Difference between Farm and Ranch 

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Naturally, human beings need to grow or raise something to survive. Like growing crops, and raising livestock for food and other necessities. As important as these things are, a lot of us do not have a distinct understanding of what where they are grown is called – whether it is called a ranch or a farm. This piece is for the purpose of clarifying these terms with regard to the difference between farm and ranch. With the help of the comprehensive definitions and table below, it would not be hard at all to state how these two are either related or different.

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Definition of farm

A farm is defined as a piece of land dedicated to growing crops, rearing animals, and all other agricultural processes mainly for the production of food. It could be a piece of land where a lot of different crops and animals are raised, like fruits, vegetables, livestock, poultry, etc; or it could be a piece of land dedicated to a specific type of crop or animal. For instance, if the specific crop for a particular location is vegetable, then it is called a vegetable farm.

This piece of land can be small in size and can also be operated by a single person or a small group of people like a family or a community. In such cases, the products are usually more for immediate use more than they are for sale. There are also some big corporations that own really large hectares of land where they produce proceeds that are mostly for sale or to be used as raw materials.

The history of a farm can be traced to as far back as 12000 years when the hunter-gatherer tribes in asia raised livestock for their survival. According to records, they later included crop rearing, and then trading of their proceeds. From this summary, one can tell the difference between ranch and farm stating that all ranches are farms but not all farms are ranches.

Definition of ranch

A ranch is a measure of land dedicated specifically to the rearing of livestock for the purpose of producing meat, wool, and other products. It is usually large enough to allow the animals to graze, and it is secured with some boundaries to keep them from running off and getting lost. Some examples of animals that can be raised in a ranch include cows, sheep, goat, fowls, ostrich, emu, bison, etc.

Putting ranch vs farm side by side, one can tell that it both has to do with if the land is generally for growing animals and crops or if it is dedicated particularly to livestock rearing. A ranch can be privately owned or corporately owned. This goes a long way to determine the size of the location and the type of animals to be raised in it. A ranch can be so interesting that it can be a great sight for tourists. As a matter of fact, some corporations develop ranches for this purpose, and they organize interesting activities for tourists like horseback riding, guided hunting, hiking, cattle rides, and so on.

One way to answer the question – “what’s the difference between a ranch and a farm?” – Is that a person who takes care of a ranch is known as a rancher while a person who takes care of a farm is a farmer.

Main differences between farm vs ranch

We hope the definitions and explanations above are clear enough to make you understand the difference between the two. To further disclose how these two terms vary, let us take a look at other factors that differentiates one from the other.

Basis of comparison farm ranch

Definition a piece of land dedicated to growing crops, rearing animals, and all other agricultural processes mainly for the production of food. A measure of land dedicated specifically to the rearing of livestock for the purpose of producing meat, wool, and other products.

Relationship all farms are not ranch all ranch are farms

Basic necessities – open space to be cultivated

  • Crops/seeds
  • Fertile ground – open space with grass
  • Livestock
  • Does not matter if the ground is fertile
  • Caregiver farmer rancher
  • Size can be small in size usually big enough to make a suitable grazing space
  • Boundaries not really necessary very necessary to keep the animals from running off and getting lost


At this point, it is easy to answer the question – what is the difference between a farm and a ranch? – With confidence. There is still more to it though – like, this is not all the information you will need if you are looking to start a business in any of them. In addition to their definitions, one of the most keynotes to take away from this piece is the fact that all ranches are farms, but not all farms are ranches. The former is more of a general term for rearing crops and animals, while the latter specifically deals with the rearing of livestock only.

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Difference Between Farm And Ranch . (2021, Dec 29). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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