Category Archives: Industry News
Agriculture is a major driver of the U.S. economy, and the need for food is only going to increase as population size increases—both at home and around the world. In the United States, we are fortunate to have a diverse and bountiful land ideal for all manner of livestock and crops to flourish, making running a ranch a potentially lucrative venture.
Many people dream of moving to the country but have no idea how to be a rancher or where to start looking for property.
What is a Ranch?
Traditionally speaking, a ranch is an area of land used for agricultural purposes, but these days, many ranch owners diversify their operations and run successful sports clubs or dude ranches.
One thing all ranches have in common is that the owners or workers will spend a significant part of each day outside, tending to the land and property. On a typical cattle ranch, this can involve:
- Tending the cattle
- Doing maintenance jobs such as building fences or repairs to irrigation channels
- Planting crops
Regardless of the size of the ranch, there are three pieces of advice that any prospective rancher will benefit from knowing.
A Job Unlike Any Other
Make no mistake, running a ranch is tough work, but the ability to spend long days outside with nature and seeing something you have nurtured grow before your eyes is truly fulfilling work. So, it is important not to consider operating a ranch a “job,” but rather as a way of life—one that will never get boring. The sheer variety of work required will keep things fresh.
If you plan to work the land yourself, knowledge of land cultivation will be a major asset, as will the ability to operate heavy equipment like tractors. This experience can be gained through various agricultural schools, but it isn’t essential if you don’t plan to manage the livestock operation yourself.
Build a Community
Ask any experienced rancher, and this is likely to be the first piece advice that they will give you, especially if you are new to the game. From the moment you start looking at properties, it is important to put the feelers out amongst the local community to gain insider knowledge about the local area.
It is vital that you build relationships with the local farming community as a spirit of cooperation is extremely valuable when you encounter problems or need an extra pair of hands. Also, as a new rancher, it might be worth considering a ranch management team that is familiar with the local area and who have already established relationships. This can significantly aid in the transition from the outside world to ranch life.
Expect the Unexpected
No matter what capacity you work in on a ranch, it is best to expect the unexpected, as you are living directly with nature. Nature marches to the beat of its own drum. It is, therefore, critical that you have a flexible approach to your day-to-day management and that you or your partner are armed with excellent problem-solving skills.
Across the ranch, small changes can have far-reaching consequences. Maybe you have some unexpected visitors in the form of flora or fauna that could cause damage to your cattle, or it could be that some unusual weather systems have caused damage to your fences or caused trees to fall. All of these things will need to be dealt with quickly and efficiently, but this lost time can affect harvests,as well as the feeding habits of your cattle.
The beef market reached record highs in 2014, but that’s all in the rearview mirror. Now, farmers are looking forward to the market outcome this year, and outlook has been mostly optimistic. According to former Oregon Cattlemen’s Association president Bill Hoyt, although June beef prices weren’t as high as a year ago, they are still considerably better than the years that preceded 2014. Read the rest of this entry
Philip Anschutz, one of the richest men in America, with over $12 billion in assets, is seeking to build the nation’s largest wind farm in his Wyoming ranch, a 500-square-mile high-desert expanse. As the owner of the Power Company of Wyoming, Anschutz seeks to generate power with the wind farm and ship it to California—a potentially huge market for renewable energy—via transmission line. Read the rest of this entry
A growing number of people appear to like the idea of ‘going home’ to a farm or ranch. This is the reason tours and weddings held at such locations are all the rage nowadays. In fact, some farmers and rural folk have started hosting such events on their properties to generate additional income. Read the rest of this entry
People have a responsibility toward their environment. They are obligated to keep that community as healthy, diverse, resilient, and productive as possible, ensuring that they carry out their activities in the most sustainable ways. This is the idea behind land stewardship. Read the rest of this entry
Looking for pristine Wyoming ranches for sale with the best water quality? Then look no further than those located at Jackson Hole. The locale’s water—courtesy of The Aspens Water and Sewer District—recently won in a water taste contest held by the Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems at its annual trade show. Read the rest of this entry
The Utah Legislature recently passed HCR 8, dubbed as the Concurrent Resolution on Carbon Sequestration on Rangelands. This resolution—authored by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab and David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, and signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 25, 2015—emphasizes that soil sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in forest and rangeland soils is the Beehive State’s primary approach regarding any federally initiated efforts in dealing with global climate issues. Read the rest of this entry
Drought is agriculture’s worst enemy. A major water shortage can put food production—from corn to cattle—to a total standstill. California should be a wake-up call for the rest of the country to prepare a long-term plan to mitigate its effects. As it stands, it’s unlikely for this year’s drought to end anytime soon. Read the rest of this entry
Ranches are a great place to retire. Wyoming is a great place to retire. Therefore, Wyoming ranches for sale are a godsend.
The latest study by Bankrate ranked all 50 states by their cost of living, crime rate, community well-being, healthcare quality, tax rate, and weather. Wyoming came out on top due to its low crime rate, low tax rate, and great weather. Of the top ten states, Wyoming and eight others are landlocked, meaning the best places aren’t always beaches. Read the rest of this entry
Collaboration is an important part of any industry, and recently, it has been reiterated for the agricultural sector of Colorado. In the recently concluded Colorado State University Agricultural Innovation Summit, the need for collaboration to secure the state agriculture’s future was the theme of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s speech, and the participants surely got the message. Among his other points, Hickenlooper highlighted that agriculture businesses and the rest of the Coloradans need to work together to effectively manage the state’s water resources, which is indispensable in the industry.