Paramount Network’s Western series ‘Yellowstone’ follows John Dutton III, who runs the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, established by his ancestors. John fights several challenges that threaten the operation and existence of the ranch. When Market Equities arrive in the state of Montana to build a whole city in the wilderness of the Treasure State, John stands against them to protect his ranch and the way of life in Montana. John fights his battles as the custodian of the Dutton Ranch, which made him not only one of the most influential but also the wealthiest individuals in the state. If you are eager to know more about the worth of the Dutton patriarch, here’s what we can share! SPOILERS AHEAD.
John Dutton’s Net Worth, Analysed
John Dutton is revered as one of the wealthiest individuals in the state of Montana. John’s worth most prominently lies in the value of Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, which he has inherited from his ancestors. Although the Dutton Ranch’s value hasn’t been explicitly stated in the series, there are enough hints given for us to calculate the same. According to Chief Thomas Rainwater, the Dutton Ranch is as enormous as the size of the state of Rhode Island – the smallest US state. Since Rhode Island covers an apparent area of 776,900 acres, let’s assume the Dutton Ranch’s area is roughly 700,000 acres.
When Market Equities eye the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, they evaluate the value of the land and offer John $10,000 for an acre. Following Willa Hayes’ valuation, it is easy to assume that the whole Dutton Ranch is worth $7.76 billion. Well, that’s slightly misleading. Hayes’ valuation was only for 50,000 acres of prime land inside the Dutton Ranch — it wasn’t for the whole land mass.
A better way to find out the real valuation of Dutton Ranch is to consider the real-life sales of ranches. Billionaire Stan Kroenke bought the WT Waggoner ranch, Texas, for reportedly around $725 million. Since the WT Waggoner ranch covers around 512,000 acres, an acre of the ranch was valued at around $1416. Similarly, in September, an 80,000-acre Climbing Arrow ranch near Bozeman, Montana, was listed for sale for $136 million. That’s $1700 per acre.
Going by the above examples, let’s assume that Dutton Ranch is valued at $1500 per acre. That brings the total valuation of the Ranch to $1.05 billion. Since he has 100% ownership of the ranch, we can estimate John Dutton’s net worth to be roughly $800 million — after deducting taxes on the sale of the ranch. That’s pretty astounding by any measure.
One thing to keep in mind here is that even if Dutton Ranch is valued at close to a billion dollars, John’s net worth and income are two drastically different matters. Even if he is worth millions, he only earns whatever he gets from running the ranch, which isn’t much. Throughout the five seasons of the show, John has repeated several times that he will not sell the land, which ironically makes him likely the “poorest wealthiest businessman” in Montana.
Whatever John earns from running the Dutton Ranch doesn’t make him rich — at least not yet — since he is spending the same money to cover the expenses of running the ranch. That’s also the reason why Beth Dutton and Jamie Dutton ask John to consider selling the ranch before he loses it altogether. The land and inheritance tax further trouble John, leaving him with not much money to use for his personal needs. In addition to the ranch, John’s other source of income must be the money his horses generate. In the fourth season, Travis Wheatley uses several of John’s horses to generate money by attending several horse shows and Jimmy sends the same to the Dutton Ranch.
To conclude, John is worth hundreds of millions worth, but he doesn’t have much money in his bank to spend. According to co-creator Taylor Sheridan, this financial conflict John faces as a rancher is one of the elements placed at the heart of the show.