For those not in the agricultural industry, farming and ranching might seem like the same thing, but there is actually a difference. I am going to help you understand that difference and it comes down to the purpose of the land.

Definitions

A farm is an area of land and its buildings that are used for agriculture such as growing crops or rearing animals, typically under the control of one owner or manager but not always. A ranch technically is a type of farm since it is an overarching term, but ranches are usually larger than farms. Farmers spend countless hours tending to whatever it is they produce whether that be crops or a type of livestock.

A ranch is a large farm, especially in the western United States, where cattle or other animals are bred and raised. Ranches tend to have large amounts of grazing lands for the livestock, rather than the rancher providing feed for them directly at the feed bunk. Ranchers spend their time herding their livestock strategically to different parts of their land. They focus on managing, breeding, and selling their livestock to earn a living.

Differences

Farming

  • The land is used to produce crops or animals.
  • They typically use a lot of different kinds of machinery.
  • Fertile soil it the most important resource.
  • Typically use operating loans or lines of credit.

Ranching

  • The land is set aside for grazing for livestock that will be used for a variety of purposes.
  • Machinery use is limited, usually a 4-wheeler, truck, and horses for herding.
  • Grass is the most important resource.
  • Require livestock or land loans.

In a nutshell, our farmers and ranchers work endlessly to produce the food on our tables and we thank them!

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