The Mission Statement of the R.A. Brown Ranch is very clear: "We are striving to improve the efficiency of converting God’s forage into healthy, nutritious, great tasting BEEF to better feed His people". This progressive ranching operation will continue to grow as it raises more cows, kids, and Quarter Horses.
It’s rich and storied past is a tribute to the many family members and employees who have ridden for the brand.
R.H. Brown brought the first registered Hereford cattle to Throckmorton County and started selling bulls. His son, R.A. Brown, grew up working at the Fort Worth Stockyards and during the summers worked at the ranch in Throckmorton.
At the age of 15, R. A. Brown enrolled in school at Woodson, TX so that he could stay and help at the ranch through the severe drought. Feed was scarce and cows were thin going into that extremely cold winter and cows began to die. R. A. helped skin cows (instead of going to school) and hauled wagon loads of hides to Abilene, some 60 miles away, trading them for cotton seed cake to feed the remaining cattle.
R. A. Brown, a student at Texas A&M, was a member of the collegiate polo team. He quit school to return to the ranch due to his father’s declining health and economic hardships.
R.H. Brown dies from a long bout with cancer. The Great Depression hits. The family advises R. A. to give up the ranch. Instead he got his mother and his sisters to deed their parts of the ranch to him so he could borrow enough money to save it. (He managed to get the debt paid off in the 1940’s and deeded their land back to them.)
R. A. Brown marries the former Valda Thomas whose parents were also ranchers, Mr. and Mrs. D.B. Thomas.
D. B. Thomas dies and R. A. Brown assumes management of the Thomas Ranch as well as the Brown Ranch raising commercial as well as registered Hereford cattle and selling Hereford bulls.
R. A. Brown Jr. (Rob) was born and grew up working on the ranch. Picture: R. A. Brown Jr. as a child.
Ranch destocks from 900 to 125 head of cattle on 18,000 acres because of severe drought.
R. A. (Rob) Brown Jr. and Peggy Donnell marry. The Donnells, a long time ranching family, settled in neighboring Young County in 1876.
After graduating from Texas Tech Rob and Peggy return to Throckmorton to work with his parents on the ranch. Their first daughter, Betsy, was born.
Rob A. Brown was born. Rob had the foresight to start a mesquite woodchip company in Throckmorton and started marketing it for cooking to give that unique mesquite flavor.
Rob & R. A. agreed to start crossbreeding the commercial Hereford cows with Brown Swiss. A week later R. A. died from a sudden heart attack. Rob closed the wood company and took over management of the ranch.
Marianne Brown was born.
Donnell Brown was born. The crossbred calves were 100 pounds heavier at weaning, but were discounted in the market place because of the brindle, gray and dun color.
Simmental took the place of Brown Swiss in the crossbreeding program which cured the color and marketing problems, while keeping the 100 pounds of additional weaning weight and also improving percentage calf crop. The herd was bred up to purebred Simmental and started selling Simmental and Simmental Hybrid bulls.
Rob serves as the 4th President of American Simmental Association.
First Bull Sale - 115 bulls averaged $578/bull. Top selling bull brought $1175.
Simbrah was added to the herd for more heat tolerance and hybrid vigor to help customers in areas needing that factor.
Betsy Brown Bellah and her husband Jody come home to the ranch to manage the accounting, the commercial cow herd and expand the wheat farming division of the family business to 5,000 acres to be used in developing the growing bulls and replacment heifers from weaning to yearling.
Red Angus was added to the program with the purchase of Roy Beeby’s entire crop of Replacement heifers. An airplane load of Senepol cattle were imported from the Virgin Islands to be used in a planned crossbreeding program to bring heat tolerance and hybrid vigor without Brahman influence. Added benefits were better dispositions, quality grade and tenderness.
The entire Greenway Angus herd (400 cows) was purchased under the advisement of Dr. Bob Long who had been consulting for them to build the Dynamo based herd. Big cows were in demand and after bringing the cows to Texas the 100 daughters of Pine Drive Big Sky were sold which almost paid for the entire herd.
The composite Hotlander™ herd was started under the advisement of Dr. Keith Gregory at the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) & Dr. Ronnie Green at Texas Tech. Angus (red & black), Simmental, Brahman and Senepol were blended to create the ultimate hybrid for hot environments.
Rob A. Brown with his wife Talley in partnership with Rob & Jody Bellah bought an interest in a commercial feedyard where feedlot and carcass data was gathered in testing of the ranch’s top sires.
R A Brown Ranch honored as the Seedstock Producer of the Year by the Beef Improvement Federation. Donnell & Kelli Brown graduate from college and come back to the ranch to help manage the seedstock business.
Rob Brown serves as President of American Quarter Horse Association. Mariane Brown McCartney and her husband Todd return to the ranch to manage one of the seedstock cow herds.
The Ranchers Renaisance (RR) alliance was born and became one of the most successful alliances throughout the next decade. RR started with a meeting at the ranch when Rob & Donnell unveiled their vision to a group of people invited from all segments of the beef industry.
Cooperator Herd program started in order to fill the growing demand formore bulls. The Brown Gardiner Angus partnership was formed to add a franchise herd of Gardiner Angus Genetics. That same year a trade was made with Jim Leachman for our pick of 17 females from his Elite Nucleus Red Angus herd in exchange for his pick of 17 head from our Quarter Horse mares and foals.
An intensive Embryo Transfer program was started to help multiply the superior RAB genetics.
All cows on the ranch were dry-lotted and fed all winter, due to severe drought conditions.
R. A. Brown Ranch is one of nine ranches to be named NCBA Cattle Business of the Century and later that year, Rob was honored as the nation’s top rancher with the Golden Spur Award.
75% of the ranch was unusable because of drought drying up drinking water supplies.
Just before the drought breaks, R. A. Brown Ranch has a mature cow herd dispersal of their Angus and Red Angus cow herds. Embryos were implanted in commercial cows to rebuild the elite nucleus herd. The new AI and Bull Development Center was also constructed.
Browns continue their intensive embryo transfer program and start selling every 3 year old 1A Red Angus female every year.
Bull sale cancelled. Over 500 bulls were sent to slaughter. All of the registered Angus cow herd was sold to Three Trees Ranch in GA. Bred heifers, weaned heifers and embryos were kept to rebuild the Angus herd.
Rob Brown honored with the Beef Improvement Federation’s Pioneer Breeder Award. The Brown family continues to pray and persevere with steadfast commitment to their customers and to do what is rightcontinuing the legacy of the R. A. Brown Ranch.
After six years on the National Board, Kelli Brown was elected to serve as the National President for the Red Angus Association of America.
Due to severe drought conditions in the Summer of 2011, some of the registered cows were shipped to lease country in Montana. Thanks to our family friends, the Ludvigsons, for helping us find a location and labor.
In October 10 of 2012, Brown JYJ Redemption Y1334 sold for $140,000 at the 38th Annual Sale, making him the all-time high selling bull in our history.
October 9-11, 2013 — The R.A. Brown Ranch Legacy Sale, The Complete and Total Dispersal, was held at the ranch with over 1400 head of registered females offered.
December 1, 2013 — Rob & Peggy conclude a lifetime in the ranching business and effectively manage through a generational transfer to all four children. Through love and desire to see the next generation succeed, they kept the ranch in the family and the FAMILY IN THE RANCH.
October 14, 2015 — Donnell and Kelli Brown, along with their team, host the 41st Annual Bull Sale and expand their customer service by marketing over 800 commercial bred heifers, raised by their customers using R.A. Brown Ranch genetics.
R.A. Brown Ranch hosted its first annual Spring Bull Sale on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.