This beautiful property will make you realize why Montana is called, “The Last Best Place.” With two homes, multiple outbuildings and improvements, and abundant water, this ranch has everything you need to run a productive and diversified business. Don’t want to rely too much on one income stream? This property gives you crops, hay, cattle and gravel, with late-model pivots, good fences, and did we say excellent water? It’s a good place to hang your hat.
The Denning Ranch is located just south of Fort Shaw, Montana, in the beautiful Sun River Valley, about 30 miles west of Great Falls. The ranch is located in Cascade County in an area with fertile soils, flat fields, and abundant water availability, thanks to the proximity of the Sun River. Cascade County is the fifth most populous county in Montana and also has reasonable property taxes and water costs compared to other Montana counties.
Interstate 15 is only about 15 miles from the property, giving you easy access to both Great Falls and Helena (capital city of Montana), just 90 miles to the south. Or take it north, and you can be in Canada in an hour and a half.
The ranch totals 1,126 +/- deeded acres in 6 parcels, including 840 acres under 6 Valley center pivots, 286 acres of dryland pasture, 2 gravel pits that contain an estimated total of 450,000 cubic yards of gravel, and 2 building sites with improvements (discussed in more detail below). The sale includes all the seller’s interest in mineral and gravel rights. The property enjoys majestic views of the nearby Square Butte, a picturesque landmark visible for miles around that was immortalized in the painting, Charles M Russell and His Friends, by famous painter of the west, Charlie Russell.
Current crops on the land are Spring Wheat, Malting Barley and Alfalfa Hay.
The property currently supports 300 cattle that winter on the property, thanks to some grass available for grazing as well as a 1,000-head feedlot on parcel 1.
Abundant water availability is one of the strengths of this ranch, thanks to a live creek, flood irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, and annual precipitation. Fort Shaw Irrigation District delivers water to the property through pipe, ditches, and canals. Household water and some livestock water comes from the 2 Buttes Water Users Association. The property sale includes 6 memberships to the 2 Buttes Water Users Association, one for each of the 6 different parcels, meaning that you could have water for up to 6 homes on this property.
The land features a diverse ecosystem, including cottonwood river bottoms, rolling hills, grassy creek bottoms, and flat fields.
There’s a lot of untapped potential, too, with abundant resources to sustain expansion and more diversification. For example, you could create a wind farm, solar on the corners of your fields, agritourism, or a hunting paradise. The opportunities are endless.
Parcel 1 (Home Parcel): 180.00 Acres Total:
The Home Parcel consists of 138.79 acres of pivot-sprinkler cropland, 31.21 acres of grass, and a 10-acre building site. The cropland is under a Valley Pivot, 2001, 1062 feet long, 20 HP electric motor, 4 RB Cornell pump
The 10-acre building site includes a 2400 square foot home, an office building, a Quonset shop building, a large barn, corrals, and a feedlot. (See the “Buildings and Improvements” section below for more detail on these improvements.)
Parcel 2: 160.00 Acres Total:
- 31.21 acres of grass
- 127.38 acres of pivot-sprinkler irrigated cropland under a Valley Pivot, 2013, 1313 Ft., 40 HP electric motor, 4 RB Cornell pump.
Parcel 3: 78.39 Acres Total:
- 40 acres of grass-grazing area
- 38.39 acres of grazing and gravel pit area
This is a state permitted and bonded gravel pit that contains an estimated 325,000 cubic yards of gravel. On this site, approximately 40,000 yards have already been crushed into 1 ½” road material. All this would pass to the buyer. The pile is ready to be sold, giving you a jump start on getting this operation up and running. With strong local demand for gravel and a good location (you can sell into Great Falls, or take it west, or north, or south), this gravel pit adds a tremendous amount of value to the property in terms of immediate return on your investment.
Parcel 3 also offers extraordinary views of the Rocky Mountain Front and the surrounding countryside. This would be an excellent building spot for a house, and with water availability to this parcel through 2 Buttes, there’s no obstacle to making that a reality.
Parcel 4: 72.38 Acres Total:
Parcel 4, just south of Parcel 3 (but divided by a road and a residential property), contains 2.67 acres of grass and 69.71 acres pivot-sprinkler irrigated cropland under a Valley Pivot, 2001, 1192 Ft., 30 HP electric motor, 4 RB Cornell pump.
Parcel 5: 477.78 Acres Total:
Parcel 5, shaped like an upside-down L, consists of 359.61 acres of pivot-sprinkler irrigated cropland, 23.87 acres of flood-irrigated cropland, and 94.30 acres of grass. The sprinkler irrigated land is under two sprinklers, one long one in the center and one that makes a short half-circle arc along the east side of the parcel.
