Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) is pleased to announce the completion of a new conservation easement in partnership with the Bos Family. Ron and Janice Bos founded Bos Hay & Grain, a large crop production agriculture business that produces hay and grain throughout the Gallatin Valley. Earlier this year, they partnered with GVLT to complete a conservation easement on their own 300-acre farm located in the historic Gooch Hill area.
Ron and Janice have been a hardworking part of the agricultural community in the Valley since their grandparents emigrated from the Netherlands to Montana in the early 1900’s. They began farming in 1965 and established Bos Hay & Grain in 2002 with their son, Craig. That same year, Ron and Janice purchased the 300-acre property from the Hanks family, which is part of their larger farming operation. The majority of the hay that Bos Hay and Grain produces is distributed within a 200-mile radius of the Gallatin Valley to feed Montana livestock. They also raise wheat, barley, and canola. The company is staffed year-round with 10 employees and an additional 10-15 seasonal employees during harvest.
“Farms are only as good as the people working for them, and we have good people,” Ron said.
Craig and his wife, Allison, plan on continuing the family farming tradition as they own and operate Bos Hay & Grain. They intend to steward the scenic and wildlife habitat values of the 300-acre property while keeping it in agricultural production. Over the years, the Bos family has watched as land that they leased was developed before their eyes. Ron and Janice can now retire knowing that their land will remain in agricultural production forever.
“The easement was a tool for our family succession planning,” Craig said. “We are thankful for the opportunity to continue agriculture in the Gallatin Valley.”
“The Bos family is so passionate about this land and passing their legacy onto the next generation of Bos farmers,” said GVLT Lands Program Manager Chad Klinkenborg. “The agricultural, scenic, wildlife, and historical values that dominate the Gooch Hill area are unparalleled in the Gallatin Valley. Conserving the working farms that remain is a tangible way to honor this landscape’s rich agricultural heritage while guiding sustainable development and shaping our valley’s future.”
Within a four-and-half mile radius of Bos Hay and Grain, there are 16 additional easements, held by both Montana Land Reliance and GVLT, totaling 3,400 acres permanently protected under conservation easement deeds. This increasing network of protected lands on Gooch Hill serves to maintain the scenic agricultural and open-space landscapes specific to Gallatin County and greater southwest Montana. The public will forever enjoy the scenic open-space value of the Bos Hay & Grain Conservation Easement from Gooch Hill, Johnson, Enders, South 19th, Bozeman, and Cottonwood Roads.
“I’m only a steward of the land for a little while,” Ron said. “Then the next generation comes along.”
The Bos Hay & Grain project represents GVLT’s 122nd overall for a grand total of 52,208 acres conserved. GVLT would like to extend deepest gratitude to the Bos family for their conservation vision and dedication to preserving agricultural land.
What is a conservation easement? The Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) partners with private landowners to conserve working farms and ranches, fish and wildlife habitat, open landsand scenic views. To protect these special places, GVLT uses conservation easements, which are voluntary agreements with landowners that limit development on a property while keeping it in private ownership. Each easement is tailored to the specific property and runs with the title of the land in perpetuity. GVLT is responsible for upholding the easement’s terms. Because a conservation easement limits development rights and therefore decreases the value of the land, landowners may be eligible to write off the difference as a charitable donation. In some cases, landowners receive financial compensation for a portion of the value of the conservation easement. The public benefits from the protection of conservation values such as prime agricultural soils, wildlife habitat, river corridors and the overall character of our region.
About Gallatin Valley Land Trust
Gallatin Valley Land Trust connects people, communities, and open lands through conservation of working farms and ranches, healthy rivers, and wildlife habitat, and the creation of trails in the Montana headwaters of the Missouri and Upper Yellowstone Rivers. For more information, visit www.gvlt.org.