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Curtis Brown Named North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Rancher of the Year

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) recently presented Curtis Brown with the 2023 Rancher of the Year Award during the NDSA’s 94th Annual Convention and Trade Show, “Welcome Home,” in Watford City, North Dakota.

Brown’s cattle-ranching story dates back to 1910 when his grandparents began building the family’s farming and ranching operation in Stutsman County near Montpelier. Brown’s parents, Richard and Beatrice Brown, and later, Curtis, who represents the third generation on the 113-year operation, and his wife, Laurie, followed in those footsteps.

“My dad raised Hereford-Simmental-cross cattle,” Curtis Brown said. “In the 1960s, he began crossing them with Charolais bulls, which was right around the time I was growing up.” They liked the vigorous, fast-growing calves and continued raising Charolais cattle.

Brown said his father had the most influence on him, helping him get his start on the farm and in the cattle operation.

“When I was about an eighth grader, my dad gifted me a heifer,” he said. “When she calved, she had a heifer and I had to decide if I was going to keep the calf or sell the calf. I wanted to build my herd, so I kept her, and, every time after, if my cows had heifer calves, I put them back into my herd.”

After Brown graduated from high school in 1982, he purchased some Charolais females and began ranching alongside his father. In the beginning of his ranching career and at the start of his married life with his wife, land became available to purchase near the Browns’ farm.

“We started buying land and making the operation more sustainable for my dad and my young family to be a part of,” Brown said. “That has turned out to be one of the biggest and best opportunities that we have had over the years, and we are so fortunate we did what we did when we did it.”

In 1985, Brown began selling Charolais bulls private treaty. Then, in 2006, he started having a public auction. Today, it is held the fourth Tuesday of March at the C-B Charolais Sale Facility just south of the Browns’ ranch.

Brown raises Charolais cattle under the family’s ranch name, C-B Charolais. He also raises commercial cow-calf pairs, backgrounds the calves and has a heifer development program consisting of commercial females sold either as pairs in their annual sale or as bred heifers by private treaty.

Curtis and Laurie Brown have two grown children, Troy (Jessica) and Heather (Lance) Dykins, and five grandchildren.

Brown’s son, Troy, works on the operation alongside him.

Brown served on the NDSA Board of Directors from 2010 to 2018. He was the NDSA Environmental Issues Committee vice chairman and the organization’s statewide rural transportation committee representative. He has also served on the NDSA Seedstock Council. In addition, he is a longtime member of the International Charolais Association and North Dakota Charolais Association.

Source : Jamestown Sun