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View Poll Results: Missoula, or Bozeman?
Rural Areas Near Missoula 3 25.00%
Rural Areas Near Bozeman 1 8.33%
Other Rural Areas 8 66.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 08-09-2012, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
7 posts, read 16,885 times
Reputation: 10

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We are planning on moving to Montana from in Oregon (Southern Willamette Valley) next year. My family of 5 (wife, 3 kids) and I want to start a Goat Ranch in Montana, we would like a Ranch that is 1-2 acres of land. But we will need a stable income, so we don't know what part of Montana is best for us. I have worked in the Lumber Industry for 20 years, so I would like a place where I could possibly get a job at a mill. My wife has worked as a caregiver for 7 years, so maybe she could live in a place where they are needed. 2 of my children are now old enough to work, so they would need a ranch close to a city that can provide them with work. My daughter (next year will be) 19, and my son (next year will be) 17. We were thinking maybe near a city (So my children can work) where this is possible, like maybe Missoula or somewhere like that.
So, a place where there is ranches to farm goats, a lumber industry, caregiving companies, and near a city (30,000 and up). Possibly the cheapest cost of living, and a good average salary, and a rural place with lots of trees, and a semi-mountainous terrain. Where would be a good place to relocate?

Weather isn't a big deal actually, and we are planning on going to rent a house in Montana first, then find jobs to have a steady income, and then find a nice ranch to move to. 1 acres to 2 acres is preferred, and the house 3 to 4 rooms. My children do not absolutely have to have a job.

We might want to move to places like outside of: Missoula, Bozeman, or Flathead Lake areas. But we don't know.

Thanks.

Last edited by victor.hernandez; 08-09-2012 at 06:09 PM..
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:22 PM
 
4,637 posts, read 3,956,898 times
Reputation: 9700
Lumber may not have many if any possibilities. The Montana wood products association has website with list of its members with addresses so you can inquire. The lumber industry is down to only few small mills and specialty shops nothing like the industry of years ago. The National Forests are not logged like they used to be.
And the recession has been hard on custom log home builders because the second home for out of staters market is way down.
No one in Montana would call 1 or 2 acres "a ranch" but a realtor. You would like a small farmstead or house with acreage.
Goats are not plentiful in Montana because they require shelter/building to get out of Winter weather and Spring & Summer/Fall rains or they will not survive unlike sheep with their wool coats. Which type of goats-Meat goats or milk goats or show goats?
There is a successful goat milk cheese business that has goat farm by Bozeman close to Four Corners area. The show goat business is not big yet in Montana. Selling your goats might be limited to the livestock auction in Billings. I noticed they now sell goats on sheep sale days.
There is money to be made but you would need more than 1 or 2 acres unless you only want 1 or 2 goats. A grazing animal needs at least 3-4% of its body weight in feed per day just to maintain/survive. Considerabky more in Winter or if lactating for dairy or kid raising. Many sheep producers have a fresh dairy goat or two to raise bum lambs on.
The Montana Extension Service based in Montana State University has experts that can help you determine how to do it and if your plan is feasible. I would locate wherever you find the best paying job.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,880 posts, read 5,760,053 times
Reputation: 8238
Townsend or Livingston.
Those are the 2 places with an operating mill so there is still a lumber industry.

Townsend is 30 miles from Helena, Livingston is about 30 miles from Bozeman.

Townsend is much cheaper than Livingston for land and COL.

Both Helena and Bozeman have medical long term care facilities, and depending on what your kids want to work at, Helena as the capital has a fairly stable employment base.

As for the goats, there are several properties on the Townsend Flats of up to 20 acres that would work fine for that.

There is a Real Food store in Helena that might provide a market for you for milk and cheese, and there is a large farmers market as well. There is also a large natural food co-op in Bozeman.

Townsend is only about 60 miles from Bozeman as well, so not a long drive and there is a sales ring in Three Forks as well as Bozeman where you could probably sell your animals.

Just some options.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:26 PM
 
4,637 posts, read 3,956,898 times
Reputation: 9700
I am not aware of livestock auction ring in Bozeman. Bozeman's old one closed 6 or 7 years ago when Headwaters at Three Forks opened. Neither Three Forks or Butte sells goats through their rings.

Something to consider is that goats can be used for commercial weed grazing in areas where spraying is undesireable. Montana Sheep Institute at Montana State University at Bozeman can explain how that is done. Goats will eat the woody weeds that sheep will not.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
7 posts, read 16,885 times
Reputation: 10
I would be farming Nubian goats, and Rhode Island Red Chickens. And how much would a 20 acre ranch cost?
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,880 posts, read 5,760,053 times
Reputation: 8238
I moved away from Bozeman several years ago and was unaware the sales ring had closed. It was the one we used for years while I was growing up.

Anyway...

Land prices are all over the place depending on where, what amenities, if it is in a planned community, if there is live water etc.
Townsend, Broadwater County, Montana Land for sale, Townsend, Broadwater County, Montana Acreage for Sale, Townsend, Broadwater County, Montana Lots for Sale at LandWatch.com

You need to shop around.

Sometimes you can pick up a piece of land that is larger for less than smaller acreages, but usually you are looking as a rule of thumb anywhere from $1000 to $5000 an acre. There are more expensive places, and also places with homes and outbuildings already there instead of raw land. You just have to look as there is no single price.

