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The Whitney Land Company
101 SE Third
P.O. Box 1614
Pendleton, Oregon 97801
Phone: 541-278-4444

Couse Creek Ranch

Umatilla County, Milton-Freewater, Oregon

Price  $ $2,428,102.75

Property Overview:

The Couse Creek Ranch, consisting 1820.13 ±/-  acres in Eastern Oregon, has been owned and operated for over 80 years by four generations of the March family. The ranch offers an example of a well-diversified property, developed by implementing innovative techniques, inspired conservation and maximum attention to scientific and technical detail. The diversified topography includes highly productive cropland, range pasture, “green” energy development, recreational opportunity and views of the surrounding Walla Walla Valley from different areas of the property. The remarkable rolling landscape includes two homes, grain silos and several outbuildings. Low elevations are at 1,100 feet and the high elevations at 3,200 feet. The soils are comprised of highly productive Palouse series and Waha series soils within the 505.03 +/-  tillable acres. The property has a proven 80-bushels average production history over the last six years according to the Seller. Currently, 390.60 +/- acres are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for an annual payment of $$21,508.00 +/-. High-volume vegetation, numerous natural springs and Couse Creek running along the property make up the remainder of the 924.5 +/- range acres. A purchaser may want to consider placing a conservation easement on parts of the farm.

Identification of Subject Property:

Umatilla County

5N3600-00-05501 – 250.98 Acres – Shumway 5N3600-00-05600 – Mobile home – Shumway
4N3600-00-00700 – 38.30 Acres – Low Eiseman 4N3600-00-00500 – 895.60 Acres – Low Eiseman
4N3600-00-00501 – 90.00 Acres – Low Eiseman 4N3600-00-02400 – 2.51 Acres – Low Eiseman
4N3600-00-01300 – 278.39 Acres – The Winn


Couse Creek Ranch has tax lots, going from within the city of Milton-Freewater, Oregon, extending to 11± miles southeast of Milton-Freewater, Oregon. The majority of the farmland parcels reside along Couse Creek Road, 5± miles from the town of Milton-Freewater


The property can be accessed from Highway 11 onto Blue Mountain Station Road, which continues onto Couse Creek Road. Various other roads to access the property include Basket Mountain Road, Coe Road, Cache Hollow Road, Kinnear Road, and Lincoln Mountain Road.

Distances to Other Cities:

Walla Walla, WA – 16± Miles
Pendleton, OR – 35± Miles
Spokane, WA – 189± Miles
Portland, OR – 243± Miles
Seattle, WA – 275± Miles

Production Acreage:

Currently the property has a total of 895.63 +/-  crop acres according to the Farm Service Agency 156EZ forms. Of the  895.63 +/-  crop acres, 390.6 +/- acres are enrolled into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) with the remaining 505.03 ± in current production acres. The farm uses a wheat/chemical fallow rotation and implements a direct seed farming technique to hedge against soil erosion. This technique has allowed historic yields to be maintained at a near 80-bushels per acre average according to the owner.  Dry peas, green peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, and canola all have been historically used as rotation crops.

Conservation Reserve Program:

Currently 390.60 +/- acres are enrolled in the conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for an annual payment of $21,508.00 +/-. There are two contracts that have expiration dates that range from 9/30/19 through 9/30/2022. The annual rental rate per acre for the two contracts ranges from $53.64 to $71.11 per acre annually. CRP contract details are available at the Whitney Land Company office.


Historically the March family would run approximately 120-head of heifers and first calf heifers on the Low Eiseman parcel from about May 1st through September for about a 5-month grazing period.


Numerous natural springs are located throughout the Low Eiseman parcel at 2,500-feet of elevation. This provides excellent water spots for livestock and wildlife throughout the parcel. Couse Creek runs along the Low Eiseman, The Winn, The Home Place and The Shumway

Topography, Elevation, Growing Season and Rainfall:

The farm transitions from level to rolling hill topography. The elevation of the property is approximately 1,100 feet and gradually rises to 3,200 feet. The growing season or average frost-free period is about 135-170 days annually. The average rainfall is approximately 15”- 26” per annum. Further detailed weather information for Milton-Freewater, Oregon, is available from the National Weather Service website back to 2011.


The Shumway Manufactured home:

Built in 1979, a 1,797± square-foot manufactured home was placed on the bottom 10± acres of the Shumway parcel. The well is 130 feet deep and is cased to bedrock. The home is on a septic tank system.

The Shumway Bins and Scale house:

Located on 10± acres within the bottom of the Shumway parcel, six 24,000-bushel silos with two more 1,000-bushel bins sit on the property. Each silo is set up with its own belt that will fill the silo from a 100,000 plus scale on a 70-foot platform. A scale house adjoins. Two more can be filled 1,000-bushels bins and were designed to empty out the bottom.

