New ranch owners sift through local ideas, working to create a community venue
ASHLAND, Ore. — KOBI A 140 acre ranch in Ashland could soon be converted into a hotspot for food trucks, a theme park or maybe a community garden.
Formerly known as the family owned Billings Ranch, the Medella Bison Ranch could become a venue with a hub of activities for the community to participate in.
“We’re getting back to our roots and getting back to land and it’s a beautiful piece of property, it’s very tired, it’s been neglected over the years we’re cleaning a lot of stuff on it,” said Thaddeus Gala.
The new owners, Thaddeus Gala and Rebecca Blust, are using a contest to gather ideas for what they can add to enhance the ranch.
The couple is offering a first place cash prize of $2,500.
“The whole concept of putting things out for prizes is you get so much awesome intellect, ideas, concepts, much more than we could ever come up on our own to make the world a better place,” Gala said.
So far, the owners say they’ve received around 100 ideas.
“It’s gonna be years in the making for some of the ideas people have submitted or even a combination of the ideas. We’re trying to blend our ideas with others to make it a win for the community and everyone long term,” Gala said.
The ranch sent out a letter to the neighborhood discussing all options, including a motocross race track, asking if neighbors will help chip in.
Neighbor Craig Anderson is happy the owners are getting the community involved in the new era of the ranch.
“I liked his approach of asking people, you know, what’s your idea for this?” said Anderson.
The owners say they’re doing their best to accommodate what everyone wants.
“You can’t please everyone unfortunately, I mean we have a group of people saying we should make the property into agriculture, and make it food producing. Then we have another camp saying you need to turn this into affordable housing because we need housing,” said Gala.
He says they will choose an idea sometime next week.
For more information on the property or contest, visit medellabisonranch.com.