You would think I would know that after being involved in this lifestyle for the past 10 years. However, I still catch myself using both terms to refer to what we do!
Why don't we try some visualization (I'd tell you to close your eyes at this point but if you did, you couldn't read this amazing piece of blogging!)
When you see a farmer, what do you picture? A tractor driving through a field. A combine harvesting corn. A big red barn with two draft horses, a dairy cow, pig, and three chickens?
What about a rancher? There's the iconic picture of the Marlboro Man. On a horse, in the middle of the prairie with blue skies behind him and his cowboy hat pulled down low. In the corral, branding cattle with a fire brand.
|One of my favorite pictures of Glen and Matthew.|
Let's ask Mr. Webster...Rancher: (n.) one who owns or works a ranch. Great. So what's a ranch, (n.) a large farm for raising horses, beef cattle, or sheep.
Check, check, no check.
And farmer? Farmer: (n.) a person who cultivates land or crops or raises animals (as livestock or fish)
Does hay count as cultivating land or crops? Not in my opinion...to me, cultivating land and crops means you are working in a way that you are planting seed and harvesting the resulting grain or fruit on a yearly basis. In the last ten years, I can probably count on one hand the number of times the guys have plowed or drilled seed for new grasses.
So technically, we are ranchers. (Self identity crisis solved!) And I love it.