In our modern, highly industrialized society, many of us may associate farms and ranches with the past, long before the days of smartphones and online shopping. Unless you live in a fertile, non-metropolitan area, you may have never even seen a farm or ranch in real life. But the truth is, farms and ranches are plentiful and are still vital to both the global and U.S. economy. In fact, there may be a cattle ranch for sale near you without your knowing it!
And it makes sense that farms and ranches are still thriving. After all, where else would all of our milk, produce, and meat come from? Sure, unless we frequent farmers markets we might feel a few degrees of separation from the actual fields where our food is first grown, but we still depend largely on the metaphorical and literal fruits of them.
Farms All Over.
There are over 2.2 million farms in the U.S. The states with the most agriculturally-based economies are California, Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Illinois. California in particular is the national leader in terms of its crop production. The state produces 66 different crops, including almonds, dates, raisins, pomegranates, and more!
Nebraska contributes majorly to the world economy with its agricultural exports. The state has exported $23 billion in agricultural goods worldwide. Farming also makes up a significant portion of Texas’ economy. One in seven working Texas residents have a job related to agriculture. Texas also leads the U.S. in its value of farm real estate.
Farms vs. Ranches.
The words “farm” and “ranch” are often used interchangeably. Farms and ranches are different things, however. The simplest distinction between farms and ranches deals with what is produced there. Farms generally deal with crops while ranches generally focus on livestock. This classification is imperfect, however, since most farms also have livestock and most ranches also produce vegetables and other crops.
To further clarify the distinction, farms are generally smaller whereas ranches are larger, more open operations. The increased space is better suited for a larger amount of livestock, which ranches typically focus on more. Also, the crops grown in a ranch are primarily used to sustain the livestock, as opposed to the crops produces on a farm, which are primarily meant to be sold and consumed by the human population.
If you’re interested in the business and lifestyle of farming, you can probably find a farm or cattle ranch for sale fairly easily with an online search.