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Swan Land Properties
Prime Irrigated Farm Ground
Powell County


  • Deer Lodge, Montana

  • 750 Deeded

  • $3,925,000

Headquarters Unit contains approximately 750 deeded acres and represents an opportunity to own solid irrigated farmland with consistent crop yields in conjunction with a productive cattle operation.  With about 605 acres irrigated from the West Side Ditch, the Headquarters Unit represents a compact highly-productive irrigated ranching operation.  The crop acres are farmed by a nearby farmer who rotates in wheat and potatoes – a testimony to the quality of both the water and the soil profile.

What the Headquarters Unit provides to a prospective buyer is flexibility, providing the option of either running a high-yield hay and grain operation or a productive intensive grazing scenario that will put pounds of beef on cattle.  Yields and carrying capacities are solely dependent on the management style of a new owner.

The cattle-handling facilities are very well maintained and functional.  Large backgrounding yards provide flexibility to either ship calves after fall weaning or hold over to feed during the winter months and market in the spring.  With an indoor heated facility housing the hydraulic Silencer chute, working either yearling calves or large herd bulls is made easy and efficient – even in the worst of winter conditions.  Originally designed as an embryo-transfer facility – the scale and chute house is state of the art and is one of the highlights of the Ranch.

The Headquarters Unit is ready to operate on day one of ownership.  Pride of ownership is evident immediately upon turning off Greenhouse Road.  Fences, buildings, cattle handling facilities, pivots, and fields are all well-maintained and appear to be in very good condition.  This is a must-see for the Buyer looking for a compact-productive agricultural unit at a good price point.

Located three miles south of Deer Lodge, the Headquarters Unit is easily accessible via Greenhouse Road. Deer Lodge, the county seat of Powell County and the second oldest town in Montana has a population of just over 3,000.  Many churches, museums, an excellent elementary and high school system, a progressive business community along with the recent downtown-beautification project enhance the balanced and healthy lifestyle of Deer Lodge. The Pre-K through 12th-grade public schools offers a 14 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio with quality teachers and good parent involvement. The high school is categorized as a Class B school and provides a great learning environment and competitive interscholastic athletic programs.


The Ranch is within an hour and a half from three commercial airports with private FBOs:

Helena Regional Airport Authority – Alaska Airlines, Delta, United
Bert Mooney Airport, Butte – Alpine Air Express, and Delta
Missoula International Airport – Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, United

For private aircraft, fuel service is available at the Deer Lodge – Powell County Airport located four miles west of Deer Lodge City Center. At an elevation of 4,688 feet, the 5,800 foot asphalt runway is in good condition and can be contacted on CTAF frequency 122.9. Anaconda’s Bowman Field Airport (3U3) provides two asphalt runways that are in fair to good condition. The airport sits at an elevation of 5,030’ above sea level and can be contacted on CTAF frequency 122.80.

The airport is suitable for private aircraft and is easily accessible. Additional information is available on their website:

Approximate driving distances from R Bar N Headquarters Unit to other Montana cities are:
Deer Lodge, MT
Anaconda, MT
Butte, MT
Helena, MT
Missoula, MT
Bozeman, MT
3 miles
24 miles
39 miles
58 miles
84 miles
123 miles


R Bar N Ranch – Headquarters Unit operates approximately 750 deeded acres of which about 605 acres are under irrigation. 

The acreage is classified as follows:

475 Acres under Center Pivot Irrigation
130 Acres under Wheel and Hand Line Irrigation
135 Acres of Native Range and Pasture
10 Acres under Improvements

With a consistent soil profile throughout the irrigated acres, the silty loam under pivot irrigation has historically yielded around four tons of alfalfa hay per acre on two cuttings, which may vary depending on whether the new owner chooses to fertilize or not.  With a consistent fertilizer program, the Seller is confident these fields would yield an additional ¾ to a ton of forage per acre.  The hay fields have been rotated about every six to eight years with potatoes – a testimony to the quality of soil and water on the Ranch!

