Austin Brown III
If I was writing “The Great Texas Novel” and needed a modern cowboy hero, I don’t think I could conjure up any better main character than the real-life Austin Brown III. Part hard-working steward of the land, part chivalrous gentleman, part savvy businessman and staunch advocate for the beef community, this 4th generation rancher from central south Texas is also a hands-on father of two (Quatro and Addie) and devoted husband to Jody for the last 24 years. If the family looks familiar, it may be from their HEB commercial, “This is Your HEB Beef Department,” or in our Stewards of the Land video feature on BeefLovingTexans.com.
Ranching runs deep in the Brown family, with initial operations founded by Brown’s great-grandfather in 1924. Today the Brown Ranches run about 500 head of cattle down in Beeville, Texas, small town in the south-central part of the state with a population of about 13,000. If you’re ever driving through, Brown mentions, “Sandra’s Café on St. Mary’s Street is a great place to stop and get a burger or plate of chicken-fried steak”.
It’s no secret that the Browns do cattle, and that they do it well. But, perhaps their greatest strength is the value and stock they place on family – it’s the name and face behind every single cow in the pasture and bale of hay in the barn – and their ultimate legacy above the land and herd. Brown’s wife, Jody, was “born and raised in the saddle,” and is an accomplished horsewoman and cattle driver to be reckoned in her own right. Both of Brown’s children, Quatro and Addie (ages 19 and 14 respectively), have been homeschooled right on the ranch learning both textbook and life lessons. Chores were a part of their “education,” with the kids helping out in every aspect of ranch life from cooking meals to riding cattle alongside their parents.
Read on to find out more interesting facts about this amazing family that you represent each and every time you wear your Beef Team jersey in a race.
Education: The most important parts of ranching I learned from my dad and my grandfather. This hands-on experience was also supplemented with a degree in Agriculture Economics from Texas A&M (’93).
Hours Worked a Week: I work at least 70 hours a week, along the countless hours logged by family and a handful of trusted employees.
Vacations: The family does actually get to take vacations, however many are work-related, such as visiting customers or attending to out-of-town meetings for various agriculture industry organizations.
Agricultural Leadership: Past Texas Beef Council Board Member, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association director and a member of the Texas A&M University Department of Animal Science Advisory Council. Additionally, Brown has served in leadership roles with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
Hardest Aspect of Ranch Life: Without a doubt, dealing with weather. Ranchers are at the mercy of Mother Nature. We need rain. Rain grows grass and grass grows our cows. Drought brings such a financial burden, causing us to spend too much on feed.
Most Rewarding Aspect of Ranch Life: Being able to raise my family on a beautiful ranch in the country, homeschooling both kids, and being around as they have grown up.
Favorite Cut and Preparation: Bone-in Ribeye sprinkled with Uncle Chris’s Seasoning and grilled to medium-rare.
Hobbies: Wildlife photography and skeet shooting with plenty of opportunities for both on the Brown Ranches.