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If a buyer is searching for Texas ranches for sale, they've targeted the state in which ranching truly originated. Texas has a colorful ranching history that traces back to the time when Texas belonged to Spain. Mexico aquired Texas in 1821 when they won independence from Spain, but then in 1836, with a cry of "remember the Alamo," Texas won its independence and became a sovereign nation. It's flag featured a lone star, which is still featured in the state flag; thus, Texas is known as the "lone star state." In 1846, Texas was annexed to the United States.
In recent years, the demand for Texas ranches for sale has increased significantly. Horse ranches in Texas represent a $39 billion dollar industry, and this number triples with consideration of ancillary business, making Texas the number one state for horse ranching. Texas ranches for sale also represent a shift in some areas from traditional farming and ranching practices to land uses that are strictly recreational (such as hunting and fishing) and residential.
Cattle ranching has been a major Texas industry for nearly three centuries. The decline of the Spanish missions gave rise to the private raisers. The famous "cattle drives" originated in Texas after the Civil War when ranchers began to seek for new beef markets outside of the war torn south. The famous Chisholm Trail stretched from South Texas to Kansas. The Goodnight-Loving Trail was named after Charles Goodnight, whose Texas Panhandle ranch operation covered more than a million acres with over one hundred thousand head of cattle. The "chuck wagon" was name after Charles Goodnight.
Eventually the railroads replaced the cattle drives as a means to market, and by the end of the nineteenth century, Texas led the nation in production of cattle and cotton farming. Cotton remained Texas' primary cash crop into the twentieth century. In 1901, the discovery of the Spindletop oilfield near Beaumont Texas brought oil to the forefront of Texas economy, and industrialization caused a burst of urbanization and the development of major cities such as Houston and Dallas. But Texas is a big state with lots of land; ranching and farming persisted throughout the twentieth century and today still remain essential to the state's economy.
Many Texas ranches for sale offer amenities that include relatively large amounts of acreage, facilities, water development, and grazing land or access to grazing land. Some Texas ranches for sale are devoted exclusively to cattle ranching. Others are set up as horse ranches. Some are exclusive to sheep or Angora goats. But contrary to misconceptions from the days of the open range, cattle, sheep, and goats can graze successfully on the same ranch and the combination of the three is not unusual.
Longhorn cattle, being driven up the trail by the cowboy ~ this image is a part of our nation's heritage. The Texas longhorn was originally created as a cross between the Spanish "retinto" stock from Spain and other cattle breeds. The longhorn has long legs and hard hoofs and an ability to thrive in areas of poor vegetation. This plus their resistance to disease made them well suited to cattle drives. After the end of this era, breeding practices moved to heavier, faster growing stock. Today, many people breed longhorn cattle as a tribute to its wonderful heritage.
Texas is not only geographically quite large (second only to Alaska as the nation's largest state) but it is also geographically quite diverse. West Texas is dry and prone to drought with sparse vegetation, w]hile heavy humidity and dense forests cover much of east Texas. Texas ranches for sale can vary in price -- South Texas and Texas Hill Country prices can be ten times or more the price of land in the Texas Panhandle. But regardless of where, thousands of buyers have found Texas ranches for sale to be an excellent investment.