The Land Report

SPR 2012

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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58 The LandReport | S P R I N G 2 0 1 2 LANDREPORT.COM U echtritz's upbringing in Papua New Guinea was ideal preparation for his chosen career. Born in Australia, he grew up on a cattle station, the eighth of 11 children born to Papua New Guinea pioneers Alfred and Mary Lou Uechtritz. The remote setting had much to offer, both in terms of lore and lessons. During World War II, the family's plantation was occupied by the Japanese. Famed anthropologist Margaret Mead did research locally and became a close friend of the family. "In Papua New Guinea, my father was a great peacekeeper among all peoples, black and white," Uechtritz says. "Dad was called upon to negotiate everything from tribal land deals to cattle trades. I watched him intervene in fights between warring natives with axes raised and arrows flying." After studies in Australia and New Zealand, he returned to Papua New Guinea to manage a cattle station and plantation for Sir Michael Bromley and Sir Dan Leahy. "Looking back at it, we were absolutely bloody crazy. I can't believe Danny and I entrusted that entire operation to Bernie. He must have been just 17, but he was our key man. The Markham farm was the heart of our business. Each week, it's how we stocked our trading stores with beef. We brought Bernie on board as an interim manager until we could find a more senior man. Only he never left! He was in charge of hundreds of workers and millions in equipment. He developed thousands of acres of coconuts, cocoa, and oil palm. And of course we had cattle and buffalo. That boy grew up fast," Sir Michael says. Overseeing crews of plantation workers, Uechtritz acquired the negotiating skills he'd later need to broker contentious land deals. "Everything is fiercely negotiated in New Guinea, and I often found myself in the role of mediator," he says. "The price of a bride, compensation for stolen pigs, trespassing, you name it. Negotiating is negotiating, and that's some of the toughest I've done." In 2004, Uechtritz and his Texas-born wife, Annie, relocated their four children from California to North Texas. He hung his shingle with the Farm & Ranch Division of the venerable Dallas firm Henry S. Miller. Two years later, he brokered the sale of 1,700-acre HTC Ranch near Tyler, Texas. It, too, had its share of hurdles. When his seller refused to allow the buyers access to the ranch for final inspections, Uechtritz responded by hiring a seven-seat helicopter and gave them a com- plete aerial inspection of every fence and building. Afterward, he directed the helicopter to touch down on the no. 1 green at Tyler's Cascades Country Club where Uechtritz proceeded to treat his clients to a deluxe catered lunch. Not surprisingly, they closed the deal. The new owner has since developed the ranch as the Texas Rose Horse Park. Although every transaction presents its own challenges, Uechtritz finds himself drawn to properties he calls "white elephants." Whether it be a contentious divorce or a complicated bankruptcy, he has developed a knack for peeling back "the layers of the onion." At Camp Cooley, he would be tested as never before. "Bernie obviously knew ranches. He knew the iconic, unique characteristics of this property," says Robert Albergotti, a bankruptcy attorney at Haynes and Boone who represented Amegy Bank. Hortenstine Ranch Company, LLC 214-361-9191 office/ fax Blake Hortenstine, Broker/ Partner 214-616-1305 mobile Cash McWhorter, Partner 469-222-4076 mobile 2905+/- Acre DFW Hill Country Ranch 1 hour from Dallas-Fort Worth, TX on Brazos River, live creek, 12 ponds, underground water, excellent hunting/grazing, prime investment, only $3800 per acre ($11,038,886). 417+/- Acre Rolling K Ranch Best views in East TX less than 90 miles from Dallas between Van and Lindale in Smith County. Spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home, party barn, bass ponds, spring fed creek, hardwood & pine forests, and 240' elevation change. ($2,800,000). 950+/- Acre Whitetail Creek Ranch Mesquite country with prime hunting, grazing, & farming located near Olney, Young County, TX. Lodge is 6 bed/ 6 baths with 2,500+/- sq. ft. and comes fully furnished, large ponds, 2 water wells, $1,998 per acre ($1,900,000).

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