I had the privilege this week of attending the R.A. Brown Ranch’s complete and total dispersal. Without a doubt, it was one of the best dispersal sales I’ve attended. I’m not talking about the cattle or the sale averages, though they were outstanding. Nor will I spend a lot of time talking about the historic implications and the numerous awards and accolades the ranch has earned over time.
In fact, that is why I say this was one of the best dispersals I have ever attended. Everyone in the cattle business loves dispersal sales, as there’s a little more excitement associated with a grand finale, and knowing that none of the genetics are being held back.
But most dispersals that I’ve attended had somewhat of a sad theme to them. Almost every reason for a dispersal is kind of sad, either the person is retiring and doesn’t have a younger generation to past it on to, or drought, tough economics, or even a death in the family are to blame. Whatever the reason, the entity you had come to know was going to cease to exist in any substantive way.
The R.A. Brown Ranch dispersal was radically different than the normal dispersal in that it was not the end of a book, but rather an opening to a new and probably even more exciting chapter. The dispersal was part of a planned succession plan that would position the ranch for yet another generation.
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Rob and Peggy Brown are icons in our industry. It’s rare to find an operation that’s played a significant role in three cattle breeds and in the Quarter Horse industry as well. Even rarer is that it lasted and thrived for four generations of the family. This sale was done to prepare the way for the fifth and sixth generations to add to the legacy. It was a celebration.
I know that a lot of people would write about Rob and Peggy’s legacy in terms of the cattle, the land, and their contributions to the industry. Admittedly, that is in itself an amazing legacy, but the real legacy is what the brand stands for, and for the Brown family – the past generations, the generation now taking over the helm, and the two generations preparing to carry it forward from here.
It was a validation that the values and vision that have always been part of the R.A. Brown Ranch will continue. It was also a strong reminder that our industry, as a whole, is a special business with a bright future as well.
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