Purchase photos

18,000-acre farm on auction block





WESKAN -- If all goes as planned, Mark Faulkner soon could start complaining about spending too much time on the telephone.

But with 40 tracts of land to sell in Wallace, Sherman and Logan counties, not to mention two counties in Colorado, the real estate agent is going to be working the phones a lot.

Together, the 40 tracts cover approximately 17,687 acres, land being sold by Hudye Farms U.S. Inc., whose headquarters is in Canada.

"We added two phone lines here," Faulkner said of taking steps to handle the bidding-via-telephone auction. "We're at six lines. We'll see if that's enough."

Today is the last day for initial bids to be submitted, but it's also the start of the actual bidding process. Bidders on particular pieces of property now will go head-to-head with other bidders on the same land.

The Ulysses-based Faulkner hopes the sale will conclude later this week, perhaps even early next week depending on how many people continue submitting bids.

Faulkner Real Estate was the firm selected last year to sell the famed Pyramid Ranch, home to Monument Rocks -- one of the eight wonders of Kansas.

While the actual phone bidding process didn't work, when the owner decided the highest bid wasn't enough, the land eventually was sold to Norton banker and farmer Norman Nelson.

The Hudye holdings were on the market as well last year, but the purchase fell through. Hudye doesn't farm the land they own in Kansas and Colorado, leasing it instead to local farmers.

The Hudye family also owns nearly 20,000 acres in Saskatchewan and has been investing in the oil boom in the Williston Basin in North Dakota.

Faulkner said Hudye's attempt to sell the land last year was complicated by it being sold as a corporation, much like the first attempt at selling Pyramid Ranch was.

"This is strictly an asset sale," he said, and the sale is by individual parcel.

There are seven parcels of land in Logan County, two in Wallace and three in Sherman.

Faulkner said there's been considerable interest.

"The market's been good," he said of land prices.