"The difference is a rancher raises livestock for consumption and/or it's by-products, and at times also grows the feed for them.
A farmer works with the soil, growing crops for both people and animals.
Usually farmers have some livestock, but not to the extent that a rancher does."
Several dictionary definitions of a ranch said:
"1. An extensive farm, especially in the western United States, on which large herds of cattle, sheep, or horses are raised.
2. A large farm on which a particular crop or kind of animal is raised: a mink ranch."
Several definitions of a farm:
1. a tract of land, usually with a house, barn, silo. etc., on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood.
2. land or water devoted to the raising of animals, fish, plants, etc.; a pig farm, an oyster farm, a tree farm.
3. a similar, usually commercial, site where a porduct is manufactured or cultivated; a cheese farm, a honey farm.
According to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary 2nd ed., (c) 2004:
Farm: noun (1) an area of land, and the buildings on it, used for growing crops, rearing animals, etc. (also attributive: farm machinery, farm workers). (2) A place of establishment for breeding a particular type of animal, growing fruit, etc. (fish farm, mink farm). Verb (1a) a transitive use (land) for growing crops, rearing animals, etc. (1b) transitive be of a farminer, work on a farm. (2) transitive breed (fish, etc.) commercially.
Ranch: noun (1a) a cattle breeding farm esp. in the western US and Canada. (1b) a farm where other animals are bred (mink ranch, aquaculture ranch). Verb (1) intransitive run or work on a ranch. (2) transitive breed or rear (animals) on or as on a ranch. (3) transitive use(land) as a ranch.
And then I found this answer....
"What really seems to set the words apart is where it's localed. People rarely have a farm in the west and there are very few ranches in the east."
So, now that you've had your agricultural lesson today and you may or may not be more bumfuddled (that's what happens when I start thinking...sorry) than ever, what do they call these places in the area where you live?
Wherever you call home, be thankful for farmers and ranchers today ~