Recreation and Wildlife:

Located in the Walla Walla Unit, the ranch qualifies for four Landowner Preference (LOP) tags under the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife guidelines. The property sees elk, deer and upland game birds occasionally utilizing the Low Eiseman for feed and to bed down. Whitetail deer and elk hunting provide opportunities for harvesting big game on this ranch. Elk herds frequently cross through during hunting season. (Additional rules may apply as the property is within a limited LOP hunting unit-see the ODFW Big Game Hunting Regulations book or call the local Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Pendleton, Oregon, at 541-276-2344.


The ranch is zoned Exclusive Farm Use (EFU)


The purposes of the EFU, Exclusive Farm Use Zone, are to preserve and maintain agricultural lands for farm use, including range and grazing uses, consistent with existing and future needs for agricultural products, forest and open spaces; to conserve and protect scenic resources; to maintain and improve the quality of air, water and land resources of the county and to establish criteria and standards for farm uses and related and supportive uses which are deemed appropriate. It is also the purpose of this use zone to provide the automatic farm use valuation for farms, which qualify under the provisions of ORS Chapter 308. The provisions in this use zone are subject to automatic legislative amendments as described in §152.004. (Ord. 2005=02, passed 1-5-2005)

2017 Taxes:  $14,002.79

The Shumway – $3,566.80           The Winn – $2,524.91
The Low Eiseman – $537.95


The property’s exterior boundary has some fencing across various parcels that appears to be in adequate condition. There are also interior fenced pastures. Some of the fencing needs additional maintenance.

Potential Development:

Various parcels throughout the property have an opportunity to be developed for homesites, or green energy. Please refer to the breakdown on each parcel in this brochure to read more about the potential aspect of further development.


Total FSA Cropland: 895.83± Acres
Total Current Tillable: 505.03 +/- Acres
Total CRP: 390.60± Acres
Total Range: 924.50± Acres
Total Deeded: 1,820.13± Acres

Potential Opportunities of Additional Revenue:

Wind Energy: This property was previously under a wind energy contract.
Wine: The farmland is in an excellent wine growing area. However, a purchaser would have to secure a water source. Currently there are no water rights associated with this property.

Parcel Breakdown:

THE SHUMWAY – (250.98 Acres)
Account #: 143290 – Tax Lot: 5501 (250.98 Acres)
157074 – Tax Lot: 5600 (Manufactured Home)
Farm: 7177
Tract: 12165
Total Tillable: 184.94 Acres
The Shumway Manufactured home – Built in 1979, an approximate 1,797 sq.ft. manufactured home was placed on the bottom 10± acres of the Shumway parcel. The well is 130 feet deep and is cased to bedrock. The home is on a septic tank system.

The Shumway Bins and Scale house – Located on 10± acres within the bottom of the Shumway parcel, six 24,000-bushel silos with two more 1,000-bushel bins sit on the property. Each silo is set up with its own belt that will fill the silo from a 100,000 plus scale on a 70-foot platform. A scale house adjoins. Two more 1,000-bushel bins can be filled and were designed to empty out the bottom.
The East and West Shumway soils consist mostly of Athena series, Palouse series, and Waha series soils. On average, this parcel has produced an approximate 85.67-bushel wheat crop when farmed. Please refer to the soil maps and Sellers 6-year yield average details about the parcel available at the Whitney Land Company office or upon request.
THE LOW EISEMAN – (1,026.41 Acres)
Account #: 133971 – Tax Lot: 700 (38.30 Acres)
133969 – Tax Lot: 500 (895.60 Acres)
143317 – Tax Lot: 501 (90.0 Acres)
134015 – Tax Lot: 2400 (2.51 Acres)
Farm: 7177
Tract: 2209
Total tillable: 347.02 Acres
CRP: 338.80 Acres Enrolled Rental Rate per Acre: $53.64
Expires: 9/30/18 Annual Contract Payment: $18,173
The Low Eiseman currently produces an annual contract payment of $18,173.00 dollars. Multiple springs are throughout the 1,026.41± acres. Potential wind opportunities lie on the upper portion of the parcel along Basket Mountain Ridge. Historically, the parcel has been used for summer pasture for livestock and recreational purposes. Couse Creek runs along the bottom of the property
The Low Eiseman soils consist mostly of Bowlus-Buckcreek series and Gwin series soils on the slopes and Palouse series within the tillable acres. The tillable acres for the Low Eiseman are currently under a CRP contract. Please refer to the soil maps and Sellers 6-year yield average details available at the Whitney Land Company office or upon request.
THE WINN – (278.39 Acres)
Account #: 133977 – Tax Lot: 1300 (278.39 Acres)
Farm: 7177 Tract: 2223
Total Tillable: 176.2 Acres
CRP: 46.90 Acres Enrolled Rental Rate per Acre: $71.11
Expires: 9/30/22 Annual Contract Payment: $3,335.00
The Winn property has potential wind opportunities that lie on the upper portion of the parcel along Basket Mountain Ridge. Couse Creek runs along the edge bordering the parcel. Seller will retain a home on the property. The city of Milton-Freewater also provides power along the bottom of the parcel at the county road.
The Winn soils consist mostly of Palouse series soils within the tillable acres. On average, this north sloped parcel has produced an approximate 88.5-bushel wheat crop when farmed. Please refer to the soil maps and Sellers 6-year yield average details available at the Whitney Land Company office or upon request.
Each parcel may be sold separately. Individual parcel prices are as follows:

