From the Ground Up: Cattle ranchers embrace new technologies

KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning(Recurring)
Updated: Sep. 28, 2023 at 6:00 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Austin Brown III, a fourth-generation cattle rancher, still works his herd the old-school way, on horseback. Yet it’s his willingness to adapt to new technologies that is the secret to his success.

“We have kept a lot of the old ranching traditions and the ranching way of life in our ranching operation,” Brown said. “I can think of hundreds of folks just like us that continue to do that.”

Though Brown embraces all the time-tested methods handed down by his forefathers, he also says that keeping up with new technologies is critical to the survival of all ranching business.

“While we embrace and enjoy and try to save some of these old traditions, if you have too many traditions, your [unwillingness] to change can get you into trouble, and can put you out of business.”

The result is that Brown’s ranch, and others like it, possesses the most up-to-date systems. It leads to unprecedented efficiency.

“I can ride down the feed alleys of our feed yard with my phone, and can look at cattle and pull up histories of them,” he said. “Everything is in my pocket now, as opposed to having to go back to the office and pull out a Big Chief Tablet. We’ve been doing these things for years, but the latest and greatest technologies are here, and we’re using them every day.”

Turns out, Brown says that his attentiveness toward new technologies is a tradition handed down by his father and grandfather.

“My grandfather and my father were very, very progressive in their thoughts. We did all our cattle work on horseback, but they were always the first to embrace new technologies for the reason of trying to make ourselves more efficient and more effective in a shrinking cattle business.”