Farm vs. Ranch: Differences And Similarities Between A Farm And A Ranch

People get confused and tend to ask every now and then, what is a farm or what is a ranch? Are the two terms identical? We somehow keep in mind that both terms are interchangeable when in fact they are not. We know a lot of farms and many ranches all over the world yet we’re not able to distinguish the differences between these two terms.

What Is A Farm?


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A farm produces various kinds of crops and rears animals. Farms are also smaller compared to ranches, but it does not mean that farms are producing less or the work there is much lighter.

People operating on a farm are called farmers. A farm encloses their animals so that their growth would easily be monitored by the farmers; the animals are then fed and monitored regularly. The same thing happens to agricultural products. They are planted together, watered and fertilized frequently by the farmers.

There are various management systems varying from extensive to highly intensive ones. Farms can be owned by a single person, a family, a community, a company or even a corporation.

What Is A Ranch?


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A ranch is also a type of farm, but it is much larger in land area. It is devoted primarily to the practice of ranching, raising grazing livestock such as cattle or sheep for meat or wool.

People operating on ranches are called stock growers, cattlemen or ranchers. It is a free ranging under low supervision of farming. Ranches have no fences and no geographical dividing marks. Animals such as sheep and cattle are usually set loose on a large property to gaze on the field.

A ranch usually handles a single type of animal but at an enormous quantity. Ranches are common in North America, Australia and Canada where cattle, sheep and other animals are bred. Other animals included in some ranches are Elk (Wapiti), American Bison, and Ostriches.

What Are The Differences Between Farm And Ranch?




Farms produce different kinds of agricultural products and rear animals. Farming also includes:

  • Commercial - consist of growing crops, raising animals for meat, eggs and dairy, raising fishes, or a combination of these.
  • Poultry - raise chickens and turkeys for meat consumption, but sometimes chickens are raised for eggs.
  • Orchards – a type of farm that produces tree fruits or nuts.
  • Vineyard - a farm where wine or table grapes are produced.
  • Aquaculture or Aqua farming - it produces marine lives such as fishes, corals, molluscs and crustaceans.

Ranches does not produce crops, it mainly focus on the practice of animal ranching. Animals being ranched:

  • Cattle (For meat)
  • Sheep (Wool used for clothing)
  • Elk (Hunting and horns)
  • American Bison(Hunting and meat)
  • Ostriches (Eggs and meat)


Farms are located all over the world, it can even be found in someone’s backyard.

Ranches are popular on countries like United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia.


Farms are not very popular with tourism

Ranches offer different kinds of tourism and activities such as horseback rides, cattle drive and guided hunting. Ranches that earn their income through tourism are called guess ranchers or dude-ranchers.


On a farm they are called farmers.

On ranches they are called stock growers, cattlemen or ranchers. Farms are generally smaller than ranches.

Farmers have to spend more time per acre on their land to plant, grow and harvest crops. In comparison, ranchers spend their time gathering, moving and working with their livestocks; implementing fences and watering systems in a fashion that maintains or improves the native condition of their land. Farmers divide their operation up by fields or paddocks, while it is pastures for ranchers.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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1 comment
Gene says Nov. 2018


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