Watching shows like Yellowstone, it's hard to gauge how many acres of property some of the major land owners out there actually maintain. On the series, John Dutton is estimated to own around 800,000, with the Yellowstone Ranch being the largest working ranch in the country. While the King Ranch in Texas certainly rivals that of the impressive Yellowstone, the real Montana ranches aren't quite that large. But they are still incredibly impressive and run by some of the wealthiest landowners in the entire country.
Earl and Carol Holding first started their ranch near Wyola in 1983. Following Earl's death, Justin Hossfeld has taken over as general manager of the property, working alongside Earl's daughter Kathleen to maintain his legacy. The Holding family is worth over 200,000 acres between the Sunlight and additional properties in Wyola and Carbon. They also own a resort in Idaho.
In 2021, Rupert Murdoch purchased this 340,000-acre ranch from Koch Industries. Yes, that's Rupert Murdoch who founded Fox News and owns the Wall Street Journal. The purchase was apparently around $200 million making it the biggest in Montana land history. The ranch was originally founded by Koch Industries founder Fred Koch, who operated the property as Matador Cattle Co. Koch Industries. The ranch boasts 7,000 cow-calf pairs and 15 families who work full-time on the property.
Broken O Ranch
Billionaire Stan Kroenke owns this 124,000-acre ranch in Augusta. Bill and Desiree Moore of Kelly-Moore Paint Company originally built up the ranch and helped it become the biggest agricultural operation in Montana as well as one of the most notable cattle producers in the Rocky Mountains. Despite an asking price of $132.5 million, Kroenke purchased the property for an undisclosed amount.
N Bar Ranch
This 200,000-acre ranch is located outside of Grass Range and is owned by Texans Farris and Dan Wilks. The ranch was first established in 1885 by brothers Zeke and Henry Newman, who wanted to start a cattle operation. Their ownership was short-lived, with the ranch changing owners multiple times over the years until the Wilks finally took over. The ranch has a commercial heifer development program, breeding premier bulls, as well as serving as a home for various wildlife. Many of the historic parts of the ranch have been maintained, dating back over 100 years, making it true preservation of old cowboy life.
Coffee Cattle Co.
Over 160,000 acres in the Miles City area are maintained by the descendants of Montana rodeo legend C.M. Coffee and his wife, Virginia Nefsy, heiress of Stockman Bank of Montana. The Coffees technically maintain over 200,000 acres since they also have properties in Custer and Rosebud.
Flying D Ranch
Media mogul Ted Turner is the owner of this 113,000-acre property outside of Bozeman. Turner also maintains smaller Montana ranches Snowcrest Ranch and Red Rock Ranch. The Broken O is a wildlife habitat as well as a working ranch producing bison. Fishing and hunting opportunities onsite are offered through Montana Hunting Company.
Errol & Sharrie Galt maintain over 248,000 acres on the 71 Ranch in Martinsdale as well as properties in Broadwater and Rosebud. They are descendants of ranch owner Jack Galt, who married lawyer Louise Rankin. Louise inherited significant land from her first marriage to Wellington Rankin, which was passed to her after his death. Jack Galt was a veteran rancher so he was able to expertly take over operations for all of her property during their marriage.
READ MORE: 8 of The Biggest Ranches in Wyoming
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