The agriculture business is critically important to just about everything on the planet. The United States is home to just over 2.2 million farms. The state that makes the most from the industry is California, where 66 crops are farmed. And more land will be needed worldwide for farms and ranches soon. By 2050, the planet will need at least 70% more food to feed everyone. Cattle ranches will be an important part of that equation.
In terms of numbers of calves and cattle, Texas leads the nation and it is big business there. There are almost as many cows in the state as people with 16 million. And many of those people rely on agriculture as one in seven jobs there is in that industry.
If you are interested in getting into agriculture generally and buying a cattle ranch specifically, there are things you should know first. If you are interested in hunting ranches that’s another species as well.
The Difference Between Owning a Farm and a Ranch
They look like similar creatures for sure. Both can have cows on them, for example. Dairy farms and cattle ranches are different species of agriculture business. Let’s break it down.
- They produce different products. Ranches are for producing meat and farms are for getting dairy products.
- They sell their products at different rates. Dairy sales go on all year. Ranchers sell their product, the cows, once a year.
- The animals are different. Dairy cows have less muscle and are thinner.
- They keep different hours. Dairy cows need to be milked and fed on a set schedule. Cattle on a ranch do not so the rancher schedule is more flexible.
- The land needs are different. Dairy cows don’t have nearly the space cattle on ranches do. Most of the land ranchers use if public land where the cattle graze. Dairy cows are just fed hay.
Hunting ranches are places, as the name would imply, where people go to kill their own game. The variety of animals is different and the way they are kept is a bit different, too. Hunting ranches have lodges for their guests tho stay, a feature absent on cattle ranches and dairy farms. While most farms are owned and run by families, nearly 96% are, hunting ranches are usually managed by staff.
If you are starting a hunting ranch, once you have bought the land, you need to get the lodge up. Once your land is stocked and ready, you need to put up surveillance equipment and get yourselves some animals. Typically these are livestock bought young and let mature on the ranch.
This can also be a rewarding experience but does take the added skill set of customer service that’s a bit more personal.
Regardless of the kind of ranch or farm, all of these add to the food supply and that is something the planet really needs right now.