Anyone who has spent much time in the Kleberg Animal & Food Sciences Center has likely seen the branded planks adorning the main stairwell. Almost 2500 brands from some of the most famous ranches in Texas are represented on the staircase. A total of 254 oak planks (one for each Texas county) were placed on the walls of the staircase in Kleberg. County Extension Agents, historical societies, and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association board members nominated ranches based on their historical significance to place their brands on the wall.
The idea for this unique staircase came from Dr. O. D. Butler, former department head of animal science. He had similar brands on the wall of his office in the Animal Industries Building, and thought it should be expanded and better documented in the Kleberg Building.
At the time of branding, a log was kept, listing the owners and ranches each brand represents and the date the ranch was established. Each county has a page listing the brands that are on their plank. A link to each of the county pages is below.
The Houston Chronicle published an article titled Branded! in September of 1978 about the branding of the stairwell.
There are no plans to add additional brands to the stairwell.