Cattle, horses and sheep are largely reared in the southern prairie region on ranches or smaller holdings.
The open plains, "mesas," and plateaus of the north support large herds of cattle, and several cattle ranches have been established on the Meta and its tributaries.
These first appeared in large numbers in the lower part of the Humboldt Valley in the summer of 1906, and in October and November 1907 it was estimated that they numbered on certain ranches from 8000 to 12,000 on every acre.
Before the Civil War of 1895-1898 the capital invested in sugar estates was greater by half than that reprerented by tobacco and coffee plantations, live-stock ranches and other farms. Since that time fruit and live-stock interests have increased.
In 1884, partly because his political life seemed at least for the immediate present to be at an end, partly on account of the freedom and activity of out-of-door life, he bought two cattle ranches near Medora on the Little Missouri river in North Dakota, where he lived for two years, becoming intimately associated with the life and spirit of the western portion of the United States.
The exclusion had much to do with making the huge single crop ranches unprofitable and in leading to their replacement by small farms and varied crops.
Sheep and cattle are raised extensively on ranches in the semi-arid regions, large herds of cattle are kept on lands too wet for cultivation in the western counties, and stock-raising and dairying have become important factors in the operation of many of the best farms. The acreage of wheat was 810,000 in 1909 and the crop was 16,377,000 bushels.
A large part of the Great Plains to the east of the Rockies was taken up as farms in the decade 1880 1890; abandoned afterwards, because of its aridity, to stock grazing; and reconverted from ranches into farms when a system of dry farming had proved its tillage practicable.
There are large cattle-ranches on the islands supplying nearly all the meat for domestic consumption, and cattle-raising is second in importance to the sugar industry.
Agriculture had its beginning in wheat-raising on great ranches, from 50,000 even to several hundred thousand acres in extent.
Stock ranches, tobacco plantations, and hay and grain farms, average from Boo to 530 acres, and counteract the tendency of dairy farms, beet plantations, orchards, vegetable gardens and nurseries to lower the size of the farm unit still further.
In a desperate battle, the natives were defeated with great slaughter, and the territory surrounding the town was divided into ranches, in which the conquered natives had to labour.
Both cattle and sheep ranches in the region east of the Cascade Mountains have been considerably encroached upon by the appropriation of lands for agricultural purposes, and the cattle, also, have been forced to the south and east by the grazing of sheep on lands formerly reserved for them; but the numbers of both cattle and sheep on the farms have become much larger.