Hobby farms moving quickly; 
agricultural properties attractive in valley’s west

Loma/Mack

This home at 1399 12 Road in Loma sits on almost 40 irrigated acres and has a large shop with covered RV and ATV parking. The home was built in 2012, and has four bedrooms and two baths in almost 3,000 square feet. Geri Robinson is listing the property for $649,900.  courtesy photo



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This home at 1399 12 Road in Loma sits on almost 40 irrigated acres and has a large shop with covered RV and ATV parking. The home was built in 2012, and has four bedrooms and two baths in almost 3,000 square feet. Geri Robinson is listing the property for $649,900.  courtesy photo

This property at 1596 Cattle Drive in Loma is set up as a horse property, and has several pens, riding areas and a hay barn. The house was built seven years ago by Porter Homes and has four bedrooms and three baths in more than 2,800 square feet. Patti Poschman with RE/MAX 4000 is listing this 7.8-acre property for $625,000.  Courtesy Photo



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This property at 1596 Cattle Drive in Loma is set up as a horse property, and has several pens, riding areas and a hay barn. The house was built seven years ago by Porter Homes and has four bedrooms and three baths in more than 2,800 square feet. Patti Poschman with RE/MAX 4000 is listing this 7.8-acre property for $625,000.  Courtesy Photo

Courtesy photo This property at 1452 19 Road has a Fruita address, but it also has many of the qualities that make people love Loma and Mack. It’s in an agricultural area and includes 10 acres, with a three-stall horse barn, pastures and hay production. The home has more than 3,100 square feet and there is also an 850-square foot mother-in-law ranch style home on the property. Mandy Rush with RE/MAX 4000 is listing the property for $550,000.



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Courtesy photo This property at 1452 19 Road has a Fruita address, but it also has many of the qualities that make people love Loma and Mack. It’s in an agricultural area and includes 10 acres, with a three-stall horse barn, pastures and hay production. The home has more than 3,100 square feet and there is also an 850-square foot mother-in-law ranch style home on the property. Mandy Rush with RE/MAX 4000 is listing the property for $550,000.

There’s quite a bit of construction happening at Bestweigh Feed Yard on 14 Road in Loma, which is under new ownership. The new owners run cattle in Craig, but bought the feed yard in Loma because it gave them a more temperate climate and better feed solutions for calves in the winter.



072317_REW_LomaMackBestweighFeed

There’s quite a bit of construction happening at Bestweigh Feed Yard on 14 Road in Loma, which is under new ownership. The new owners run cattle in Craig, but bought the feed yard in Loma because it gave them a more temperate climate and better feed solutions for calves in the winter.

There’s not a lot of commercial or residential development out in Loma and Mack, which is just the way most people who live out there like it. Most of the land is zoned agricultural, and there is no existing infrastructure to accommodate higher density development, which puts a huge damper on housing.
“We need sewer,” said Kay Simonson, senior planner with Mesa County. “We’re still looking for ways to fund the repair and upgrade of the Mack sewer plant and to ultimately implement the Loma plan. We will need to get sewer there somehow.”
Until there is available sewer for higher density housing, Mack and Loma are likely to remain exactly what they are: agricultural communities that also offer urban dwellers an opportunity to enjoy a hobby farm, if they can afford the price.
“Everyone I talk to wants a one- to three-acre parcel with a nice home,” said Geri Robinson with Robinson & Co. Realty. “Small acreage parcels move quicker than large farms. If we had things closer to the $400,000 price, they’d move quicker.”
Of the 29 total listings in Loma and Mack, 25 of them are priced for more than $400,000, which puts it out of the reach of many buyers who would enjoy having a little piece of land.
“Inventory is not as plentiful as it has been in years’ past,” said Mandy Rush with RE/MAX 4000, “but we’re still seeing nice properties that are available.”
According to Rush, those nice small acreage parcels are moving quicker than they were a year ago, and buyers who find a property they like don’t have the luxury of plenty of time to think about it.
“I’ve had some buyers who want to think about it, and a week later, it’s gone,” Rush said.
Larger farm and ag properties are also seeing more activity, although buyers have to be committed to agricultural production and have the necessary resources to make it work.
“We have some beautiful farm ground for sale out there in Mack and Loma,” Robinson said. “We don’t have as many people who want to be farmers.”
According to Robinson, farming can be a full-time gig for some, if they’re willing to work hard and have an initial investment to get started.
“The Farm Service Bureau is a good resource for buyers who are buying ag production land,” said Robinson, adding that the agency helped one client with financing to build a herd and then eventually buy land.
Compared to many places in Colorado, Loma and Mack offer a milder, friendlier climate that’s more conducive to raising animals. John Raftopoulos, who operates a cattle operation in Craig, purchased a feedlot in Loma a few months ago and has renamed it Bestweigh Feed Yard; he’s also remodeling the facility so that it will be ready to receive calves in the fall.
“We’ll use it from mid-September to mid-May,” he said. “We’re remodeling the entire facility to meet our needs and we’re updating the whole thing to accommodate a few more cattle.”
Winter in Craig can be brutal for calves, and Raftopoulos used to send bull calves to a feedlot in Greeley.
“There’s so much traffic,” Raftopoulos said. “It’s a shorter distance over here to Junction, with better access, and the weather is better than in Greeley.”
Better weather and better, more readily available feed in the form of corn, corn silage and hay, will help reduce losses and maintain a high quality herd.
The city of Fruita is continuing to finalize the design for the Kokopelli section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail, which will continue the bicycle trail from Fruita to Loma. The town is hoping to go out to bid by the end of summer and start construction later in the fall, with an anticipated opening in the spring of 2018. The new portion of the trail will have both hard and soft-surface trail so mountain bikers could ride from Fruita to the mountain bike trails in Loma.





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