By: Jonathan Ambarian
The state land board has given its approval for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to purchase nearly 17,000 acres of farmland and pasture in eastern Montana.
The department will pay $11.3 million for the western section of the Angela Farm, a dryland grain farm in northern Rosebud County, northwest of Miles City.
It will be one of the largest purchases made under the Montana’s land banking program, which encourages the state to sell off small, disconnected parcels of land and use the proceeds to buy other property that can produce more revenue.
DNRC leaders plan to lease most of the Angela Farm land to local farmers, who will be able to grow crops like wheat and barley there. Several thousand acres will be opened up for grazing leases.
DNRC projects the agricultural and grazing leases could raise more than $300,000 a year.
That money would be directed toward a series of trusts, mostly benefiting public K-12 schools but also supporting Montana Tech, Montana State University-Billings and the University of Montana Western…
Thomas said the Angela Farm property will also be open to public access for hunting, and possibly for other recreational uses, once crops have been harvested.
The land board consists of Montana’s five top statewide elected officials. Gov. Steve Bullock, Attorney General Tim Fox, State Auditor Matt Rosendale and Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen supported the Angela Farm purchase agreement.
Read more at KXLH