin.

Can be sold with adjoining 12+/- acres + cottage #141694. Contact Leah
Recently featured in AT HOME Magazine!
Click here to see feature article
Click here for Plat Map

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When the cost of living stinks... use more Manure.

As a real estate broker focused on land sales, it is understood that the Land is one of our main resources for survival. The value of this land is directly related to how well it is managed. Proper land management offers a safe and beautiful environment, productive soils and crops and a suitable forage base for animals and people, alike. Spring time in Montana is the time of year when land owners prepare the land for its summer of productivity. One of these management practices is fertilizer application.

Agricultural producers and smaller land owners are faced with the higher costs of maintaining property. The high cost of fuel, increased shipping costs and the volatile livestock and grain markets add to the problem. Recently, costs of fertilizing pastures and fields has sky rocketed. I read an interesting article by, JAY NORTON, Soil Fertility Specialist UW Cooperative Extension, in the Prairie Star. Norton helps property owners find alternative solutions to defray the high cost of fertilizer. It all goes back to the way our fore father's managed the land....good ole' manure! And there's usually plenty of it.

Find Manure interesting? Check out this cool manure website:

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Black Butte Hunting Ranch, Lewistown, MT

Montana ELK Hunting Ranch, Lewistown, MT
2559+/- acres, Black Butte Ranch
Asking Price:

Type: Acreage
Lot/Acreage: 2559
Building: none
Address: 2559 acres +/- , Black Butte Road
City: Lewistown
State, Zip: MT, 59457

2559+/- acres on the South Fork of Bear Creek, just NE of Lewiston, MT. Private setting at the base of majestic Black Butte, a unique geogical formation that can be seen for miles around from the surrounding prairies. Fertile, Judith Mountain foothill pastures offer abundant forage for a variety of wildlife. Trophy elk have been taken on the property, as well as, Pronhorn, deer and upland birds. Multiple fresh water reservoirs.


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Friday, April 25, 2008

Who checks the snow report the end of April?

Today, I enjoy another Spring day of a winter's scene, a blanket of snow. The local Snow Report predicts another day of "April Showers" here in SW Montana. So, why am I even looking at the snow report in April? One has to wonder, is Montana on the upturn for moisture after enduring almost of decade of drought? While snow cover is frustrating, it is good news.

The USDA reports that snow pack is 102% above average Statewide. The SW Montana river basin snow pack is well above average. For example, the Madison River Basin is 113% above average.
The area ski resorts enjoyed a great season or powder and massive snow depths. Big Sky Resort had a 400" depth on Lone Mountain. Bridger Bowl boasted 397" of snowfall throughout the season. A great ski season is typically followed by an increase of ski vacationers for the next year. With that said, we look forward to an increase in sales of our resort properties.
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Learn Before You Burn.

In Montana, a common Spring pasture management practice is Controlled Burning. A land owner uses fire to burn off the old crop residue or dormant grasses to allow for the new growth to green up sooner. It helps to promote better livestock grazing, manages hazardous dry fuels & weeds and provides a cleaner, green appearance to properties.

Recently, I got a "Safe Burning Award" from the County when we unintentionally started an old shed on fire during a controlled burn. I have earned local fame and have heard many "If it Makes You Feel Any Better...." stories from neighbors. These include: burning off car tires in town, a flaming haystack that started after a winter of smoldering unseen, burning grass one day and a building going up in flames 2 days later after it snowed... and the best, was the local County Sheriff who blew up his propane tank burner out in the field while burning his pasture.

Each Montana County requires that the land owner purchase an Open Burn Permit. You can purchase your permit at any local fire district station. Learn before you burn and avoid unintentional fires and permit violation fines. There are few of the steps to follow in a controlled burn. Common sense is the rule.

  • Must have current Burn Permit

  • Call the local Fire Department to tell them you are burning. (any open burning requires a phone call)
  • Have proper safety and fire suppression equipment on hand

  • Man the fire at all times

  • No burning of hazardous materials

  • No burning after dark

    Follow the rules, be safe, then burn, baby, burn.

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April Showers Bring May Flowers?

There's a saying here in Montana, "If you don't like the weather... wait 5 minutes." Its true, yesterday we enjoyed a moderate sunny day. Kids ran around, playing outside in a light sweatshirt. The weather man has been predicting rain all week, but so far, the rain hasn't been seen. Today we woke up to this. April shower's bring May Flowers? Still snowing..... click here for Bozeman Area Weather .
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

MSU Sponsorships Go a Long Way!

Support Your Local MT Team:

Recently, our Prudential Montana Ranch and Recreational Group was given the opportunity to sponsor the MSU Spring Rodeo. The MSU Rodeo Team is a self supporting organization that raises its own funds through community support. Our sponsorship funds helped to put on and promote the 4 day intercollegiate regional rodeo event. The event was highly successful with a sold out arena and a record number of attendants for an MSU rodeo event. The awesome turn out will help to promote enthusiasm for the university athletic and scholarship programs. Sponsorship funds go a long way:
  • Financial Support for Athlete's expenses
  • Athletic Scholarship Funds for Tuition
  • Financial Support to put on and promote local Events
  • Local Economy boosted by attending Sports Fans
  • Good turn out brings future events to our Community

It felt great to be a part of the promotion. We look forward to many more great events. Check out Montana Real Estate at