Land purchased for Looped Square Cattle Ranch
Morgan Taylor / Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The Muscogee Nation recently acquired a 5,570 acre ranch just east of Okmulgee, located in Okmulgee County. The Purchase is the largest land acquisition known to the Nation.
According to Agriculture and Natural Resources Director Trent Kissee, the ranch was once part of a larger ranch which is somewhat historic in this area.
According to Kissee, the Dillingham Ranch was nearly 12,000 acres before it was split in two and sold. Half sold to the Stephens family, who have operated the ranch for ten years.
Kissee said the family had put it up for sale as they were looking to buy land closer to his home in Guymon.
“We went to look at it initially,” he said. “The Nation was somehow curious and interested in large areas before expanding our land base, developing our commercial side through services or economic development, food security and trying to expand our options. “
Even though there was previous interest in purchasing large tracts of land, Kissee claimed nothing seemed to suit the nation until recently.
“This one is right here near the headquarters, it borders the Okmulgee airport, it’s here in town, everything is contiguous,” Kissee said. “It just worked where there was enough interest and the time was right.”
According to Kissee, the Stephens family is slowly moving and the Nation is slowly moving in with some MCN-owned cattle already making Looped Square Ranch their home.
He said the Stephens family farmed an average of 1,100 pairs of cows and calves.
“We probably won’t run that many,” Kissee said. “Our carrying capacity will be a little less, but we still have our ranches and farms in the south at Dustin and Hannah.”
Kissee believes the Looped Square ranch will give the ranch and farm in the southern region a much-needed break.
“We are not abandoning them, but the good news is that they will be able to rest a bit,” he said. “We’re trying to rest our pastures a bit anyway and implement some of these good management practices, but we kind of got to where we had 300 head of cows, calves and bulls. It’s a bit of stress and pressure on this land.
Kissee said this ranch will serve as a centralized location for many programs while expanding other programs.
“Traditionally, we’ve been very dispersed in terms of our ranch, our Ag Youth program, we got (DANR) here, and the wildlife program,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to being all together and being able to team up more and make our work more efficient. “
The newly acquired ranch has existing structures including a house, trailer, barns, and buildings to store equipment.
“We can make it work just fine as it is right now,” Kissee said. “We will take a slow and steady growth approach. “
Kissee said the ranch provides the nation with an abundance of opportunities for the present and the future.