The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) presented its 2013 Pioneer Breeder of the Year award to the R.A. Brown Ranch of Throckmorton, Texas. Kelli Brown, past president of the RAAA accepted the award on behalf of the Brown family during the RAAA’s 60th National Convention Sept. 13 in Lewistown, Mont.
“There are people and ranches that become icons in this industry,” said Tom Woodward of Decatur, Texas, who presented the Pioneer Breeder of the Year award. “Rob and Peggy Brown and their family have not only become icons, but they are truly mentors, friends, confidants and people I love to be around.”
The R.A. Brown Ranch story begins in the late 1800s when Robert Alexander Brown moved to Calvert, Texas, where his son, Robert Herndon Brown, was in the cattle business. According to family records, R.H. Brown was selling bulls as early as the 1890s and, by 1895, had exported his first boat load of cattle to Cuba.
In the following decades, four generations of Browns have worked the central-Texas ranch, raising Herefords, Brown Swiss, Angus, Simmental, Simbrah, Senepol and, most recently, Red Angus stock. Red Angus were added in 1987 when R.A. (Rob) Brown, Jr., and his wife Peggy purchased the entire crop of Red Angus replacement heifers from Roy Beeby in Oklahoma.
“My father-in-law purchased those first Red Angus females sight unseen. That’s a testament to how much he thought of Mr. Beeby and the Red Angus breed,” said Kelli. The family added to their Red Angus holdings in 1997 when they traded 17 head of R.A. Brown Ranch Quarter Horses for a pick of 17 females from Jim Leachman’s elite nucleus Red Angus herd and has since grown their Red Angus herd to national recognition.
Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, R.A. Brown Ranch has continued its tradition of producing high-quality seedstock – Red Angus, Angus and Simmental – for commercial cattlemen. They implemented a cooperator herd program in 1997 to fill a growing demand for RAB genetics and also began an intensive embryo transfer program a year later for the same reason.
“Red Angus members who have made an impact on the breed by maintaining progressive genetic programs are recognized as Pioneer Breeders," said Myron Edelman, RAAA director of value added programs. “Red Angus is particularly fortunate to have these pioneers of the beef industry set standards of exceptional quality."
The 2013 RAAA Pioneer Breeder of the Year award is one in a long string of national recognition for R.A. Brown Ranch. In 1993 the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored R.A. Brown Ranch with its Seedstock Producer of the Year Award and again recognized the ranch in 2007 with its Pioneer Breeder Award. In 1999, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association named R.A. Brown Ranch one of nine Cattle Businesses of the Century. Later that year, Rob Brown received the Golden Spur Award, an honor reserved for the nation’s top rancher.