Difference Between Farm and Ranch

Farm vs Ranch

In the ancient time, there were less population and, therefore, very low demand for food, clothes and other necessities. An enormous area was available as agricultural lands that were spread throughout on the earth, especially in America, Europe and Australia. As a result, ancestors’ agricultural practices were adopted accordingly. Due to the excess availability of lands, animals were reared freely in large areas for their consumption. However, with the introduction of crop cultivation, different farming systems were introduced, and they were based on various factors such as geography and culture. Ranching and farming are two different systems, which have both similarities and differences.

What is a Ranch?

Ranch is different from a farm. Although it a huge area of livestock farming, all the other practices in a modernized farm will not be taken inside a ranch. Ranch can be defined as an area for raising animals whose feeding pattern is extensive. Extensive management of livestock describes a feeding pattern with free ranging and grazing pattern. In this method, animals are allowed to find their feed under a free supervision. Livestock species such as cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat were raised in these ranches as ranchers wanted to obtain final products as meat, milk or wool. Ranching system can be defined as an ancient agricultural practice where the people were not that much industrialized or private landowners. Therefore, there were no fences around those ranches earlier. Most of the lands were government lands whilst few of them were owned by very rich landowners in the state. Some of the ranches were engaged in a small amount of farming activities, as they were arable or irrigated. With the increasing population, the demand for crop production was increased. As a result, those lands, which were utilized as ranches, were replaced by crop farms. Today, some of the large areas of livestock farming are called as ranches, but they can be also named as large-scale animal farms.

What is a Farm?

The collective activities done in a farm is called farming. Farm is the area where farming is done. Farming can be related with crops or livestock including aquaculture. Therefore, farm can be a land either river, lake or a sea. Purpose of maintaining a farm can be varied depending on the cultivation and rearing animal type. Orchards, dairy farms, market gardens, fish farms, plantations and estates are some of the common types of farms. Plantations and estates are normally large areas of cultivations that are supervised by residential labors. Most of the time, they reside near the estate as colonies.


What is the difference between Farm and Ranch?

• Ranch is an ancient system of rearing livestock but still it is practiced in some parts of the world.

• Ranges have no fence and no geographical dividing marks, but farms have clear fences or separations from the other lands where the purpose of usage can be varied from livestock rearing, to crop cultivation.

• The area of the ranch is normally very large, and most of them are owned by the government or large business owners. But a farm can be a small area or a large area which may own by a private owner, company, government or a community.

• In a farm, there can be various management systems varying from extensive to highly intensive but, in a ranch, the most prominent system is free ranging under low supervision.