The Shumway: $624,372.00
The Low Eiseman: $615,780.00
The Winn: $377,501.75.00

* Additional farm and range ground may be bought with this property. Please contact listing brokers for further details.

Town of Milton-Freewater:

Milton and Freewater began as two separate cities. The area is rich in history and a short account of the beginning of the two towns and development is described below.
In 1872, W. S. Frazier laid off a town site on part of the Frazier property, gave a man by the name of Woodward 1½ acres on the west side of Main Street as a site for a hotel, and sold John Miller 15 acres and a water right for $125 to build a grist mill. The mill machinery contained three runs of stone burrs. In 1873 M.V. Wormington built the first residence in the platted area. By general community consent, the town name of Milton was selected in an application for a post office. Milton was on its way to a rather enviable reputation of conservative social life, especially regarding spiritual affairs, sobriety and a high standard of education.
Horticulture was one of the profitable enterprises of the first settlers. From the beginning, the product found a ready and profitable market. A long growing season, combined with ample water and fertile soil made a production of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables easy. William S. Frazier planted a large part of his acreage to tree fruits and berries.
By 1882 Milton had a population of 400 and boasted two general stores, two drug stores, one variety store, one millinery store, a hotel, a restaurant, three saloons, three livery and feed stables, one undertaker’s shop, and many more shops. It also had a flour mill, a planer, chop, and shingle mill, a hall, a flume, a railroad station, school house, two churches, post office and express office. In 1886 the town Board of Trustees established a city government and incorporated under the name of Milton City.
The establishment of Freewater is credited to a group of men who in 1889, dissatisfied with the way things were going in Milton--one main reason being the prohibition of sales of alcoholic beverages--decided to start a sister town. The late H. H. Hanson, a Touchet farmer, was one of the “dozen-odd” people who met shortly before the turn of the century to name Freewater. “I went to Milton in 1889”, said Hanson in an interview shortly before his death, “…as the depot agent for the Northern Pacific railroad, and by that time ‘Freewater’ had had its start.” A man named Mahana – “a visionary sort of man who wanted to do big things” – had laid out a town site north of the depot when Hanson arrived.
After operating separate cities for so many years, and growing closer together over the course of those years, servicemen returning from World War II resolved to do something about a possible merger, which had been a topic of conversation for a long time. J.T. Monahan was elected chairman of the newly formed Consolidation Club. Achieving consolidation was no easy matter as feelings still ran high with many persons, and the committee worked very hard to encourage the merger. Under state law, the majority of voters in each of the two communities had to favor consolidation. In November 1950 the election was held and a new city was born. The votes cast were: Freewater - 240 for consolidation, 204 against; Milton - 464 for consolidation, 167 against. The communities became the City of Milton-Freewater, ending a duplication of governmental services in the two adjoining communities extending over a period of 61 years. J.L. Yantis was elected the first Mayor of Milton-Freewater.

Umatilla County:

Umatilla County was created on September 27, 1862, out of a portion of Wasco County. Umatilla is an Indian term meaning “rippling water” or “water rippling over sand” and has provided the name both for the county and its major river. Lewis and Clark and pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail passed through the area. The gold rush of 1862 brought miners and stock raisers to the mountains and grasslands of Umatilla County. The county expanded after the coming of the railroad in 1881 and the area was open to the development of dry land wheat farming. The fertile land of Umatilla County gives a strongly agricultural base to the county’s economy. Fruit, grain, timber, cattle, and sheep are important agricultural products. Recreation, primarily in the Blue Mountains, and tourism, most notably for the annual Pendleton Round-Up rodeo, are also important to the local economy.



 Offered by:
The Whitney Land Company

Jim Whitney, CCIM, Broker

Christopher D. Stuvland, Broker
Email Christopher

Please contact The Whitney Land Company office to schedule a showing.  A listing agent must be present at all times to tour the property.

All of the information within this sales package has been gathered from State, County and City records and officials as well as others who are deemed reliable; however, the broker and agents can not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information herein contained. It is also subject to change, prior sale or withdrawal.