Have you found yourself browsing ranch properties for sale? Dreaming of the country life? Before you plunge into that old fashioned lifestyle, it’s probably a good idea to take a good long look at the realities of farm and ranch life.
It’s hard to believe that after many years of a competitive national tradition of agriculture, the industry is winding down. Ted Turner is remembered for breaking the mold in 1988 when he bought the 100,00-plus acre Flying D Ranch southwest of Bozeman for over $20 million.
The Western cattle ranch is a well-known symbol of the frontier and quintessential American life. It presents an idyllic picture of country life, but the realities of the fate of the farming industry is much sadder.
Not only is life on a farm or ranch hard work, but the outlook for farmers and ranchers is looking more and more bleak. Indeed, the employment of farmers, ranches, and other agricultural managers is projected to decline 2% from 2014 to 2024. The rise of commercial farming and imported foods has done nothing for the industry, so you’re likely to see more and more farm sales and cattle land sales as the years go on.
Even though traditional farming can be good for the environment in a way (light to moderate cattle grazing encourages foliage production, which benefits wildlife populations, this has not changed the fate of the industry.
Old farm sites are more likely to be used for the idyllic site of a wedding, or to host another high profile event where party attendants wax nostalgic about times and experiences they never had.
Some ways that people can support the failing farming and ranching industry in the United States is by making it a point to buy local and organic — meat, dairy, and produce. Supporting legislation and laws designed to support small farms also helps — this can prevent them from having to sell their land.
Practices that will help you will help farms and ranches — eating healthy and supporting farmers markets is really a win-win situation for everybody. So take a second to think about the economical and national implications when you see farm or ranch properties for sale!