Conserving Bos Hay & Grain

June 24, 2022

Gooch Hill is a prominent geographic feature, rich with agricultural history. The Hill extends northeast from the Gallatin Front and can be seen throughout the Valley. To date, Gallatin Valley Land Trust has completed 13 conservation easements in the Gooch Hill area, totaling 3,400 acres permanently protected under conservation easement deeds.

“The agricultural, scenic, wildlife, and historical values that dominate the Gooch Hill area are unparalleled in the Gallatin Valley,” says GVLT Lands Program Manager Chad Klinkenborg, “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.”

The 13th and most recently completed conservation easement in the Gooch Hill area closed in late May, thanks to Ron and Janice Bos of Bos Hay & Grain. Ron and Janice’s grandparents emigrated from the Netherlands to Montana in the early 1900’s. Since then, their families have been a part of the agricultural community in the Gallatin Valley. Ron and Janice began farming in the Valley in 1965. They leased land from the Hanks Family and formed Bos Hay & Grain in 1978.  They purchased the 305-acre property outright from the Hanks family in 2002.

You can see several mountain ranges from the Bos Hay and Grain property, including the Bridgers, Tobacco Roots, Madison, and Gallatin ranges. The 305-acre farm is comprised of 99% prime/significant soils as designated by the NRCS. The property serves as important wildlife habitat for deer, fox, eagles, and migratory songbirds, and serves as winter range habitat for the area’s growing elk herd. Now that the land is protected by a conservation easement, this important piece of farmland cannot be developed and the wildlife habitat it possesses will never be fragmented.

The south end of the property is bordered by the 548-acre Oliver Conservation Easement, which GVLT completed in 2018. 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. Within a four-and-half mile radius of Bos Hay and Grain, there are 16 additional easements, held by both Montana Land Reliance and Gallatin Valley Land Trust. 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.

Moving forward, Ron and Janice’s son Craig and daughter-in-law, Allison, will take over Bos Hay & Grain. They intend to continue the production of hay and grain on the property, while stewarding the scenic and wildlife habitat values. Ron and Janice can now retire knowing that their land will remain in agricultural production forever.

“This was a great project,” Chad said. “The Bos family is so passionate about land and passing it on to the next generation. We are so grateful to work with them!”

The Bos Hay & Grain project represents our 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.