Farm or Ranch Qualification

Colorado Statutory Provisions

  • ". . . A parcel of land, whether located in an incorporated or unincorporated area and regardless of the uses for which such land is zoned, that was used the previous two years and presently is used as a farm or ranch, as defined in subsections (3.5) and (13.5) of this section ...." 39-1-102(1.6)(a)(I)(A),C.R.S.
  • " ‘Farm’ means a parcel of land which is used to produce agricultural products that originate from the land's productivity for the primary purpose of obtaining a monetary profit." 39-1-102 (3.5), C.R.S.
  • “ ‘Ranch’ means a parcel of land which is used for grazing livestock for the primary purpose of obtaining a monetary profit. For the purposes of this subsection (1 3.5), "livestock" means domestic animals which are used for food for human or animal consumption, breeding, draft, or profit." 39-1-102(13.5),C.R.S.



A farm must have agricultural products grown in the soil. Anything grown above ground in beds or containers is considered other agricultural and not qualifying. It must have the appearance of a farm, not the typical residential garden. Horticulture operations that would qualify for an agricultural designation include sod farms, tree farms, orchard operations and floriculture where the products are planted directly in the soil, grown, harvested and sold for the primary purpose of obtaining a monetary profit. The occasional removal and planting of trees does not qualify as a tree farm for the agricultural designation. Tree farms are usually areas where trees are planted in rows, cultivated, trimmed and given periodic applications of fertilizer and pesticides.


A ranch must have agricultural animals that graze on the land, which is primarily used for such purposes for the production of profit. Examples of animals that typically qualify include cattle; llamas or alpacas (either for breeding or wool production); sheep (for food or wool), horses (horse breeding or draft use only); and goats (for food or milk). Some examples of non-qualifying agricultural activities include bees (apiaries); chickens or exotic birds; hogs; pleasure horses; and horse boarding.