Both the Headquarters and the Racetrack Units of R Bar N Ranch combined have been historically utilized to run a commercial cow-calf operation carrying about 550 Animal Units.  On a stand-alone basis, the Seller estimates that the Headquarters Unit could comfortably run about 200 pairs on a year-round basis.  One model could be to graze the native pasture and about 200 acres of pivot-irrigated grass while allowing for hay production on the remaining irrigated acreage. Dependent on management, this Unit could also yield about 1,600 tons of hay annually providing ample hay tonnage to carry the cattle through the winter months and allowing for a solid revenue stream with surplus hay sales.  Typically, ranchers require between two and a half to three tons of hay per cow to feed from late December to late April/mid-May – contingent on the severity of the winter.  Weaning of the calves typically takes place in early October.

The 700-head feedlot located at the Headquarters Unit provides maximum flexibility to background the weaned calves or take on additional contract calves.

The five Zimmatic and Valley pivot systems on this Unit were installed pre-2006.  They appear to be in very good repair and have been very well maintained.

All improvements, including interior and perimeter fencing, on the Ranch appear to be in very good condition. Functional and well-maintained, the next owners will not be paying for unneeded or tasteless improvements.  According to the Seller, the majority of the buildings have been reroofed as of 2006.


Built in 1958, the approximately 3,000-square-foot home appears to be in very good repair and well-maintained.  The Sellers remodeled the kitchen in 2014 complete with a new Kenmore Elite refrigerator and dishwasher and Whirlpool microwave.  The porcelain-tile flooring is attractive yet durable.  The cultured-stone river-rock gas fireplace is a very nice centerpiece in the kitchen area.  The Ranch office and mud room is located just off the kitchen. The kitchen is heated with electric radiant heat with the balance of the house heated by propane gas forced air.  The furnace was new in 2006 and the electric hot-water fast-return system was installed in 2009.  Thermal-pane windows have been installed throughout the house. An open floor plan on the main level contains a spacious living room area and formal dining room with majestic views of the Flint Creek Mountain Range to the west.  The master bedroom, located on the main level contains two walk-in closets and a full bathroom. The full basement contains a large open recreation room, laundry room with an upright Maytag washer and dryer, ample storage, and additional areas for guests.  A full bathroom is also located in the basement.  The Culligan soft water system is a leased system.

High-speed internet and telephone for the house is provided by CenturyLink and television service is provided by Dish Network.

The working facilities at the Headquarters Unit are well designed, functional and in good repair.

Scale & Chute House

The 20’ x 30’ scale households the head catch and hydraulic Silencer chute.  With hot and cold water, the insulated building has concrete floors, floor drain, and roll-up overhead doors for ingress and egress of cattle.  This facility is used for vaccinating, branding, and artificial insemination work.  The 25,000 Rockwell digital-scale display is housed in this facility with the scales located immediately outside the building.  Leading into the scale and chute house is a Powder River alley fed by a well-designed set of working corrals.  The Silencer chute will also transfer to the new owner with the Ranch.  This is an extremely well-designed and well-maintained facility – nicer than most vet facilities!

Feed Lot

The feedlot comfortably holds about 700 head of 800-pound calves.  Heifers and steers are separated at weaning and fed separately.  Water is provided to the feedlot and holding pens with buried 250 PSI pipe that serves Thermal Sink continuous-flow waterers, which do not require electricity.


The corral system is functional and well-designed to feed cattle into the working alley and scale and chute house.  Primarily constructed with wood, the corrals also have extensive windbreaks surrounding the working corrals and the feedlot pens.  Most of the windbreaks have been constructed since 2006.

Heifer Calving Barn

The well-designed 40’ x 80’ calving facility, built in 2015, is of pole-barn construction.  In the front, a 16’ x 20’ enclosed room, with a head catch, electric heat, water, wash drain, concrete floors, and insulated walls, is utilized during calving season primarily for heifer calving.  The remainder of the facility is open with three calving jugs.  Off of one of the calving jugs is a short alley that leads to a slider door that accesses the enclosed heated room where the head catch is located.  Two well-located roll-up doors – 14’ x 16’ and 10’ x10’, provide good access for livestock and equipment.   An exhaust fan helps regulate the temperature of the barn during the winter months when the barn is full of heifers getting ready to calve.

