Minding Ag's Business

Iconic Texas Ranch With 80,000 Acres Lists for $200 Million

Katie Micik Dehlinger
By  Katie Micik Dehlinger , Farm Business Editor
Turkey Track Ranch encompasses 26 miles of Canadian River waterfront as well as seven streams and numerous other reservoirs, springs and lakes. (Wyman Meinzer photo courtesy of Icon Global)

An iconic ranch in the northern Texas Panhandle is up for sale for the first time in 120 years, and the sellers are seeking a once-in-a-century price: $200 million.

Turkey Track Ranch includes 80,000 acres under one fence. It boasts 26 miles of Canadian River frontage, seven creeks and multiple reservoirs, springs and lakes. It's home to bountiful grasslands, scenic mesas and two historic battle sites.

The Hutchinson County ranch's headquarters are located 27 miles northeast of Stinnett, Texas. The ranch has been owned by the Coble and Whittenburg family for more than a century.

"It is with careful consideration and great emotion that we announce that, after 120 years of stewardship by our family, we have decided to sell our historic Turkey Track Ranch in the Texas Panhandle," the family said in a press release. "For over a century this American landmark has been an integral element of our heritage. Generations of Cobles and Whittenburgs have created lifetimes of memories on the Turkey Track. Due to our family's increasing numbers and geographical distances, we recognize that it is time to find a new steward for this historic holding."

According to Icon Global, which is managing the sale, the ranch has a carrying capacity of 2,200 animal units and has the capacity to run an additional 2,000 head of stocker cattle. In 2016, it won the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Environmental Stewardship Award in 2016. The ranch has an extensive network of dams to capture rainfall runoff and control erosion.

Turkey Track is known for its wide variety of grasses, which includes little bluestem, big bluestem, sand bluestem, switchgrass, silver bluestem, side oats gramma, hairy gramma, blue gramma, buffalo grass, shin oak, sand plum and sagebrush.

"Turkey Track has an outstanding record for their environmental stewardship practices, water management programs and excellent grass diversity," said Pete Bonds, former president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, in a news release. The land is currently leased by Adobe Walls Cattle Company.

It has 1,200 acres of cropland, including 830 acres under irrigation, and its sale includes 40% of the mineral rights underlying the property. Currently, there are more than 20 oil and gas wells on the ranch, and while there are no solar or wind installations, whomever purchases the property will also receive 100% of those rights.

Icon Global owner, Bernard Uechtriz, said the price reflects the virtue of "it's one-time opportunity, its singular and unique attributes, and its scarcity, along with the add value factors as many other ranches cannot do."

One of those reasons is its history. Two battles of Adobe Walls were fought on the property in 1864 and 1874, which took place between the United States Army and the Kiowa, Comanche and Plains Apache tribes. A six-acre tract of ground was given to the Panhandle Plains Historical Society in 1924 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the second battle, and a monument dedicated to the Native Americans who fought and died in the battle was erected in 1941. It still stands on the property.

"History is not something you can buy off the shelf and bolt on. You either have it or you don't," Uechtriz said.

Icon Global is the same firm that marketed the WT Waggoner Ranch for $725 million several years ago. In the news release, Eric O'Keefe, editor of The Land Report, said Turkey Track Ranch is an exceptional sale that reflects changing dynamics.

"Over the last decade, a tectonic shift has occurred, a changing of the guard so to speak, as the last of the great legacy ranches of the Southern Plains charted new paths. From the Bell and the Waggoner, to the Four Sixes and the Swenson -- this shifting tide is plain to see. Thanks to its extraordinary heritage, the Turkey Track clearly belongs in this select group," he said. Given its superior natural resources, especially its Canadian River frontage, I have no doubt that its sale price will set a new standard for the Panhandle."

Icon Global has produced several cinema-quality videos of the ranch. You can watch them as well as read more on the ranch's history here: https://www.icon.global/….

Katie Dehlinger can be reached at katie.dehlinger@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter at @KatieD_DTN


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