100_4101Sam Middleton and Family
Haystack Mountain Ranch – Dickens, Texas

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Chas S Middleton and Son

Land Report Names Chas. S. Middleton and Son Best Land Brokerage 4th Straight Year

The Land Report, the nations premier magazine for American Landowners, has once again named Chas. S. Middleton and Son as one of the nations top land brokerage firms. This honor began in 2010, and without a hitch has continued on for 4 straight years.

Appearing in the Summer Edition on page 34 and 35 in the Vistas Section, Land Report first acknowledges our firm for listing the East Division of the Mesa Vista Ranch owned and operated by legendary oilman and lifelong quail enthusiast T. Boone Pickens. The East Division of the Mesa Vista Ranch contains approximately 15,708 acres and is renowned for its miles and miles of Canadian River frontage and both man made and natural creeks.

We are honored to receive this recognition and we are excited for the future.

Sam Middleton and Chad Dugger are both accredited ARA (American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers) appraisers. Appraisals are a large part of our business along with ranch and farm sales. Sam is also very active as a real estate broker in Texas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Our firm has been involved in many substantial ranch sales through the years. Probably the most impressive is the Canadian River Cattle Company Ranch which Sam has sold three times. There are several other large ranches we have done business with over the years as well that need to be added to the list, including the 6666, UU Bar, Spike Box, Scharbauer Cattle Company, French Ranches, J.J. Gibson Estate Ranch, Matador Cattle Company, etc. They are all good customers and we appreciate them all.

Throughout the years I have learned that my fathers (Sam Middleton) reputation in this business is rivaled by few. He seems to know every inch of this country and every rancher and landowner. He has been very successful and works hard at it every day. He has taught me a lot since I came to work for him over ten years ago and I hope that I can pass along some of that to my two kids. He worked with his father in this business the same way that my grandfather and his father did. There is something special about that and I want to continue and carry on the family name and tradition in this business. Through the dust bowl, oil boom and bust, inflation, droughts and all the good times my family has continued in this business and I plan to do the same. – Charlie Middleton

Land is selling and the market is good. Interest rates are low, but many of the larger transactions we have handled recently have been cash deals. There is a lot of oil money out there and for many of these buyers, land is where they feel the most comfortable putting their money. Inventory is low and we need more listings!

Recent Ranch Sales:

Lower L Bar Ranch 36,460.2 Acres – NM Under Contract
Block Ranch 50,300 Acres – NM SOLD
Dark Canyon Ranch – 35,598 Acres – NM SOLD
Red River Ranch 30,010 Acres – NM SOLD
Covered S Ranch 23,013 Acres – TX SOLD
Phelps Ranch 12,788.47 Acres – TX SOLD
Canyon Vista Ranch 4,567.93 Acres – TX SOLD
Los Campos De Chama Ranch – 753 Acres – NM SOLD

IMG_1071Boyd Ranch For Sale
Motley County, Texas
620.63 Acres – $1,200 per acre

The Boyd Ranch in Motley County, TX just north of the ranching community of Matador offers a tremendous diversity seldom found on a tract this size. With the southern portion of the property offering an often dense canopy of mesquite and hackberry tree cover there is excellent cover for wildlife. The northern portion of the property is open and rolling with excellent native grasses and sandy soils. Shinnery and sumac are common, along with sage and pockets of mesquite thickets. The ranch is watered by one dirt tank, an electric water well and two solar water wells.

Seller will convey 1/2 of all owned minerals.

Brochure: Click Here

For more information contact Charlie Middleton at (806)763-5331.

086-3-600x350Lone Star Outdoor News
By: Conor Harrison


Dove hunters will have more opportunity later in the season with dates and bag limits finalized by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved the 2014-2015 Texas dove season, including a 70-day season and 15-bird daily bag statewide, and a 16-day early teal and Canada goose season.

The traditional September 1 dove season opening day in the North and Central Zones remains; this year falling on Labor Day Monday. However, the first segment in those zones will be shorter than last season, closing on Monday, Oct. 20. The season will reopen Friday, Dec. 19 and run through Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 in the North and Central Zones.

