On the Cover: Cattle Canyon Ranch in Central Nebraska

This featured property is on the cover of this spring's issue of LAND magazine. Cattle Canyon Ranch is over 7,880 acres of native grasses that support this ranching operation can only be deemed as an excellent opportunity for not only a sustainable cattle operation with long term growth potential to run up to 1,400 cattle, but a successful model of how rotational grazing benefits the beef producer and Mother Nature.
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LAND Magazine Spring 2018
This article appears on the cover of the Spring 2018 issue of LAND magazine. Click here to subscribe!

Over 7,880 acres located in Central Nebraska are home to multiple wildlife species, variable terrain, excellent grass, dryland and irrigated crop ground, and an opportunity to run over 1,400 cows for the next ranch owner.

Spreading out across the central portion of Nebraska sits over 7,880± acres of farm ground and canyons, pushing up healthy grass, supplying water and food for wildlife, and providing over twelve square miles of cattle ranching opportunity. With an emphasis on rotational grazing, quality infrastructure and convenient location for an efficient cattle ranch, the versatile Cattle Canyon Ranch is a prime example of how modern ranches should be ran.

Along to the Frontier and Hayes County Lines, just 25 miles north of McCook and 24 miles south of North Platte, the Cattle Canyon Ranch is a working cattle operation that currently holds upwards of 700 cows, but can be fully operated for up to 1,400 head. But that is only just the beginning of what this property has to offer.

Rancher Bruce Brennemann is confident the property will sell with great benefit to the new owners. “We have a tremendous amount of diversity in this region and on this property. It’s good for both cow calf operators or yearlings.” He goes on to explain why this ranch is more rare than most operations that may come to market.

View property listing on Lands of America

Properties like this don’t exist as much anymore, and opportunities to buy a ranch like this are very rare. What makes this property even more exciting is the versatility, rotational grazing management, multiple opportunities for income generation and excellent terrain for grass that puts pounds on beef. Listing broker Leo Hayden learned at an early age about raising cattle on pasture ground. “Daddy always told me, ‘IF you want a farm, get flat land, but if you want a ranch, get hills—you will get more grass from the ups and downs.’ Trust me, if you leveled out these up and down hills, you would have a large piece of grass!”

“The land is beautiful in its own way, cut by canyons with wide bottoms, which are drivable and accessible by county roads around the perimeter and through the ranch.” Varying terrain makes for majestic sunsets, casting shadows in to the canyons, which are teaming with wildlife. The old west remains at the heart of this ranch. New ways of management have made the ranch more efficient. “If you were going to gather this ranch with cowboys, it would take ‘Real Cowboys’ and lots of time on a saddle. However, if you have a cake wagon and drive the bottoms…(You have to be smarter than the cows.), then it would take one leader and one follower.”

A rare opportunity

So what are the real benefits of this ranch? Why does operating a cattle ranch in this part of America make so much sense? Who might buy this as their next ranching operation?

For starters, the sheer size of quality low-input rotational grazing with an extraordinary biodiversity of range grass supports the operation. Cattle Canyon Ranch offers tremendous variety of native species grasses. From warm season tall grasses to short hard grass species, the multitudes of grass pack the pounds on the cattle. Moving herds from one pasture to another after a clean graze stimulates quick regeneration and offers consistent feed for increased poundage. It’s a modern way to graze cattle that simulates a historic pattern, when Bison once plowed through the Great Plains, devouring grass while on the move, then leaving, allowing for it to generate back.

“On the East block of grass we’ve had for 10 years, we’ve improved 13, 20 and 30 foot bottomless tanks with stock dams and windmills. We’ve added 7 miles of new cross fence to manage rotational grazing. Our West tract has been operated as a grazing unit for 3 years, and we’re adding water and infrastructure to sustain the full 1,400 AUM for the future.”

Convenience plays a major role in the day-to-day life of the rancher, but also affects the bottom line. With tracts so close together, it’s easy to figure a lower cost of travel and overhead to manage the ranch. Roads intertwined through the tracts, county access to almost all pastures and close proximity to sale barns and feed lots all make managing and moving cattle easier. Three cooperatives compete in this region; making for lowers costs of overhead. Reduction of expenses, time and effort to get cattle to market can yield 10-12% higher net income from cattle sales.

Versatility of the wildlife and terrain are also contributing factors to this rare opportunity. “We’ve got mule deer and whitetail. Pheasants, quail and turkey. We even have elk and are close to being recognized in a special elk unit with the Nebraska Game and Parks.” It’s easy to imagine driving through the ranch and seeing the hills come alive, especially at dawn and dusk when the wildlife come out among the ridges and valleys. Hunting in the Frenchman Unit of Nebraska requires standard hunting permits and special licenses for drawing for elk or deer permits. Private hunting opportunities are obvious, but leasing of the hunting rights can also increase the revenue stream for the owners.

In good hands

The Brennemann family will miss these canyons full of wildlife and hills covered with Angus. They finally had an opportunity this year to move closer back home where he grew up, and wanted to get closer to family. It was then that he decided to put the ranch up for sale. Choosing Hayden Outdoors was an easy decision for the family. “After visiting with Leo on the phone and looking at the website and services they provide, it seemed like a natural fit to sell this property. They reach not only producers and sportsman and businessmen, they reach everybody, instead of specializing in one niche of people. “

Ranches of this size, diversity and working potential aren’t seen very often. “This ranch is not a typical Nebraska ranch, nor is it a Sand Hills Ranch,” says Hayden. As a dedicated brokerage towards farm, ranch and recreational real estate, Hayden Outdoors is poised to sell the Cattle Canyon Ranch swiftly. For Brennemann though, it will be a long time before he forgets his life at home on the range.

View property listing on Lands of America

The main body of Cattle Canyon Ranch is contained in three tracts consisting of good grass, dryland cultivation and pivot irrigation within five miles of each other.

Tract 1 contains 4,984± acres and is composed of 350 acres of level irrigated land, 300 of which are pivot irrigated with 1 diesel powered well, state rated at 1,000 GPM and 2 T&L diesel powered older pivots. There are also 1,054 acres of level dryland in this tract located on upland around the center pasture. Tract 2 is 1,715± acres with a center pasture containing 1,480 acres of grass and 235 dryland acres located three miles east of Tract 1. Tract 3 is another 656± acre section of good grass 1 mile South.These three tracts contain 7,355± acres, offering 350 acres of irrigated land and 925 acres of dryland, leaving 5,716 acres of grass.

Tract 4 is a 525± acre tract located 17 miles east of the main ranch priced in the property.  It contains 270 acres of good level pivot irrigation with Valley electrics and one 3,000 GPM Well.  There are about 230 acres of good level dryland cultivation with balance in grass canyon.

With a conversion of the crop ground, the ranch could run up to 1,400 cows, with a total size of 7,880± acres.

Offered at $13,100,000. For complete property packet, call Leo Hayden at 785-821-3683 or email Leo@HaydenOutdoors.com.

Join us each Tuesday as we spotlight our favorite new listings on the Land.com Network’s online land marketplaces, Lands of AmericaLand And Farm and LandWatch.com. And don’t forget to bookmark these sites to browse through hundreds of thousands and property listings from across the country.


  • LAND Magazines are the publications for people who love land—buying it, selling it, analyzing it or just reading about it. Find out more at www.land.com/magazines.

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