Is There Really A Difference Between a Ranch and a Farm?
Most people like to think that a ranch and a farm are two interchangeable terms because they both refer to the agricultural sector. However, there are slight differences between a ranch and a farm, based on observation and the opinions of people involved in agriculture:
A key difference between a ranch and a farm is the size associated with it. People in the agricultural sector typically define a ranch as a large plot of land, hundreds and thousands of acres, in order to raise livestock or to run a plantation for commercial crops. A farm, on its part, is usually much smaller than a ranch.
Another difference is that ranches almost exclusively raise livestock (horses, cattle, etc.), while farms tend to do both livestock (on a smaller scale) and planting a variety of crops.
However, these small differences aren’t determining factors set in stone. In the end, whether the term “farm” or “ranch” is used is really up to the owner. In fact, some people have also pointed out that the location of an agricultural facility can help determine what it’s called.
The word ranch comes from the Spanish word ranchero. As such, states that have a Spanish/Mexican influence or were won from Mexico, such as Texas, are more prone to using the term ranch. In perspective, most Western states use the word “ranch”, while “farm” is the common term used in the Eastern states.