Farm Progress

Recent Wyoming land buys were for interesting reasons as businesses grow in the state.

Robert Waggener

May 31, 2017

2 Min Read
NICE ADD-ON: A neighboring ranch family paid $300 per acre to purchase this 320-acre pasture in northeast Wyoming.

The 8,773-acre Kamp Cattle Ranch in southeast Wyoming sold to Rapid City, S.D.-based Pete Lien & Sons, according to Albany County, Wyo., officials.

Pete Lien & Sons, which is now processing limestone at its new plant 10 miles north of Laramie, purchased the ranch for its lucrative limestone reserves.

The company, which has operations in South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming, sells construction materials including lime, sand, gravel, ready-mix concrete, and crushed stone and ore.

The asking price for the ranch, which was listed by Clark and Associates Land Brokers, Lusk, Wyo., was $3.35 million, or $382 per deeded acre.

Kamp Cattle Ranch, on the high plains of southeast Wyoming (elevation: 7,000 feet), has historically been used for cattle grazing.

Albany County officials state that the ranch had a total agricultural market value of $465,222 in 2016.

Representatives of Pete Lien & Sons told Albany County officials that there is enough limestone on the property to last up to a century, and the mining and processing operations will employ 50-plus workers.

The new processing facility produces both fine-grind limestone (used in livestock feed supplements and glass manufacturing), and lime (which can be used in cement and also as a scrubbing agent to reduce smokestack emissions).

Albany County worked with the state of Wyoming to fund paved and improved dirt roads to the processing plant and quarry in its efforts to help bring the company (including jobs and economic diversification) to the area. The road projects cost about $4 million, much of this coming from state grants.

Northeast Wyoming
A neighboring ranch family purchased the 320-acre Essex Pasture near Newcastle, Wyo., for $96,000, or $300 per acre.

This was 14% less than the asking price of $112,000, or $350 per acre.

“This is real average, plain-Jane range country. It’s strictly dryland pasture, but it’s a nice add-on to the buyer’s existing ranch,” says John Pearson, owner of Pearson Real Estate Co., based in Buffalo Wyo. “The buyers will run cattle on the land.”

The property adjoins Bureau of Land Management lands on three sides and deeded ranch lands on the fourth.

Among the appeals, Pearson says, are that the sellers conveyed 50% of all mineral rights. Also, the ranch is in an area of oil and gas development, and real estate taxes are only about $25 per year on the property.

The sellers were absentee owners who lived out of state and had leased the property for years.

Waggener writes from Laramie, Wyo.


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