In the South Zone and Special White-winged Dove Area, the first segment will be shortened by five days compared to last year, and those days would be added to the end of the second segment. The South Zone opens Friday, Sept. 19 and runs through Monday, Oct. 20. The second segment will run Friday, Dec. 19 through Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.

The daily bag limit for doves statewide is 15 and the possession limit is 45.

The Special White-winged Dove Area will be restricted to afternoon only (noon to sunset) hunting the first two full September weekends on Sept. 6-7 and 13-14. Hunting in this area will reopen Friday, Sept. 19 and continue through Monday, Oct. 20, and then reopen Friday, Dec. 19 through Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. During the early two weekends, the daily bag limit is 15 birds, to include not more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves. Once the general season opens, the aggregate bag limit will be 15 with no more than two white-tipped doves.

A 16-day statewide early teal and Eastern Zone Canada goose season will run Saturday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 28. The daily bag on teal remains six, with a possession limit of 18. Bag limit for Canada geese will be three and a possession limit of 6 in the Eastern Zone only.


Plains Cotton Growers supports the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District’s proposal to limit groundwater use on private farmland.

The controversial rule revisions — which the water district’s board of directors will consider adopting within the next few months — contain annual irrigation limits of 1.5 acre-feet, or 18 inches, per acre beginning Jan. 1. Exceeding limits could result in not-yet-determined civil penalties such as fines.

“They need to know the largest commodity can live with these rules,” said Plains Cotton Growers chairman Craig Heinrich during the group’s quarterly meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The group created a formal resolution when a show of hands revealed their members in attendance support the water district’s proposed rules. Their executive committee established a similar resolution a couple weeks ago, Heinrich said.

J.O. Dawdy, a representative of the Protect Water Rights Coalition who has protested the proposed rule revisions at water district meetings, abstained from voting. The Floyd County farmer said he finds them intrusive, and not worthy of a vote.

“I don’t feel like I have the authority or privilege to vote on any man’s private property,” he said.

The water-rights coalition claims the proposed water restrictions violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable seizures.

“It is so important we do not put ourselves down this very slippery slope,” Dawdy said.

Kelly Young, another coalition member, read a passage of the Constitution he feels is in conflict with the concept of groundwater restrictions on private land. He questioned the rule revisions’ significance regarding property rights.

Tom Sell, a guest speaker who represents the firm Combest, Sell & Associates, responded the law can be murky, and property rights are not absolute. For example, private property can often be seized in certain criminal cases.

“It’s complicated,” he said. “Does the water district have authority? I think so.”

The water district proposed meter installation and groundwater limits in response to Texas’ water crisis. While the board has long recommended voluntary conservation, some feel formal monitoring is a necessary next step to keep the state from running out of water.

Other Plains Cotton Growers talk focused on the new farm bill.

Sell noted that when the bill takes full effect within a few months, its provisions will apply to 2014’s recently planted crop.

“This choice you make will apply retroactively to what’s in the field now,” he said.

And those choices are plenty.

Farmers select their own types and amounts of coverage with the crop insurance that replaces direct payments.

Joe Outlaw, a Texas A&M professor and economist, showed the group how to use an online calculator that determines benefits after they provide data such as their acreage and past yields.

“This is all very simple,” he said. “… I would encourage anybody to start putting this data in there.”

Sell recommended farmers seek additional confirmation from an insurance agent that they’ve made the right choice.

“This is definitely a farm bill where you’re going to want to have a good crop insurance agent to guide you through,” he said.

LubbockOnline.com – July 10, 2014 by Josie Musico


Plains Cotton Growers support the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District’s proposal to limit groundwater use on private farmland in Texas.

Controversial rule revisions contain annual irrigation limits of 1.5 acre-feet, or 18 inches, per acre beginning Jan. 1 said a recent article from The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.  Exceeding limits could carry civil penalties like fines, but that has not yet been determined.

Tom Sell represents Combest, Sell & Associates.  He says the law can be ‘murky and property rights are not absolute.’

“It’s complicated,” he said. “Does the water district have authority? I think so.”

Meter installation and groundwater limits are in response to Texas’ water crisis.

