New Dishes, Family Favorites

When it comes to cooking, it’s always fun to explore new recipes. But usually, we’re always drawn back to familiar favorites. That’s especially true for farm kids.

Brothers Ross and Levi Brown of Dell Rapids, South Dakota, didn’t plan to take over the family farm from their parents, Kevin and Renee. When they did, however, they brought a whole new perspective — and realized home was where they wanted to be.

“Ross and Levi have really embraced technology, and that’s helped the bottom line of the farm,” Kevin says. “Technology adds another level of management, so I’m turning the reins over to them. They order our seed, chemicals and fertilizer because they know the prescriptions for each farm.”

Ross graduated from Dell Rapids High School and then went to basic training and Air Force technical training. In 2006, he started taking classes at South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings where he majored in Aviation Management. He was deployed three times, ranging from two to four months each time.

After graduating from high school, Levi had intended to become an engineer. He earned a bachelor’s degree from SDSU by double-majoring in Agricultural Business and Finance with a minor in Economics. Because of Ross’s deployments, he and Levi graduated from SDSU on the same day.

Browns 2

Levi and Olivia Brown

Levi met his wife, Olivia, in Brookings. She practices at Avera Health. After working for a few years for a farmer in Mitchell, Levi and Olivia moved to a farmstead three miles northwest of the home place where they established their home. They are the proud parents of Cora and Griffin.

Ross returned to the family farm in 2012 after working a couple of years at Raven Industries. He spent a great deal of time traveling for his job and realized how much time he would be sacrificing away from family if he continued in aviation.

Ross and his wife, Jen, are the proud parents of four: Elsa, Joe, Arlo and Rollie. Jen teaches in Sioux Falls and is dedicated to making a difference in her students’ lives. Ross continues to serve in the Air National Guard. His 20th year of service will be 2025.


Ross and Jen Brown

The Browns farm separately, yet together. In addition to raising crops, Kevin and Levi each finish feeder cattle. Ross also finishes feeder cattle and calves about 120 cows each spring.

Today the Browns are sharing a family favorite recipe of their mom’s for baked round steak that promotes the beef they raise.

Baked Round Steak with Gravy


  • 2 pounds round steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 10.5 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • Additional vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, optional



  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Season the round steak pieces with salt and pepper.
  • In a Dutch oven over high heat, brown the meat in the oil on all sides; remove from the heat.
  • Add the celery, green pepper, onion, cream of chicken soup, thyme and other vegetables (if using) to the meat mixture; stir well.
  • Cover the Dutch oven and bake for one hour.