Featured Farmers: Brown Family

The Indiana State Fair is the greatest showcase of the past, present and future of Hoosier agriculture and the Indiana State Fair – Celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial which proudly dedicates your Great Indiana State Fair to celebrating Indiana’s history and heritage over the past 200 years. 

To honor and celebrate those who have committed their lives to innovation in agriculture, each day of the 17-day Fair will highlight a different farmer/farm family who represents a different element of Indiana agriculture.  These farmers, who were selected in collaboration with Indiana agriculture stakeholders, will be featured on daily highlight sheets for the Fair as well as participate in various events and exhibits all around the Fair.   

We wanted to take the time to highlight these farmers and share a bit more about what makes them love agriculture. Take a moment to meet the Featured Farmer that will be at the Indiana State Fair on August 19th.

Brown Family_EDIT

  • Phillip and Kathy Brown; Josh and Jared Brown
  • Centennial Hoosier Homestead Award
  • Phillip, Kathy, Josh and Jared all have college degrees
  • Operation grows corn and soybeans
  • Focused on education; the family needed to match the farming needs with education to keep the farm expanding and moving forward

Hailing from North Judson, Indiana, Phillip and Kathy Brown and their sons operate a farm with an origin of 1864. Grooming each generation of farmers by matching skill sets to the farm’s needs was how they kept the farm viable for so many years. Phillips father suggested he get a master’s degree in agriculture even though he studied botany a DePauw University.

“I really wasn’t planning to farm. I majored in botany at DePauw University when the Vietnam War was winding down. After graduation in 1973, corn prices were rising, and I thought it was a good time to get into farming,” Phillip said. “Dad agreed, and he suggested I go to Purdue University and get a master’s degree, which I did. I knew about plants, but my dad thought I should also learn about soil.”

Phillip kept this trend when raising his own sons as he felt matching educational pursuits to farming needs was important for the growth of their operation. Phillip and Kathy’s sons now farm full time.

Although both boys loved helping on the farm, neither of them planned to farm. After graduating from Purdue University with various Agriculture degrees, they were both drawn back to the farming lifestyle.

“Each of the boys brought a new skill set back to the farm to keep it expanding and moving forward,” Kathy said. “We went in a completely different way and embraced technology. To succeed in farming today, it takes technology and the education to use it.”

Improvements have allowed the farm to remain a family operation for many genereations. Their efforsts have not gone unnoctived either. In 2004, Phillip Brown received the 2004 River Freidnly Farmer Award from the State of Indiana and in 2008, the farm received the Hoosier Homestead Award, for having family ownership for over 100 years.

Phillip’s parents continued the family’s farming tradition, and Phillip starting taking the reins as a young man.

“One of my first responsibilities on the farm was mowing grass with a gas-propelled mower with a 36-inch deck. By the time the job was finished, I took Sunday off and started all over again,” he says. “That’s job security.”

Brown_EDIT

The Brown Family will be at the Indiana State Fair on August 19th, and they will be featured in a Live Chat at 2:30 p.m. in the Glass Barn presented by Indiana Soybean Farmers and will attend the evening parade at 6:30 p.m.

Come join us at the fair to celebrate with and congratulate the Browns on their hard work and dedication to Indiana Agriculture!

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