HPPR – July 15, 2014 by Cindee Talley


Under Contract
The Lower L Bar Ranch
36,460.2 Acres – $20,000,000

The Lower L Bar Ranch located northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico near the community of Laguna is under contract. The ranch has good views of Sandia Mountain, several large mesas and volcanic cones along with rich Native American history along with artifacts, etc.  The ranch also offers exceptional big game hunting with native herds of elk, mule deer, bear, barbary sheep and mountain lions. The property is located in New Mexico Big Game Unit 9 and the ranch receives 30 bull elk rifle tags, 8 bull elk muzzleloader tags, 22 either sex archery tags, and 56 cow elk rifle tags. Vegetation includes scattered juniper in the lower elevations with oak, mountain mahogany, pinon, and an abundance of large ponderosa pine in the higher elevations. The main headquarters consists of a 3 bedroom 1 3/4 bath owner’s home, outbuildings and shipping pens. A partial two story log hunting lodge set up to accommodate 15 guests is located on the edge of a high rocky bluff overlooking the valley bottom lands. This ranch has a rugged, very scenic “western movie set” look.

The ranch is listed with Sam Middleton – Chas. S. Middleton and Son.

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Team Roping

A  #11 Slide Team Roping will be held on Friday, July 18, 2014 at the Mallet Arena in Levelland, Texas!

This is an incentive for riding Caprock Ranchers bred horses. The roping will be held during the annual 2 day event of the Caprock Ranchers Ranch Horse Futurity and Horse Sale.

The books for the roping will open at 4:30p.m.  Roping will began at 6:00 p.m.

Enter 1 Draw 1, or Draw 2. Fee: $100. Can enter 2 times.

Haystack Mountain Ranch is the sponsor for the team roping incentive.

All in the Family
Interview with Sam Middleton

Lands of Texas Magazine Broker Spotlight Interview

lead-imageWhen looking for an example of a family run business, one would be hard pressed to find a better example than Chas S. Middleton & Son.  Located in Lubbuck, Texas, the company was founded by Charles Middleton in 1920.  Almost a full century later, the company is thriving with a solid reputation as premier ranch brokers and land value experts in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma.

While some traits are inherent and consistent in each generation, like integrity, hard work and dedication, each generation has also brought its own contribution to the business, capitalizing on current markets, technologies and trends.

Charles S. Middleton forged the company out of an existing cattle sales operation, with inside knowledge and impeccable contacts.  Lee Middleton expanded the business to include mortgage loans, loaning money on farms and ranches, which kept him in contact with farm and ranch buyers and lead to many ranch sales.  Sam Middleton, took a great interest in the appraisal side of the industry, growing the land value side of the business and establishing the company as land value experts.  Charlie Middleton is currently capitalizing on the digital age, offering high tech mapping and marketing technologies.

with four generations of deals behind you, what is your favorite thing about the industry?

Thinking about different things, I think the one thing that comes to mind, and that is really important, is the appreciation that land has had over the years.  There are properties we have sold and resold over the years, and how great the appreciation has been on these ranches, historically.  I can give you many examples of that to really show how the value has went up tremendously over the years.   For example, one ranch my dad sold, 56,000 acres in 1955 for $11 an acre.  I sold it 1987 for $450 an acre.  Today, it would probably bring $1500-2000 an acre.  Those kind of sales really show what a great investment land has been.

do you remember the first ranch deal you worked on?

I started with my dad in about 1971, I would have been about 22 or 23 years old.  And, the first ranch I ever sold was about 8,000 acres in the Palo Duro Canyon.  That is  rough, canyon country. I sold that ranch for $65-acre; and about a year ago, Charlie resold that ranch for about $600 an acre.

One of the things I will always remember about that ranch is that it was part of the JA Ranch, a big ole’ ranch in the Texas Panhandle; we had to survey it.  And, my dad said, “You need to get experience learning how these surveyors work.”  So, he sent me out with the surveyor.  That was back in the old days when you drug a chain.  The measurement they used was called varas.  A vara is 33 1/3 inches; and this chain was 100 varas long.  Here we were dragging that  chain in this straight up and down, rough canyon country; If you think about that means of measurement compared to today’s satellite imagery, there is no way it could have been very accurate back in those days.  A lot of ups and downs, you know?

what would you say the market is like today?

