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What is the Difference Between Farming and Ranching?

What is the difference between farming and ranching? This is a question that may seem obvious to those involved in farming or ranching. However, people who aren’t may not find the answer to be so obvious. A farm and a ranch can both be described as a large piece of land that is used for growing crops and raising livestock. So, what are the factors that distinguish them?

Firstly, let’s look at what each lot of land is used for. A ranch is a specific type of farm that is focused on herding and raising hoven animals, usually cattle or sheep.  The primary purpose of a ranch is breeding, raising and selling livestock, although there might be a small farm or garden on the land. A farm on the other hand, is used for agricultural purposes. There are different types of farms, such as dairy farms and crop farms. Raw materials, for example cotton, are among the variety of things that can be produced on farms. 

In terms of size, a farm is usually smaller than a ranch. That does not mean that a ranch owner works harder than a farmer. In fact, according to Land.com, farmers tend to spend more time per acre on their land. However, farms can also vary a lot in size, for example, there is a big difference between a sustenance farm and a full-blown industrialized dairy farm. Some small farms even offer lodging and fresh meals, while others are corporate operations

A farmers main focus is the soil of their land, they want to ensure it is optimal for growing their crops. A rancher, on the other hand, has a primary focus of optimal care of the animals. In order to produce the best grass for their animals to graze, ranchers also focus a lot on soil management and rain collection. Farmers will usually spend their time planting, watering and tending to whatever it is they grow.  Ranchers will typically spend most of their time on horseback or driving four wheelers trying to herd animals to different parts of the ranch.

So now you know that farming and ranching cannot be used interchangeably and there are specific differences. However, it is important to remember that all ranches are farms, but not all farms are ranches. Farm is an umbrella term which, according to Animalcare.com, is a tract of land devoted to agricultural purposes. One thing they do have in common is the amount of work required, each involves a lot of hard work and dedication.

If you have any questions or queries about ranch real estate in Northern California or any of our ranch property listings, do not hesitate to contact us here or by phone, on 530-949-4241.

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