Ranch History

T.D. Steele was born in West Virginia and received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University. After serving three years in the U.S. Navy, he earned his master's degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and became a real estate developer.

T.D.'s father, Byron Steele, was responsible for his start in the Angus business. They formed a partnership, which was powered by a respect for each other, for nature, for the Angus breed, and for genetic improvement.

Since 1950, the Steeles have operated Lynn Brae Angus near Roanoke, VA and maintained an active membership in the American Angus Association. Son Roger, joined him in the business in 1980. Active promoters of beef cattle performance testing, they helped establish the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association in 1955.

In 1990, they were honored by that Association as the Seedstock Producer of the Year. After devoting nine years of leadership to the American Angus Association, T.D. was elected president in 1995.

In 1987, they expanded their operation with the purchase of property near Maple Hill, KS, part of which was formerly known as Mill Brae Ranch.

That same year Mark Nikkel was hired as the herdsman and in 1990 he assumed the day-to-day management of the operation. In 2001 T.D. and Roger offered Mark the opportunity to join the operation as a partner and Mill Brae Ranch LLC was formed.

The foundation females at Mill Brae trace back to those highly productive Lynn Brae dams of earlier years. Females raised by the operation before 1996 carry either the LB (Lynn Brae) or MB (Mill Brae) prefix. After that date, the females have carried the Mill Brae prefix just as our bulls have. Registrations were previously recorded under the Lynn Brae Associates membership and starting in 2005 all cattle will be registered under the Mill Brae Ranch LLC membership. A continual emphasis has been placed on an intensive AI program utilizing high accuracy sires which offer exceptional performance and carcass data.

Each year more than 90% of the calf crop will be AI sired by some of the breed's most popular and influential performance sires. Females having above average performance have been retained in the herd as replacements with pedigrees stacked as deeply as any in the breed. Bulls were marketed annually by private treaty until 1995 when the first Mill Brae Ranch performance sale was held. Since that time, we have been fortunate to have bulls leased and purchased by two of the largest AI Studs in America along with some of the most respected Angus operations in business. The utilization of embryo transfer has allowed us to duplicate our most superior genetics.

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