Two large holding pens are conveniently located near the heifer calving barn for working pairs.  These lots utilize Thermal Sink waterers.  All of the holding pens have protective windbreaks and waterers.

Calving Shed

Located off of the working corrals, the 30’ x 70’ calving shed is fully enclosed with a tin roof with four calving jugs.  When necessary, this shed is used for calving cows and is tied into the working corrals system.  There are flood lights on three sides of the building for working efficiently at night.  It is an older facility but appears to be functional and in decent repair.

Older Calving Shed

This older 30’ x 60’ pole frame building with a tin roof, electricity, lights and an outside flood light, contains six jugs and a hot room.  This is also is an older building but is very functional.

Tack Room

Once an old milking parlor, the 24’ x 30’ tack room, with electricity, concrete floor, wood siding, and a tin roof, is used to store saddles and general tack and appears to be in good repair.


The 16’ x 20’ office building has a tin roof and stucco siding.  The interior has carpeted floors and wood-paneled walls.  The well-insulated office, which is heated with electric baseboard heat, has a small refrigerator and a half bathroom.  Currently, the Seller utilizes this building for general storage.


The 56’ x 36’ well-insulated shop with concrete flooring has a 20’ x 14’ front door and a 10’ x 10’ roll-up side door.  The building, with 220-amp electricity to run welders and large air compressors, is heated with a wood-burning stove.  The shop is very clean and well-maintained.

Employee House

This two-bedroom house with a tin roof has a simple kitchen and full bathroom which was added in 2014.  The bathroom/mud room also houses a washing machine.  The house is heated with an electric heater.  Currently, this house is used for seasonal employees.

Equipment Storage Building

Originally used for potato storage by the previous owner, this structure is 100’ x 30’ in size and is not heated.  With a concrete floor and a 16’ x 14’ roll-up door it is ideal for large equipment storage as well as grain, salt, and mineral storage for livestock.

Equipment Storage Shed

The 30’ x 70’ three-sided equipment shed has wood siding, a tin roof, and a dirt floor.  The building, which does not have electricity, is used for seasonal equipment storage.

In addition, there are three 10,000-bushel grain storage bins located at the Headquarters Unit.  There are two bulk fuel tanks – one 500-gallon gas tank and the second is a 1,000-gallon diesel tank.  Both are owned by the Seller and will transfer with the sale of the Ranch.

There are several additional smaller buildings located on the Ranch which are used for general storage and lawn and garden equipment.  All appear to be in good repair and functional.


Source Priority Date Right Number Acre Feet
Clark Fork River – Irrigation
Groundwater – Stock
Clark Fork River – Stock
April 15, 1897
February 19, 2003
April 15, 1897
76G 90445 00
76G 30005582
76G 90444 00

Irrigation water to the Headquarters Unit comes from the West Side Ditch.  The Ranch controls 185 of the 620 total shares in the Ditch.  Operating and maintenance expenses on the Ditch historically have been about $25.00 per share annually.  The Westside Ditch fees for 2016 were $4,625.  The ditch is on the Montana Natural Resources and Development scheduled to be converted from the concrete ditch delivery system to a pipeline.  This project is estimated to be taking place within the next two to three years.

All water rights in Montana are subject to eventual re-adjudication by the Montana Water Court and, as a result of that process, may be changed as to the validity, amount, priority date, place of use, and other such changes as the Court determines. The Seller has made all of the filings currently required and will transfer the water rights as they currently stand with no warranty of future viability.


The Sellers will convey with the Ranch 100% of whatever mineral, oil, gas, geo-thermal, hydro-carbon and gravel rights they actually own, subject to reservations by previous owners.  The Sellers make no representation as to the quantity or quality of any mineral or other sub-surface rights appurtenant to R Bar N Ranch – Headquarters Unit.