It peaked in 2007 and then when the recession started at the end of 2007 or early 2008, ranches just quit selling for awhile.  They started selling again, but the volume has been down quite a lot.  I would say, overall, depending on the type of land, the market has softened somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15% over the peak.  But, it seems pretty stable right now.  The economy and the drought, together, have really slowed things down.

so, if i was a buyer, is right now a good time to buy?

Oh, I think it’s a real good time to buy!  Right now, because, we are going to have inflation again; I don’t know when.  Our buyers today, principally, are investors  or oil people, without any real ranching background, but they just view land as a safe, long term place to park money.

which one would you fix first, the drought or the economy?

The drought!  If you could fix the drought, it would do a lot to fix the economy.

how has the industry changed over the years? 

Well, going back to when my dad was in business; I followed him around for about 20 years.  When I started out, he would keep an inventory of 20 or 30 ranches for sale.  But, he, and most brokers back then, neverCharlie and Macoy Christmas 2012 thought about having an exclusive listing.  It was all handshake agreements and open listings.  It was more of what I call a “buckshot approach,” where you have a lot of properties for sale, and you find a buyer for one of those deals. He was very successful with that.  After I got into the business, I kind of converted our operation into just working on exclusive listings.  We generally only have six, or eight or ten ranches for sale, but we have exclusives on them, where we can spend the money to advertise and really showcase the property and still be protected on the listing.  That has been a major change in the business over the last forty years.

so, what i am hearing is that when you take on a new property, you kind of take it on as your own and hold the seller’s hand through the deal?

Yes, yes, we are an exclusive agent.  We represent the seller in the transaction.

Basically, what I would like to say about my company: We are a small company.  We don’t have a lot of salesmen.  I own the company, and I handle the larger ranch sales in Texas and the other states we work in.  Charlie, my son, is really involved in hunting and he is very interested in the recreational market.  Charlie handles all of the recreation type properties.  Then, we have two other guys in the office.  Chad Dugger helps me on ranch appraisals.  He travels with me and writes the reports. Then, we both sign them.  And, Rusty Lawson, my farm salesman; he also does all our farm appraisals. The beauty part of our business, right now, is that each of us has our own strength and we work together as a very specialized team.  We have been very successful with this. Everybody has their own piece of the pie.

1939 CSM Cattle Drive

what is the best or most interesting deal you have worked on?

There are stories about all of them that are great, but I guess that 71,000 aces up in the Texas Panhandle is one of my favorites.  I’ve sold it three times.  Always a fun deal to work on, the uniqueness of the country, a good cattle ranch, but it also has good hunting on it; and a lot of good history behind it.

does having a “good history” sell property?

Oh yeah.  Anytime you’ve got a property that is part of a well known, historic ranch, it peaks buyers interest and will usually bring a premium.

what have you learned is the most important aspect of selling large properties?

I think you have to learn the property and believe in it.  Nowadays, with all the satellite imagery and technology available, it makes it easier.  We put together a really good map and put together a good packet of information and figure out the best way to show the ranch.  I truly believe that to successfully sell a ranch, you have to be sold on the ranch yourself.

what is the key to being a successful broker?

I think that what has benefitted me is the history of the company, the longevity of the company and the fact that I inherited some very good contacts!

what is the strangest experience you have had while showing a ranch?

I remember when we first started our website, and I wasn’t sold on the idea of a website at that time, but I had a lady call me who had seen a ranch we had listed, about a 7,000 acre ranch.  She called and was really interested in the property, but wanted to view the property in all four season of the year.  She wanted to pick out her “plot” after viewing all the seasons.  Apparently, she understood that because the property was listed with a per acre price, you could just pick out five or ten.  Nowadays, the website is a very valuable tool for buyers and a big asset to our business.

what do you think is the greatest benefit of owning land?

Well, I think long term appreciation; the enjoyment of the land, you know, a guy in Houston that works in an office is able to go out and spend a few days on his ranch, get away from the grind of doing business in Houston and enjoy the property and the lifestyle; and then the tax benefits, the depreciation you can get off of the improvements and charge that against your other source of income.  It really is the lifestyle and long term appreciation.

what do you do on your day off?

