Fred and Theresa Kraye were both born and raised in the heart of the Nebraska Sandhills. Theresa was born on a ranch north of Mullen, while Fred started his life on the family ranch, south and west of Mullen. In 1953, in an effort to keep his cows separate from his dad’s Herefords, Fred bought his first Angus cows. Fred joined the American Angus Association in the 1950s.
Fred and Theresa were married in 1956 and they raised their family and made their living on the ranch with the cattle. Fred’s parents were still alive and the actual owners of the ranch. Fred has two sisters and the inheritance of the ranch was in question, so in 1967, Fred had a dispersal sale at the ranch of his cows and he and Theresa moved their family to town and bought a place of business. They and their children Frederick, Carol, John and Mike, operated Kraye Feed and Supply and had a diverse business that ranged from selling feed, building construction, doing repair work, selling New Holland equipment and trucking.
Cattle were always important to Fred and Theresa and they re-entered the Angus business in the middle 1970s when they bought cows from Swede Mathews and Sam Brannan. Fred also traveled to southern Nebraska and bought several cows from Max Hoffmeister. Through Jim Baldridge, Fred and Theresa also bought cows from Don Popkins.
Kraye Angus has sold bulls all across western Nebraska. They have marketed cattle at the Nebraska Angus Association sales in Grand Island and Kearney, The Southwest Angus Association sales in McCook, The Heart of Nebraska Angus Association sales in Broken Bow, and they hosted the sales for The Sandhills Angus Association at their sale facility in Mullen. In 1991, Fred and Theresa held their own bull sale and it has been an annual event for the last 21 years.
Fred has always enjoyed visiting with people in agriculture and he has been a good ambassador for the Angus breed. Fred was the president of the Nebraska Angus Association in 1987 and 1988.
In 2001 Fred and Theresa had a complete dispersion of their cow herd, but couldn’t stay out of the cattle business for long and just one year later bought all of Max Hoffmeister’s cows.
Although the day to day operations of the ranch have passed on to Fred and Theresa’s son John, his wife Julie and their grandson David, Fred and Theresa are still involved in the Angus business and help with and promote the annual bull sale. ❖