There are a couple of subdivisions between Toston and Three Forks that may be cheaper, but you may have to drive further to work depending on where you find a job.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:02 PM
 
8,937 posts, read 8,033,591 times
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If you are farming goats and chickens, your 1-2 acres of land are not realistic. On top of that that size of acreage will usually not allow you to run goats and chickens due to zoning, and property restrictions. That is considered home sites. Five acres like we have, and you may or may not be allowed to have a horse due to restrictions or at the most two. No cows, chickens or goats allowed.

You have not said what your goal is in number of goats, and chickens. Is it a couple goats and a dozen chickens for pets and eggs, or do you want to raise enough goats or chickens to make some money which is a commercial operation. One may be allowed but the other zoned out or restricted out in the deed restrictions. I saw in the newspaper the other day that Billings area just restricted chickens to 6 hens and no roosters that can wake up your neighbors. If you want a commercial operation, it will probably have to be approved for a commercial operation when you want to do it on small acreage and neighbors complaining they don't want goats or chickens commercial operation at the hearing, will probably stop it. Not a problem on large farming properties, but for small properties it is a problem.

So many properties that have been broken down to small sizes 20 acres or less, will very possibly have use restrictions. They were broken down mostly to have country homes and maybe a horse or two. Goats and chickens may or may not be allowed, or the number be restricted to enough for a couple of pets but not for commercial raising. When you check on property, check to see what you will be able to do on it due to restrictions or zoning. These are things you need to check, before you pick an area to move to.

I spent 30 years as a commercial real estate broker, and saw a lot of people like you with a dream that had to be shown the real world in the area the wanted to live. When you pick an area to live and buy land in the future, first check and see if it is going to ultimately be possible to do what you want to do, with land available for your use at a price you can afford.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
7 posts, read 16,885 times
Reputation: 10
I want to start out with 18 Goats for a business(but I will breed them to have more to sell), and keep 20 Chickens and 2 Roosters for ourselves. We Would have a wethered Pygmy buck with the goats as a pet, 2 LGDs, a pet outdoor GSD, and an indoor Chihuahua. Would 20 acres be enough? Without any restrictions? In the Missoula rural area, just in the county.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
7 posts, read 16,885 times
Reputation: 10
Hey, I just found this property for sale and it seems perfect for us, enough acreage(20 acres), good location(It's in Anaconda), and great price ($250,000).
20 acres in Deer Lodge County, Montana - Property - LandAndFarm.com - Land for Sale
But this post was put up 66 days ago, and by the time we move next year, it will probably be sold. Do you guys think that another opportunity like this can happen next summer, or fall?
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:53 PM
 
8,937 posts, read 8,033,591 times
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That place is a country home rural subdivision, not a ranch property. As I told you earlier in this thread, that type of property is going to have restrictions, and probably goat farming would be restricted out. It is being sold as a second home, or a first home out of town and not being sold for any animal raising or agriculture purposes. Your neighbors would not allow you to get started in a place like that. People that live in that subdivision would fight you every step of the way, to keep you from raising goats, and they would win.

What you need is a place zoned AG standing for agriculture, not a home subdivision.

Here is a property about 100 miles west of Billings that is zoned AG (agriculture).

Montana Land Magazine Homes and Real Estate Magazines Online

Here is another example.

Montana Land Magazine Homes and Real Estate Magazines Online

What you need to look at are farms and ranches, not recreational property like the one you showed. Property that is not zoned or restricted to be a large lot residential property, but agriculture property.

The southern Willamette valley has lots of small farms and ranches that have been there for 100 years or more, where this type of thing is possible.

In Montana the same is not true, and when a larger property has been broken down to a few acres parcels the past few years like this one was, it is going through subdivision regulations, and there are going to be restrictions and often Home Owners Association rules you have to live by, and I can assure you that you would not find that a goat ranch was acceptable in those subdivisions. That type of subdivision is designed for city dwellers from California, etc., to build summer homes, and they are not going to want to live next to a small goat farming operation. Most of them would prohibit your 2 roosters as noise sources.

On my fathers side, my grandfather was born there in 1897 right in the same county as that property is located and I have lots of relatives in the area.

Let me ask you some questions as I would if I was counseling you in my old real estate office. I am very aware of Southern Oregon, as my mothers side of the family first settled there in the late 1800s. I have lived in Oregon, and have kids and grown grand kids that live there today.

1: Why do you choose Montana over Oregon to start a goat ranch? This question is very important.

2: Are you aware due to the difference in the climate, it is much easier and cheaper to raise goats in the Southern Willamette valley than in Montana, especially to protect and winter them over? Are you willing to pay a lot more to pursue your dream, by raising goats in Montana rather than Oregon.

3: Are you aware, Oregon is a much better market for goat products than Montana where they are nearly unknown. Others have told you, here it is difficult to even find somewhere you can market the goats. You would get a better price for the young goats, and things like goat milk or cheese will bring a better price in Oregon.

4: Is it more important to your family to raise goats, or to get a job and live in Montana. In other words, what is your motivation to move here.

We chose Montana as we have a single daughter with a health problem and we want to live close to her. She is here, due to a well paid job (over $100,000 per year) with a great international company running the IT department. That is why we are not living in Newport Oregon. What is your reason to leave Oregon and move to Montana.

Answer those 4 questions and one can be more helpful to you. I used to get $75 per hour 20 years ago for the help I will give you for free.
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