by: Michael Wardlaw
Pick your show on HGTV and you’ll quickly see there is strong market for buying an old home and rehabbing it. Buyers find a location they love and turn the old home into the home of their dreams. Sure, it takes effort and time, but the end result is often a complete transformation of the property.
What you don’t see on television is that the exact same thing can happen with land. That’s right, if you find a property with a few of the qualities you like, with time and effort you can mold the property into exactly what you’re looking for.
Mark Jost is one such landowner that found ground in Missouri he saw potential in. It was rough around the edges, but when he looked deeper Mark saw a property that could hold trophy whitetails and provide memories of a lifetime for his family and friends.
“When I purchased the property it had plenty of cover and water, but very little food,” explained Jost of the 100 acre tract. “My thought process was, that with the cover already there, I could add the food component more easily than buying a farm that was too open having to plant more cover.”
With the land purchase behind him, Jost went to work implementing his plan. He would lean on experts in land management to determine, not only where adjustments should be made, but the processes that should be used.
“I had the area forester come out and took advice on timber management and the addition of green browse plots,” he explained. “By starting with a big block of timber and brush I got to design the perfect setup by placing most of the food on one end and creating a sanctuary on the other end, creating a traffic pattern taking deer all the way through my farm thus making it hunt larger than a 100 acre farm.
“The Missouri Department of Conservation was a very big help when it came to advice and cost sharing of all this work and expense.”
For landowners, there are several government-funded programs to help offset the cost of managing land and, while CRP and WRP are two of the more common ones, there are several additional programs for a variety of uses.
“I signed up and received several cost share programs, and after four years of program work, I now have 14 acres of food plots, two apple orchards, timber stand improvements have been made on over half of the farm, and thousands of oak seedlings have been planted,” Jost said.
Having owned the farm since 2010, Jost is seeing a drastic improvement in the quality of his deer herd.
“I do a lot of filming and when I watch the four different videos from each year I have had the farm, I can pick the year of the video by seeing the size of bucks,” says Jost. “It has been truly amazing to see and has added another element to hunting for me in the land management aspect of it.”
For Jost, he has seen the quality of his land grow is just four short years. And while selling isn’t on his mind, he knows the value has certainly increased due to his management plan and the effort he has put into his farm.
For those teetering on the edge of buying a farm, Jost simply says, “Do it!”
“There is no more land being made, it will be a great investment that you can use and have great times on. Let your imagination take over… the opportunities are endless and the reward’s great.”
If you are considering making a land purchase and would like expert guidance, use the team Mark Jost used, United Country – Trophy Properties and Auction. Don’t hesitate! Call our office today at 855-573-5263.
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“I actually owned this property in the early 2000’s. It was a great hunting property then, but with the hard work and improvements that Mark has made, it is now a Deer Mecca!” said Donnie McClellan of Trophy Properties and Auction. “It is a joy to watch someone pour their heart and soul in a property and see the results that come from it. If everyone would treat their property the same and manage their harvest like this man does, it would be amazing to see the results area wide.”