The United States is a very large country. That goes without saying. Just a quick look at a map will show even the most far away visitor how massive our land mass is. When looking at that land mass, it’s not always apparent how disparate it can be from state to state, region to region. Many people from the east coast, for example, may not know how beautiful and potentially profitable a ranch can be.
A cattle ranch is the type of ranch most people think of when they hear the word ranch. They think of the old westerns in the movies, or maybe City Slickers. But there are many ways in which a ranch can be a comfortable business venture even in today’s economy. America’s population continues to grow every year, and states like Montana, replete with ranching opportunities, is growing quite rapidly. It is estimated that the population of Montana will grow 14.1 percent in the thirty years from 2013 to 2043.
In today’s world, the business of ranching is not exclusively for the traditional cattle ranch farmers you might expect to be grinding out a living in the west. Ranches can be utilized in many different ways. Farms and estates for sale can signal the potential for all sorts of ideas for business. Vacation destinations have become a popular niche for the cattle ranch. Fly fishing excursions utilize the land on many different ranches throughout the country and hunting outings have their seasonal appeal to many avid hunters who do not have access to the land like many farms and ranches do. With this kind of private land availability, outdoor vacations and getaways make for a very fine use of land that once had a much different use.
It was really in the late 1980s that the move to purchase large cattle ranches and farmland became popular. Media mogul Ted Turner bought the 100,000 plus acre ranch southwest of Bozeman for $20 million in 1988, breaking the mold for land acquisition at that time. This purchase signaled the reality that ranching and farming were becoming a way of life that would have to change with the times. Learning to adapt to the present day world and offering a change of product to a newly developing market has become the benchmark for survival for many ranchers.
Traditional farming and ranching work is no longer in demand the way it once was. In fact, jobs for ranchers, farmers, and other agricultural workers is expected to decline between 2014 to 2024 by two percent. But that doesn’t necessarily signal the beginning of the end for the cattle ranch.
The more people who move to the cities the less there are in the country. But that doesn’t mean they will stay away for good. In fact, many city dwellers will tell you that they crave the opportunity to get away from the bright lights and the big city to see the vast countryside that is the majority of America. For a cattle ranch that is struggling to make ends meet, developing itself as a place for guests with activities such as cattle driving, fly fishing and hunting, could turn things around for the better in no time.