When you think of the Texas landscape, long stretches of farmland and ranches come to mind. And with good reason — ranching is a way of life and part of the state's cultural fabric.

According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Lone Star State has more farms and ranches than any other state in America, with nearly 250,000 farms and ranches covering 126 million acres.1 In fact, in 2017, Texas farming and ranching added $25 billion to our economy in cattle, cotton, goats, horses and sheep sales, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The state is the largest cotton producer in the US and home to more than 12 million cattle.2

What Makes Texas Farms and Ranches Different?

Farms and ranches in Texas are similar to those in other parts of the country, but you will find some differences. For starters, they're large because of the vast open spaces characteristic of the Lone Star State. Ranches, which date back to the state's early days, can range from a few hundred to thousands of acres.

Texas's favorable climate is also conducive to large-scale agriculture. You'll find farms and ranches from the Gulf Coast to the rolling terrain of the Hill Country and the vast prairies of West Texas.

Many farms and ranches in Texas stay in the family, passed on from one generation to the next, with a deep tradition and respect for the land.

Ranch homes and buildings in Texas also have distinctive architecture in a traditional Southwestern style, with stucco exteriors, clay tile roofs and wide, shady porches. Windmills and water towers are common features on Texas ranches because they provide water for animals and the people who live and work on the ranch.

Challenges on the Farm: From Drought to Severe Weather

Texas farmers and ranchers also face challenges. Drought and water scarcity can have a significant impact on crop yields and farm productivity. As a result, Texas farmers have had to develop innovative techniques and technologies to manage their water resources and increase efficiency as a result.

For example, IBM and Texas A&M AgriLife worked together to give farmers insights into water usage that can bolster crop yields while decreasing economic and environmental costs. Tech solution Liquid Prep, which has been tested in Texas, provides "when to water" decision support to farmers in arid regions of the US.

Severe weather also poses challenges for Texas agriculture. The 2021 Texas freeze destroyed an estimated $600 million in crops and livestock. Citrus crops in the region were particularly hard hit, with farmers reporting that their crops were suitable only for juicing. The disaster also severely harmed winter crops such as onions, cabbage and Swiss chard, while power outages and feed shortages killed an unknown number of animals, including chicks and calves, according to The New York Times.3

Insuring Texas Farms and Ranches

Insuring Texas farms and ranches requires having a partner who understands the region and its challenges. Texas-based managing general agency Tejas American General Agency, LLC (TAGA), now part of RPS, specializes in insuring farms and ranches throughout the state.

"When providing insurance for Texas farms and ranches, it's important to consider the total insured value of the property so that if a loss occurs, the insured is adequately covered, particularly in the event of a catastrophe," says TAGA's Anita Herzog.

TAGA offers commercial, farm and personal insurance products through independent agents throughout the state. Coverages for accounts large and small include everything from the Package policy to Auto Personal and Commercial, Excess Liability, Liability only, Inland Marine, Property only, Professional Liability and Workers Compensation.

RPS is ready to help you come through for your Texas-sized client needs.

You can bet the ranch on that.

Contributor Information


1"Texas Ag Stats," Texas Department of Agriculture, accessed 17 May 2023.

2Wil Hundl, "Texas Agriculture — Growing in Many Ways," US Department of Agriculture, 17 Jul 2019.

3Severson, Kim. "Texas Farmers Tally Up the Damage From a Winter Storm 'Massacre'," The New York Times, updated 5 Mar 2021.