Gabe Brown didn’t have the traditional upbringing of most ranchers today. He grew up in Bismarck, but was interested in production agriculture at a young age. He began working for area ranchers while he was in high school and was active in FFA. Gabe says he’s living his dream and encourages young people to pursue their goals, no matter how difficult it may seem.
Gabe attended Bismarck State College for two years and completed his Animal Science and Agricultural Economics degrees at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. Shelly has a business degree that she puts to good use managing the ranch’s record keeping.
Gabe and Shelly Brown married while in college and in 1983, invested their life savings in a group of Angus heifer calves. They ran these heifers on shares with Shelly’s father, Bill Voegele, until they graduated. After college, they ran their cattle on 560 acres of rented land and started AIing to Gelbvieh sires, building the herd they have today. In 1991, they purchased 640 acres from Shelly’s father and leased an additional 1,280 acres. This was the opportunity they had been waiting for. Since that time they have purchased another 760 acres and leased an additional 1320 acres, bringing the total to the 6,000 acres they operate on now.
When Gabe and Shelly first took over, they could run 65 cow/calf pairs and 15 yearlings on three pastures. Today, this unit along with the additional 820 acres supports 250 cow/calf pairs and 50 to 250 yearlings. Brown divided the original three pastures into 38 smaller paddocks to support a planned grazing grassfed system, enhancing forage production in harmony with nature. A big focus of Gabe Brown's operation is on the use of cover crops to extend the grazing season and improve soil health. The Brown Ranch now has a number of years of data on the improved soil fertility from the use of cover crops and rotational grazing.
In this interview with Gabe Brown, we discuss how you to can see a 400%+ increase in carrying capacity on your place through the use of cover crops and rotational grazing whether you live in the North, South, East or West; Gabe has a suggestion for you! Simply click the buy button below for immediate access for a training that will have a huge impact on your operation.