Well, I’ve got a personal ranch over at Dickens, Texas.  We work a lot on the weekends, but if I get one off, I go over there.  It is only 55 minutes from Lubbock, which is handy for me.

and, what do you do on your ranch?

Oh, you know, dream and plan, look at the cattle. It is something I enjoy.

Charlie-Buckobviously, selling ranches is in your blood, but has it always been a clear path?

My dad got me in the business; I got started in it at a very early age. And, this is all I have ever wanted to do.

if you had to pick another career….any career…What would it be?

Well, if I could afford it, it would be ranching.  But, I have to sell ranches to be able to afford the ranch I’ve got.

your family has been selling farms and ranches for four generations, are we training a fifth?

Well, Charlie has a one year old, so hopefully!

Feds Declare New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse Endangered Species

Saturday, June 21, 2014 5:00 am WASHINGTON — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse an endangered species, saying that without active conservation efforts the mouse will be at “elevated risk of extinction.

Welcome to New Mexico, where a colorful chicken and a very small mouse are causing a big ruckus.

Four counties in New Mexico on Tuesday joined in a lawsuit complaining about the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

The announcement came just one day after the Fish and Wildlife Service declared the meadow jumping mouse should be protected under the Endangered Species Act, giving it greater habitat protection, but angering ranchers in a southern New Mexico county who are at odds with the federal government over water and property rights.

“Yes, New Mexico has become a focal point,” said Bryan Bird, program director for WildEarth Guardians, an environmental group based in Santa Fe that hailed both decisions. “On the one hand, we’re blessed to have these beautiful, unusual animals in our state, but on the other hand, we’ve mistreated our lands so badly that they require” listings to protect them.

Critics of the meadow jumping mouse listing say the federal government moved too quickly.

“Once again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chose to cater to big-city radical special interests instead of protecting our jobs, and ignored the fact that conservation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” Rep. Steve Pearce, R-New Mexico, said in a statement.

In the meantime, officials from Eddy, Roosevelt, Lea, and Chavez counties — in the heart of New Mexico’s oil patch — joined a lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, claiming the decision to protect the lesser prairie chicken puts too heavy a burden on the industry and accusing the feds of not following correct procedures when they made the listing.

“Historically, there have been at least three times when scientists have believed the bird was truly on the verge of extinction,” Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, told KWES-TV. “What the data shows now is that the birds’ numbers and range of habitat have continued to grow, although they’ve slowed down some during this period of extended drought.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service says the population of the chicken — known for its energetic clucking and strutting during mating — has been reduced by 50 percent since 2012.

Protecting the habitat for the meadow jumping mouse led the U.S. Forest Service in Otero County, in southern New Mexico, into an ongoing dispute with local ranchers.

The Forest Service reinforced the padlocks at a creek to keep cattle from drinking, saying the herds risk trampling on the area where the mouse lives.

But a group of ranchers say while the Forest Service may have access to the land along the creek, it doesn’t hold the water rights and complain the federal government is overstepping its authority.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Blair Dunn, an attorney for Otero County, told New Mexico Watchdog after a meeting last month failed to reach a compromise. “In the past when we’ve had drought and problems, the Forest Service came and opened the gate … but they didn’t have any interest in doing that.”

“Some might say, ‘why do we need to worry about a mouse?'” Bird said. “This mouse is like the canary in the coal mine. It represents the health of our streams and rivers in the state of New Mexico. If we don’t have healthy streams and rivers, nobody will thrive in the state.”

Just two years ago, many of the same parties were fighting over a different species — the dunes sagebrush lizard.

Efforts to protect the three-inch lizard, whose habitat stretches from southeastern New Mexico to West Texas, threatened to put restrictions on oil and gas production in the area.

But in June 2012, then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar decided against listing the lizard as endangered after the industry and local ranchers agreed to a series of conservation agreements.

So far, the kind of compromise that worked for the lizard hasn’t been reached for the chicken or the mouse.

Full Story: Newsmax

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