#1 - Valley Pivot, 2013, 2454 Ft., 125 HP electric motor, 6 RB Cornell pump
#2 - Valley Pivot, 2013, 698 Ft., 3 Tower 40 HP electric motor, 4 RB Cornell pump, VHS panel
Parcel 6: 158.07 Acres Total:
Parcel 6 offers you another home site (5 acres) with a 2-story home and 2 older outbuildings, as well as another gravel pit (5.35 acres with an estimated 125,000 cubic yards of gravel). In addition, this parcel consists of 66.52 acres of grass and 81.20 acres of pivot-sprinkler irrigated cropland under a Valley pivot, 2001, 1242 Ft. 40 HP electric motor, 4 RB Cornell pump.
BUILDINGS AND IMPROVEMENTS
This beautiful property will make you realize why Montana is called, “The Last Best Place.” With two building sites, two homes, and multiple outbuildings and improvements, this ranch has everything you need to grow crops and raise livestock. The ranch has been owned by a single family since 1952, and the family has been in the area for 6 generations.
HOME 1 is located on parcel 1 and has 2400 square feet, 4 bedrooms, and 2 baths. The home is a one-story ranch with a small, unfinished basement, built in 1978. It includes a kitchen, dining area, office, laundry room, and small deck. Recent upgrades include new carpet, new inside doors, and new windows. You’ll love the large rock fireplace (made from rock that came off of Square Butte!) with a wood stove insert that will keep you warm and cozy, This home is a great place to raise a family, with a spacious yard for children to play under Montana’s Big Sky and a well-established windbreak with Russian Olive, Elms, Blue Spruce, and more to keep your utility costs down. This home is county road accessible (off the county road about half a mile).
HOME 2 is a 2-story home located on parcel 6 and has 2200 square feet, 3 bedrooms, and 1 bath. This is an older, well-constructed home with lots of potential, a large yard, and a beautiful, mature windbreak with lots of trees. This home also offers you excellent views of Shaw Butte and Square Butte. If you’re into hunting, there are lots of pheasants right outside your door.
Parcel 1 features an office building, a barn, a QUONSET SHOP, nice corrals, and a 1,000-head feedlot with concrete feed bunks and auto waterers, with household-quality water from 2 Buttes Water.
The OFFICE BUILDING is 25' x 35' and was remodeled in 2005. The office is heated and includes 2 offices and a meeting room with a table.
The BARN is 50' x 120' and was built in 1998 of wood beam construction with a sheet metal exterior. The barn includes calving pens and an insulated tack room.
The SHOP is a 40' x 120' Quonset hut built in 1978 with insulated walls, 220-amp wiring, and a concrete floor on the front half of the shop (40’ x 60’). The back half of the shop (also 40' x 60') has a dirt floor for machinery storage.
Parcel 6 features two older outbuildings that are currently used as storage sheds (one 20' x 80' and one 30’ x 50’) and a grain bin that has a capacity of 6,000 bushels.
- Lots of new fencing. The fences are all really good on the place.
- 3-phase power
- Planned addition of 3 more pivots in early 2020
The electrical supplier for the ranch is Sun River Electric. The ranch enjoys excellent cell phone service and internet access, so technology won’t be a hindrance to marketing your crops and production.
Ask about possible sale of machinery that could go with the farm.
This property is located close to countless activities and amenities. If you love the outdoors and beautiful views, the Rocky Mountain front is just 30 minutes away. Glacier National Park is only 3 hours away, with great scenery on the route. Yellowstone National Park is a 6 hour drive away, but plenty close to consider for a great weekend getaway.
Bird watching is spectacular in the spring at nearby FreezeOut Lake (30 miles away), where ducks, herons, shorebirds, swans, and as many as 300,000 snow geese and 10,000 tundra swans congregate in March after a 1,000-mile journey north from California. Many of these birds rest on the ranch property during these stopovers, so you might even see them outside your front door. There are also lots of bald eagles and pheasants in the area.
If you’re into fishing and hunting, you’ll love the Sun River, just 3 miles from the ranch, where you can cast a fly anytime the mood strikes. The Missouri River is also not too far away, with additional opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and more. Hunting is excellent in the area, with abundant wildlife including deer, elk, antelope, pheasants, and upland game birds. Falconing is another local option.
While many areas of Montana are insufferably far away from the nearest stores, you won’t suffer for lack of local shopping, thanks to Great Falls being only a 30-mile drive away. Here, you can find shopping, dining, coffee shops, and an airport that offers direct flights to destinations such as Denver, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Calgary. The area features good schools and hospitals as well as a Charlie Russell Western Art show in March. There is too much to mention, so check it out today!