ABBA Hall of Fame – Vernon Frost

Vernon W. Frost will be inducted into the ABBA Hall of Fame on Wednesday, March 4 during the Annual Membership meeting with renowned Brahman historian Marcus Shackelford presenting the award.

Legendary Brahman breeder Vernon Frost descends from a long line of cattleman. He was the seventh child of John Miles “J. M.” Frost and Rosa Lula Bering Frost and was born on October 10, 1910.

Vernon’s father J. M. imported some of the earliest Bos indicus bulls into the United States. In 1885, he and Albert Montgomery imported two historic bulls named Khedive and Richard III from India to New Orleans, where they were bred to Richard Barrow’s cattle.

Vernon grew up around the livestock business but was wellknown for being a savvy oil man.

Under the tutelage of his older brother, C.M. “Pete” Frost, Vernon learned the oil and gas business. With monies received from oil and gas exploration he transformed 1,000 acres of Brazos Valley land in Simonton, Texas into Pecan Acres Ranch and developed an award-winning Brahman herd while simultaneously developing a successful commercial pecan growing industry.

Vernon had two brothers in the Brahman cattle business – J. M. Frost, Jr., who was the ABBA President from 1945 to 1947, and C. M. “Pete” who owned the Figure 4 Ranch (Pete later switched to breeding Charolais cattle exclusively.)

V.W. Frost was the name on his ABBA membership with herd #195, and it was established in June of 1942. According to J. W. “Bubba” Sartwelle, he really got involved in the Brahman business upon his return from World War II. Pecan Acres Ranch was known worldwide for its “Jumbo Brahmans.”

Family is one of the most important things to the Rogers. Having their daughters and their families so close has allowed them to continue the business as a family affair. When their grandkids started to get old enough to show, the Rogers were there every step of the way.

“Showing as a family is wonderful! It has allowed us to spend time with our kids and then our grandkids,” Pam Rogers said. “Showing set a good example for them as they grew up.”

“The cattle weren’t actually jumbo,” Sartwelle said. “He had progressive, moderate-framed Brahmans with mostly Hudgins bloodlines. He was innovative and brought a good business sense to all his agricultural endeavors, from Brahman cattle to pecans and quarter horses. Plus, he was just an all-around good guy.”

Vernon had a keen eye for Brahman breeding. In the words of author Robert Roark, Vernon could tell you “the middle name of the heifer in the southeast corner of the north forty, and also who was her papa, mama, grandpa and grandma… He can tell you her tastes in green salad and whether she is a candidate for romance or the butcher block.”

Pecan Acres Ranch held famous annual production sales and sold to breeders across the country and the globe. Over the years, Pecan Acres produced lots of impressive Brahman cattle and around 7500 pecan trees.

The ranch also hosted many prominent Hollywood stars, writers and philanthropists. For example, Edna Ferber reportedly spent time there doing research before she wrote her classic novel, Giant. Gene Autry bought cattle from Vernon, and according to one article in Fulshear magazine, once after Roy Rogers and Dale Evans appeared at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, they visited Pecan Acres. As they approached the house, a Brahman gave birth to twins, and Rogers ended up bottle feeding one of the calves.

In 1973, Vernon’s registered Brahman herd was sold to John Joyce of “J” Custom Fitters in Wharton, Texas. Joyce, with Vernon’s blessing, held a two-day sale where 547 head were auctioned off for $601,210 with an average of $1,099. Cattle sold to 10 states and five foreign countries. Both the number of cattle sold and the gross figure set new world records for the breed. The high price of the day was $13,500 for IW’s Rexcrata 282, a 3-year-old son of Sugarland’s Rexcrata 1. He was purchased by Elgin Breeding Services.

“The overflow attendance and wide geographic location of buyers was truly a tribute to this foundation Brahman herd,” Joyce said, per a June 1973 issue of The Brahman Journal.

Vernon was an active member of the ABBA and served as a Director. He was also a lifetime Vice President and Director of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and former Chairman of the International Committee.

Vernon passed away July 11, 2000. He was predeceased in death by his first wife, Inza Sherar Frost, but was survived by his next wife, Delores Lee (Dodie) Frost and children. He has two sons (Vernon W. Frost, Jr. and Robert S. Frost), two daughters (Ann Frost Bailey and Betty Frost McAleer) and many grandchildren.

Be sure to attend this year’s ABBA Annual Meeting to see the induction ceremony of this pioneering Brahman breeder into the ABBA Hall of Fame.