If you have dreamed of owning a ranch or farm, you are not alone. It is an interest for many who want to own their own piece of the land and move away from the big city. But, before you shop, you should understand the difference between a farm and a ranch, as they are not the same.
Farms and ranches each generally entail a lot of property, although there are certainly smaller family farms throughout the U.S. Each involves a lot of work, yet can be very rewarding.
Many people think of a ranch as being a farm, however, farms are not ranches. A general way to look at the difference between a farm and a ranch is to consider that farms grow crops or a produce products such as eggs or milk. Ranches are meant for raising livestock, such as cattle, sheep, or goats.
What is a Farm?
Most farms require relatively flat land, good soil, and good water supply. The focus is on a smaller area where farmers work the ground, keeping it rich with nutrients, free from weeds, and keeping their crops free from pests. Farms are more labor-intensive in a small amount of area.
What is a Ranch?
A ranch can be located on rocky, mountainous ground, or the flatlands. Ranches encompass more land than farms and should have a good source of native grasses. Water must be available to meet the needs of livestock. Ranchers spend their days tending to their herd or flock, checking the fencing, looking for possible stray animals, and assuring all are well fed and without injury.
Farms and ranches require the ability to work in the great outdoors, even during inclement weather, in order to maintain the property and livestock on a daily basis.
Farm or Ranchland Investing
By the acre, farmland is usually more expensive than ranchland. However, you will generally need more land for a ranch to make a profit. The actual overall investment into the land may be equivalent for either. One thing is for sure, you will need to dedicate a lot of time to keeping up with both.
If you can and are willing to give up your day job, you can manage either yourself. You’ll need help from experts on the financial end, as well as in actual farming or ranching. For many, it is worth the expense of hiring an experienced ranch hand or farm manager. No doubt, you will need help and expertise.
Ready to Invest?
Buzz Tatom is an Advisor/REALTOR® for Engel & Voelkers in Montana. He specializes in farms and ranches. A ranch owner himself he knows the complications that a buyer or seller will go through and is able to help navigate the complicated process. Give Buzz a call or fill out his contact form and put him to work finding you the right property so you can start building memories with friends and family!