If you’ve thought of making a living or living in vacant land, buying a ranch would be a route worth exploring. It is often seen as the perfect option for someone that doesn’t mind putting in the work to have a place that they can ultimately call home. It could be confusing to get the difference between a farm and a ranch. There are people that will use the same terms interchangeably to mean the same things. There has been an increase in the number of people buying ranches purely for commercial purposes.
Since 2010, rural land value has been going up across the United States. Even though ranchers are still expanding their land, they’re now facing competition from people that are buying land for recreational and speculative purposes. If you’re looking to buy more land, you can use legacy ranch real estate to help with the process. You’re probably wondering about what makes a ranch. In this post, we’re going to highlight some of the characteristics of a ranch and some tips that could come in handy in the purchase.
Raising Livestock For Meat Production
As much as there is no one definition of a ranch, it is often seen as a place where large livestock are kept with the intention of producing meat. It doesn’t have to be just cows because there are ranches with goats and sheep as well. Just as with farms, there are ranches that will decide to focus on one type of animal. The endgame for the rearing of the animals is meat production.
Distinctions Between Farms and Ranches
A farm could be technically a ranch but there are some key distinctions between the two options. A rancher will call their land “pasture” while a farmer will call it “field”. A farmer’s focus is to have healthy crops while a rancher is more concerned about the health of the cattle. Most ranchers will primarily be concerned about the condition of the livestock ahead of the crops.
Should You Become a Rancher?
Running a successful ranch takes a lot of hard work. It isn’t something you’d want to do if you don’t have the heart for it. It can also be a highly rewarding experience for those people that enjoy working with animals and aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves. To be successful at ranching, you’ll have to:
Know your priorities: Ranchers earn a living because they prioritize their work. You should solely focus on the success of the ranch. One of the lessons you’ll have to learn early on is differentiating between a need and want. There could be a lot of things that are competing for your attention. Every day will come with challenges which you must be prepared for.
Foster relationships: It will be hard to succeed on your own. You’ll need to foster great relationships with like-minded individuals, especially when you’re just starting out.
Save: Ranching is an expansive enterprise. There could be expenses that get you unawares. That is why it is always encouraged to save whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Livestock diseases, drought, fires, could come unannounced. If you’re not prepared for such eventualities, you could be looking at the death of your ranching career.
For those that are starting out, getting the right land should be the first priority. Doing the research on your own could be challenging. There are real estate agents that focus on ranch land. If you’re going through the process for the first time, there are things to keep in mind and they include:
The size of the land will be determined by the number of cattle you want to keep. You don’t want it to be too small as it could result in soil erosion when it is used excessively.
You want to check with the local municipality if ranching is allowed in the jurisdiction. You don’t want to find out that you’re breaking the laws after erecting the necessary structures needed for ranking. Violation of zoning laws could result in hefty fines and sometimes imprisonment.
Water will be needed to sustain the life of the plants and animals on your ranch. Look for a place that has access to water sources. You don’t want to spend a lot of money just to get water to the ranch. You need to check the local climate and if it can support plants and animals. Research on the annual rainfall levels and temperature trends.