On the Cover: Bently Ranch

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Bently Ranch is featured in the Summer 2022 issue of LAND magazine. Click here to find out more.

Over the past 25 years, Bently Ranch, an integrated cattle and farming operation located in the heart of Nevada’s Carson Valley, has become a model of sustainable, forward-thinking agriculture. 

The 12,393.29± acre ranch offers a land-based enterprise fueled by ecological productivity in a place where life is satisfying. Situated just minutes from Minden, Nevada on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, Bently Ranch is less than a half-hour from popular Lake Tahoe and all its outdoor recreational opportunities 

The Vision

As the current owners strategically amassed the land, they developed a unique plan. They used cattle and rotational grazing to rejuvenate the rangelands while producing natural beef, implemented one of Nevada’s largest composting programs to build the soil and cut fertilizer costs, and then made the most of the water resources to grow high-quality mixed grains, including premier estate hops and premium alfalfa. Their signature crops are not only adapted to the region but positioned to command top prices.

Improvements include 10 homes, 4 bunkhouses, 7 shops, 5 horse barns, 12 hay barns, 12 storage barns, a feedlot, and a compost facility.

The Foundation 

The potential and opportunity inherent in Bently Ranch can be traced back to its plentiful water that supplies the conservation-minded irrigated croplands. Approximately 6,046 acres are served by 34 pivots.

The ranch enjoys Senior Water Rights from the East and West forks of the Carson River. In addition, the ranch is home to two sizable impoundments: Mud Lake with a capacity of 3,746± acre-feet and East Valley Reservoir with a capacity of 1,784± acre-feet. It also features seven domestic wells and nine ag wells.

“Bently Ranch offers a land-based enterprise fueled by ecological productivity in a place where life is satisfying.” 

The Integration

Livestock: From its inception, Bently Ranch has viewed its cattle as both protein producers and forces for ecological improvement. When grazing is well-managed, as it is on the Bently Ranch, cattle can be used to rejuvenate and diversify vegetation and break up the hardened soil cap with their hoof action to improve water infiltration. Their dung and urine also provide nutrients that help enrich the soil.

The herd is a mix of Angus, Hereford and Charolais. This combination of breeds produces hearty calves well-suited to the desert plains that yield high-quality beef with little waste fat. 

Under the current management, the beef program is grass-centered and GMO-free as well as certified natural and certified GAP Level 4. The GAP program, managed by the Global Animal Partnership, consists of a series of benchmarks. Each succeeding rung on the certification ladder is more stringent than the one before. Level 4 ensures that the cattle have plenty of room to roam and they are only confined when weather conditions put them at risk among many other husbandry requirements.

Farming: The current farming operation is a prime example of vertical integration that, with its composting program, literally goes from the ground up. Using about 2,700 acres Bently Ranch supplies a finished product of estate-grown grains to brewers and distillers, including its sister company Bently Heritage Estate Distillery.

Producing premium grains for premium spirits is a responsibility Bently Ranch’s farming staff takes seriously. They select varieties of wheat, rye, barley and hops that are not only well-adapted to the desert environment but deliver the taste profile premium distillers and brewmasters demand. The farming operation also cultivates a variety of botanicals, used to impart unique flavors, in a climate-controlled greenhouse. 

In addition to the grains, the fields yield superlative alfalfa. 

Compost: Sustainability is built on healthy soil, so the Bently Ranch pioneered one of the largest composting sites in Nevada. The site accepts biomass such as yard debris, pine needles and brush collected in nearby communities as well as biosolids from five local waste treatment plants.

The biomass and biosolids are mixed and allowed to decompose until they become nutrient-dense compost. Nature’s fertilizer is then spread across the fields and pastures, eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers, which accrues ecological and economic benefits. By combining compost with intelligent crop rotation, the land is improved not depleted.

Bently Ranch Highlights

  • 12,393.29 deeded acres, 6,046 irrigated acres
  • Minutes from downtown Minden and Gardnerville, Nevada
  • Only 25 minutes to Lake Tahoe area
  • Senior water rights from the West and East forks of the Carson River
  • 3,746-acre foot Mud Lake and 1,784-acre foot East Valley Reservoir
  • 34 pivots, 7 domestic wells & 9 ag wells
  • Diversified crops including wheat, rye, barley, traditional hops/premier estate hops, oats and premium alfalfa
  • Hosts one of Nevada’s largest composting sites, alleviating the need for chemical fertilizer
  • Improvements: 10 homes, 4 bunkhouses, 7 shops, 5 horse barns, 12 hay barns, 12 storage barns, a feedlot & a compost facility

The Living 

Douglas County, home to Minden that serves as the county seat and the Bently Ranch, is the “hidden jewel” of Nevada. It’s centrally located, 15 miles south of Carson City, the state’s capital, and in close proximity to the year-round outdoor adventures of Lake Tahoe. Minden is known for its restaurants, boutiques, natural beauty and cool, semi-arid climate. 

Air travel is easy. The Minden-Tahoe Airport, a former military facility, now services sport aviation, corporate flying and emergency services. The area is recognized as one of the world’s best for soaring, so the airport also has a glider runway in addition to its two asphalt runways (7,400’ x 100’ and 5,300’ x 75’). For international and domestic travel, residents have convenient access to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (37.7 miles) and the Sacramento International Airport (100 miles). 

The Opportunity 

The Bently Ranch has been built in the tradition of our nation’s proud agricultural past, but with its focus on sustainability now—and far into the future. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an operation that delivers on the promise of productivity in a setting of supreme livability. 

To see experience the productive potential of the Bently Ranch for yourself, contact Todd Renfrew with Outdoor Properties of Nevada, Inc. at 707-455-4444.

12,393.29 Acres 
Douglas County, Nevada
View on LandsofAmerica.com

Todd Renfrew Broker/Owner
707-455-4444 • Todd@CAOutdoorProperties.com 


  • 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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