The elevation gain on the Headquarters Unit is approximately 140 feet with the highest point of 4,692 feet above sea level on the west portion of the Ranch and the lowest point of 4,552 feet on the east side.

The average annual precipitation is 11 inches.  The area’s average frost-free growing season is approximately 54 days with the last spring frost around July 1st and the first fall frost around the end of August. Average maximum temperatures in June, July, and August range from 71° to 80° Fahrenheit.  In December, January and February average maximum temperatures are between 32° and 38° Fahrenheit.  Summer nights average about 43° Fahrenheit.  Winter average minimum is between 9° and 17° Fahrenheit. This is an area that receives a good amount of sunshine throughout the year with an average of 186 sunny days annually.

Electricity is provided through Northwest Energy.  High-speed internet and telephone for the house is provided by CenturyLink and television service provided by Dish Network.  Propane is provided by Propane Service Inc. (PSI).  Trash service is available through Valley Disposal based in Deer Lodge.  There is good cell-phone coverage available throughout the Ranch.

The real estate taxes for 2016 for the Headquarters Unit were approximately $7,200.

The Sellers hereby make known that there may be variations between the deeded property lines and the location of the existing fence boundary lines on R Bar N Ranch Headquarters Unit.  The Sellers make no warranties with regard to the location of the fence lines in relationship to the deeded property lines, nor do the Sellers make any warranties or representations with regard to the specific acreage within the fenced property lines.

The Sellers are selling R Bar N Ranch Headquarters Unit in its “as is-where is” condition which includes the location of the fences as they now exist.  Boundaries shown on any accompanying maps are approximate.  The maps are not to scale and are for visual aid only.  The accuracy of the maps and information portrayed thereon is not guaranteed nor warranted.

Deer Lodge County offers a plethora of fishing and hunting, golfing, boating, and skiing as well as other winter-time activities.  Deer Lodge National Forest contains more than 1,000 miles of fishing streams, 140 lakes, 629 miles of trails, and 43,629 acres of wilderness. Georgetown Lake is approximately 3,700 acres and offers year-round activities.  This blue ribbon fishery is home to trophy-sized rainbow and brook trout, as well as kokanee salmon.  Ice fishing is also popular in the winter.  Boating, jet skiing, and canoeing or kayaking are all options to cool off after an adventurous hike or mountain bike ride on the countless trails surrounding the lake.

The Big Hole River, a world-renowned trout fishery, is one of only a few free-flowing rivers remaining in the West.  A major tributary of the Missouri River, the Big Hole River flows through the heart of the Deerlodge National Forest and offers a full menu of fly-fishing experiences.

There are four golf courses within an hour of the Ranch.  The Deer Park Golf Course, with majestic Mount Powell as a backdrop, is located approximately 2 miles west of Deer Lodge.  This public course is a 3,200-yard 9-hole layout and offers plenty of challenges, along with beautiful scenery.  The private Rock Creek Cattle Company boasts one of Tom Doak’s finest private golf courses as its centerpiece.  The course has won numerous awards including Links Magazine – listed in the 100 Most Prestigious Private Golf Courses In The World – 2013, as well as multiple awards from Golfweek including #1 Best Residential Golf Course.   The 9-hole Anaconda Country Club, which opened in 1918, is well-maintained and very reasonably priced.  The Old Works Golf Club – A Jack Nicklaus Course offers 18 holes and has continually been ranked as one of the best courses in Montana.

Within two hours of the Ranch, there are two downhill snow-sport mountains.  Discovery Ski Area, just west of Anaconda, is a great family ski hill offering diverse terrain for all levels of skiing and snowboarding. From the 67 runs with 2,100 patrolled acres of skiing, you can enjoy the stunning vista overlooking Georgetown Lake.  The Great Divide ski area offers 140 trails and six terrain parks spread out over three mountain peaks and three distinct valleys in an area covering 1,600 acres and miles of winter entertainment.


The first discovery of gold in Montana was in 1852 on what is now Gold Creek about twenty miles north of Deer Lodge.  In 1860, pan and sluice mining of gold by James and Granville Stuart attracted other prospectors to a district that was soon to be established.

