Heritage, Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 1994 Page: 8
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A young quarter horse culled and ready for a turn in the auction ring at the R.A. Brown Ranch horse and bull sale, held annually in the fall near Throckmorton.
R.A.'s interest in greyhounds, coon dogs,
and bird dogs led to his gaining prominence
as a breeder of quality hunting dogs.
He enjoyed using the greyhounds to run
coyotes and even had a truck specially
constructed with cages with quick-release
doors to enable his dogs to get the jump on
coyotes spotted as he was driving in his
R.A. also became a leading proponent
of sound land management. In the 1950s
he began the practice of grubbing mesquite
trees and clearing out prickly pear cactus,
the two major parasitic plants in the area.
This practice would grow in prominence
later but was uncommon at the time. In
one pasture, R.A. left only one large mesquite
tree near the road as a conversation
When R.A. died in 1965, management
of the ranch passed to his son Rob. Rob, a
1958 graduate of Texas Tech University
with a degree in Animal Science, with the
help of his wife Peggy Donnell Brown,
herself the daughter of pioneer stock in
this region, moved the ranch into a modem
mode by instituting a number of changes
in operation. He was strongly influenced
by association with Dr. Dub Waldrip,
manager of the Experimental Ranch located
between Throckmorton and
Seymour. Rob began an active crossbreeding
cattle program, continued the
horse program, became active in range
management, and moved into public sale
of Brown Ranch livestock.
As early as 1965 Rob had begun experimenting
with cross-breeding Herefords.
First he worked with Brown Swiss cattle in
order to develop a mother cow that would
give more milk to grow a better calf. When
he found the he was being penalized because
of the brindle and sometimes strangely
colored offspring, he looked further and
discovered the merits of the Simmental, a
breed whose coloration fits more into the
patterns of the Hereford. He began extensive
cross-breeding with Simmental and in
1974 became president of the group. During
his tenure the organization added 3,000
new members and now ranks as the third
most prevalent breed of registered cattle
in the United States. In addition, the
Browns also breed Red and Black Angus,
as well as Simbrah and Senepol, and have
become highly respected suppliers of excellent
Rob continued the active horse breeding
program that by the late 1960s ranked
among the top 25 producers of fine horses
in the United States, even though the
ranch did not compete in cutting, halter
competition, or racing. Stock that they
sold to those who did compete in these
activities gave them this mark of success.
Being warned by his mother how much
time R.A. had spent with his horses, Rob
reduced the number of brood mares from
35 to 30. He continues in the proud history
of the Browns, and sale of his horses has
continued strong. He also travels widely in
support of the work of the A.Q.H.A.; he is
8 HERITAGE * WINTER 1994
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 1994, periodical, Winter 1994; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46807/m1/8/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.