Cinch Buckle Ranch is a 38,642-acre profitable cattle ranch situated in eastern Montana’s Great Plains, just northeast of Broadus. The ranch has been grazed with cow/calf pairs year round and stocker yearlings seasonally, for a historic annual average capacity of more than 1,100 year-round cow units. The current owners have invested significantly in the ranch’s water resources, adding pipelines and infrastructure, as well as further developing its plentiful water rights. With its recently updated homes and a wide array of agricultural improvements, Cinch Buckle offers a unique opportunity to own a resource-rich and financially viable Montana cattle operation.
Listed in cooperation with Wildlife Resources LLC & exclusively marketed by Mirr Ranch Group LLC.
Cinch Buckle Ranch is managed by Grasslands, LLC, a renowned ranch management company with operations throughout the United States and New Zealand. Grasslands is a global leader in Holistic Planned Grazing (HPG) and has implemented HPG principals on the Cinch Buckle property, restoring the ranch’s grasses, increasing profitability, and strengthening the landscape’s overall ecological diversity. Under Grasslands’ almost seven years of management, Cinch Buckle’s operations have proven to be a case study in effective, efficient, and financially viable ranch management on deeded and leased land.
Cinch Buckle does not own the cattle, rather it runs cows on a full-care, custom-grazing basis for area cattlemen. Grasslands typically harvests approximately half the ranch’s annual forage production with a year-round herd of cow/calf pairs and half with stocker yearlings grazed seasonally. The cattle are systematically rotated throughout the ranch’s 19 large, permanently fenced pastures, and extensive water rights and infrastructure allow for efficient use of all areas of the property. Under the current ownership, the ranch’s historic annual capacity has been more than 1,100 year-round cow units.
The ranch’s 38,642 total acres consist of 8,512 deeded acres, a 17,607-acre state lease, a 12,203-acre BLM lease, and a small, 320-acre private lease. All lease documentation and payment information can be provided to qualified buyers upon request. For investment-minded buyers, Grasslands is willing to remain engaged as the ranch manager on a contract basis, with the goal of continued profitability and a positive trajectory of the ranch’s overall ecological health. (For more information, please see Investment Value in the Ranch Attributes tab.)
Cinch Buckle Ranch is situated in the heart of eastern Montana’s Great Plains, an area famous for its vast grasslands since it was first visited by European explorers. Located 29 miles northeast of the agricultural community of Broadus, basic services are a short drive away from the ranch. Historic Miles City (population 8,500) is approximately 80 miles to the northwest, offering the amenities of a larger town. The nearest commercial airport is in Billings, which is approximately 200 miles east.
The current owners have invested heavily in the ranch’s homes and other improvements, updating them (new roofs, etc.) and making them comfortable and highly functional for on-site ranch employees. Ranch improvements include:
- 50’ x 80’ heated and insulated metal frame shop
- Two 30’ x 100’ pole barns
- 50’ x 158’ equipment shed
- 20’ x 60’ livestock barn/tack shed
- Grain bins, approximately 60,000 bushel capacity
- Full set of pipe corrals, chutes, certified digital scale, cattle-handling facilities, and roping area with large adjacent holding pens
- Average Annual Precipitation: 14 inches
- Average Annual Snowfall: 42 inches
- Average July High: 89° F
- Average January Low: 10° F
- Sunny Days: 213
Thanks in part to the owners’ holistic management of the property, the ranch is teeming with a wide variety of big game, wildlife, and birds. Mule deer, whitetail deer, and antelope can be found in all corners of the ranch, as well as a healthy population of sage grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, and pheasant. The ranch is part of Montana’s block management program, which maintains tight control and responsible stewardship of hunting resources. The block management program also generates additional revenue for the ranch, details of which can be provided upon request.
Water Rights and Infrastructure
Water is abundant on Cinch Buckle Ranch, and all water rights are well-documented and have been meticulously kept up-to-date with the state of Montana. There are 31 stock water rights and 14 irrigation rights, filling seven reservoirs and plentiful stock tanks, allowing grazing throughout the entire ranch, even during the driest years.
The ranch’s water infrastructure is extensive, and the owners have invested heavily in upgrading the pipelines, wells, and tanks. These upgrades extend the water’s reach throughout the ranch and create backup systems to ensure no loss of water due to mechanical breakdowns. Wells on the ranch range in production from 15 GPM to 25 GPM and service a network of miles of water lines ranging from 1.5-inch PVC up to three-inch black poly. The owners have installed approximately 10 miles of new black poly PVC line during their ownership, and recently installed two 16,000-gallon storage tanks (32,000 gallon total capacity).
There are no conservation easements encumbering the ranch, yet Cinch Buckle is a shining example of the conservation benefits of ecologically sound ranch management practices. Grasslands’ use of Holistic Planned Grazing has allowed the ranch’s grasslands to thrive, creating a healthier ranch ecosystem and increased carbon sequestration, all while simultaneously bolstering the ranch’s operational capacity and financial viability.
For producers looking to expand their operations in the Northern Great Plains/Intermountain West region, Cinch Buckle Ranch is the most well-valued, scaled-up, working cattle ranch on the market today. Grasslands’ investments in water infrastructure and ranch improvements, combined with their careful management and resulting forage productivity, have resulted in an easy-to-manage, predictably profitable operation.
Should a buyer choose to retain Grasslands as the ranch manager, an investor could enjoy an annual return from the ranching operations, while also expecting to capitalize on the potential long-term appreciation of the land itself. A yield-seeking investor with little-to-no ranching experience could delegate all management duties to Grasslands. Given Grasslands’ well-documented, consistent track record on Cinch Buckle and other ranches, buyers could maintain a high level of confidence that the landscape—and their investment—would continue to thrive in the coming years.
As mentioned above, Grasslands’ business model does not involve owning cattle—they exclusively run the cows of area cattlemen. However, Grasslands has retroactively modeled what its annual returns would have been had they owned the cattle, and the profits would have been even greater. Financial statements and retroactive modeling can be provided to qualified buyers upon request.