Deer Lodge is also the location of Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, dedicated to the interpretation of the frontier cattle ranching era. This site was the home of one of the famous “Cattle Kings” of Montana – Conrad Kohrs, whose land holdings once stretched over a million acres of Montana, Wyoming, and Alberta, Canada.  The Grant-Kohrs Ranch was built in 1862 by Johnny Grant, a fur trader and trapper who encouraged his people to settle in Deer Lodge because of its pleasant climate and its ideal environment for raising cattle and horses.

Deer Lodge was named after a geological formation known as Warm Springs Mound which contained natural saline that made for a natural salt lick for the local deer population.  Wildlife would winter in the protected valley as the temperatures in the high country dropped – hence the name Deer Lodge.


Quality irrigated operations in Southwest Montana are rare in today’s land market, especially one with the versatility and productivity of the R Bar N Ranch’s Headquarters Unit.  The Ranch offers the flexibility to operate either as a high-yield hay and grain operation supplemented with a portion of the farmland under potatoes or as a compact-efficient cattle operation.  The Headquarters Unit allows for several operating scenarios providing maximum flexibility in today’s uncertain commodities market. 

The pride of ownership is evident as you roll in the driveway to the improvements – well-maintained fence lines, freshly painted buildings, and virtually no deferred maintenance.  The Sellers are desirous of selling both their Headquarters Unit and the Racetrack and Summer Units to consolidate into a contiguous ranching/farming operation.  A buyer may be asked to cooperate in the timing of closing in order to accommodate the Seller’s executing an IRC 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange.

R Bar N Ranch – Headquarters Unit, in my opinion, is one of the finest irrigated cattle operations in Southwest Montana.  The production from this Unit is outstanding with very little ground left unutilized.  The Headquarters Unit is a must-see for buyers looking to expand their existing irrigated-base acres and overall production.

R Bar N Ranch – Headquarters Unit, as Previously Described Herein, is Offered at $3,925,000 Cash. The Conditions of Sale Are as Follows:

  1. All offers to purchase must be in writing and accompanied by an earnest money deposit check in the amount of 5.00% of the Purchaser’s offering price;
  2. Each offer must also be accompanied with the name and telephone number of the Purchaser’s private banker to assist the Sellers and their agents in ascertaining the Purchaser’s financial ability to consummate a purchase;
  3. All Purchasers must demonstrate to the Seller’s satisfaction unquestioned financial capability to purchase the Ranch prior to scheduling an inspection;
  4. Earnest money deposits will be placed in escrow with Stewart Title Company of Southwest Montana in Missoula, which will then place the funds with local banks at nominal rates of interest accruing to the Purchaser’s benefit until Closing;
  5. The Sellers will provide and pay for an owner’s title insurance policy. Title to the real property will be conveyed by warranty deed;
  6. All of the Ranch’s water rights will be transferred to the Purchaser and all of the mineral rights which the Sellers actually own will be conveyed to the Purchaser at Closing.

Buyers’ Brokers Are Welcome and Cordially Invited to Contact Michael S. Swan For Information Regarding Cooperation Policies and Commission Splits.
The Seller reserves the right to effect a tax-deferred exchange for other real property in accordance with provisions in Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Buyer will not be required to incur any additional expenses nor to step into the chain of title on any property which the Seller may acquire.

This entire Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice and approval of purchase by the Seller. Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, crop yields, potential profits, etc., is intended only as general guidelines and have been obtained from sources deemed reliable; however, accuracy is not warranted or guaranteed by the Seller or Swan Land Company. Prospective Buyers should verify all information to their sole and complete satisfaction.

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Michael S. Swan
It was growing up in Southwest Montana where that deep sense of love for the land was first instilled in me. Our family ranch was on the banks of the Jefferson River near Twin Bridges. Being raised on a sizable commercial cow-calf operation, my brothers and I learned the importance of being good stewards of ...
Meet the Broker
Owner/Broker of Swan Land, Mike Swan

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