Ranch Life 101: What New Ranch Owners Need to Know

You often hear how much the agriculture industry has shrunk over the years, with many people opting to take on newer jobs. But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a ton of opportunity in the space. Reports show that there are still over two million farms in the United States.

Luckily, there is still some room for new people to start. A ranch is a great way to go if you want to live in the country and start a farm.

Although ranch life has a lot of pros to look forward to, there are some essential things you should know before you start. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know before starting ranch ownership.

Consider Your Location Well

Starting a ranch means you need to work with other farmers. For instance, if you decide to become a cattle rancher, you want to be near other farmers who need cattle and will do business with you.

Although you can do this when you’re father away, it makes the process harder. Transporting cattle to wherever you need them to go will take more time and money. This is even more important regarding veterinarian access, where time can be of the essence if you have a sick animal.

Try to find a ranch close to where you plan to sell. Doing this means you’ll lower your transportation costs and have easier customer access.

Examine the Land’s History

Your ranch livestock will thrive based on the land they are on. They need great soil to graze on to stay healthy. Unfortunately, not every location offers that quality.

Examine the land history of an area before you purchase it for a ranch. The soil should have a history of being good quality and supporting animals well.

Additionally, look to see if there is a history of growing crops there. If you can grow feed on-site or start a market garden, you can reduce costs and increase revenue.

The other thing to look for is the weather. If an area experiences a lot of storms, it may impact the success of your new ranch.

Think of All Your Costs

It’s not going to be cheap to set up a new ranch. Quality land isn’t cheap to come by. And when you do, you’ll need to buy a lot of it to have enough room for an effective ranch.

That’s why it’s important to consider all your costs when starting a ranch. Account for the land cost, animal cost, ongoing feed cost, employee salaries, farm and ranch insurance, and other costs.

Your goal is to determine your startup costs and how much it costs to sustain your operation. If you don’t have all the cash available upfront, you may need financing to keep your operation running. You can do this by looking for regular bank loans or taking on private investors.

Verify Zoning Laws

You can’t do whatever you want on the land you own. Local areas have rules that dictate what landowners can use the property for. Some land is for strictly residential purposes, while other land is useful as a ranch.

Verify the zone of the land you purchase. To minimize hassle, buy land with the correct zoning for a new ranch.

If a piece of land isn’t zoned correctly, you must work with the local government to make changes. Yes, it’s possible to do this if you have a piece of land you really want. But it will add startup time and be more complicated than buying land already zone correctly.

And depending on where you buy land, it can add a lot of time to the startup process.

Look for Water Rights

Some land has access to water. There’s a local creek, lake, pond, underground aquifer, or other water source. If that water is on your land, you may have exclusive access.

But not all water sources are that way. If the water is between properties, it may be considered public land and not usable for you on your ranch.

Look to see if you have water rights on your property. A local water source can help you fortify your operation and avoid spending too much cash on public water.

Water rights can be tricky, so it is worth speaking with an attorney to verify your claim and what you can do with your property’s water.

Think About the Size

Working a ranch is a hard job. You’ll usually work outside most of the day, so you’ll need stamina and strength for the work.

And the larger your ranch is, the more work you’ll have to do. Set up too large of a ranch, and you’ll need to hire more people to help handle the load.

Think about the size of the land you’re buying and how much effort it will take to manage everything. Use that information to determine the right size for your goals.

Get the Right Equipment

With how much work it takes to run a ranch, it pays to get as much help as possible. You can do a lot of that by hiring employees. However, there are still other options worth considering.

There is a lot of ranching equipment that makes things easier. For instance, you can purchase vehicles to help you move items long distances.

Look at your options for ranch equipment to see what makes sense. Consider your budget and how much use you’ll get from each item.

Prepare Yourself for Ranch Life

Getting started with country living and ranch life can be an exciting time. You’re starting a new journey in your life, making it on your own, and learning how to survive. It’s an amazing experience for people who are interested in ranch life.

However, things aren’t always positive on a ranch. You have a ton of work to do and must handle things the right way. Remember the things above when buying a ranch to ensure you’re prepared for your new life.

Do you want to learn more tips that will help you maximize your time on the land? Check out the blog to learn more tips that will help you each day.

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

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