Nathan Brown of Highland County Named Beck’s Young Farm Leader
September 12, 2013 Ohio Soybean Association
Nathan Brown was recently chosen as the second of the 2013 Beck’s Young Farm Leaders. The Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program was designed to showcase the hard work, dedication and leadership of young Ohio farmers.
“Congratulations to Nathan Brown for being recognized as one of the 2013 Beck’s Young Farm Leaders,” said Jerry Bambauer, Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) president and soybean farmer from Auglaize County. “OSA believes that building a network of young agricultural leaders is a key component to ensure the Ohio soybean industry continues to advance and grow in years to come. Nathan is a strong leader and will continue to represent the entire agriculture industry.”
For Nathan, it all started at age 12 in Hillsboro, Ohio when he started working on his neighbor’s operation. In 2002, he was given the opportunity to farm 25 acres where he planted soybeans. Since then, his operation has grown and now consists of 380 acres of soybeans, 440 acres of corn, 65 acres of wheat, 40 acres of mixed hay, and a 20 head cow calf operation.
Nathan is involved with several local and state agriculture organizations and is interested in gaining more leadership roles. His wife, Jennifer, works for the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Jennifer has always supported Nathan and continues to serve as an advocate for the agriculture industry.
“As a first generation farmer, I have had help along the way. But over the years, I have gained a better appreciation for what I have. If it wasn’t for my wife, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing and am very thankful for that,” said Nathan.
While farmers wear many hats, Nathan and Jennifer also remain busy with their twin boys, Luke and Coy, who recently turned two, as well as their 11 month year old daughter, Ella.
“Nathan is a great example of the type of young leader that this program is looking to recognize. He has started small and at a young age and wants to be involved in the industry,” said Bruce Kettler, director of public relations at Beck’s Hybrids. “He and his wife are setting a great example for their young family and for others in their community. When he says that it is important for young farmers to get involved in sharing agriculture’s story, he shows it by getting involved himself.”
Nathan plays a role in the community as a Township Trustee as well as Vice President of the Highland County Farm Bureau. Nathan and Jennifer have also been selected to serve on the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals Committee.
Serving his local community is very important to Nathan because he wants to be a leader in his industry and a positive role model for his children. Nathan serves as co-chair of both the Public Policy Committee and Farm Rescue Committee for the Highland Farm Bureau.
Nathan played a pivotal role in the creation of the First Responders of Highland County which prepares local firefighters to perform bin-type rescues. As of now, the group has put together two trailers with rescue equipment and 36 local firefighters have been trained to perform bin-type rescues.
“We have raised over $44,000 in money and equipment and we are still in the process of raising more funds,” said Nathan.
As far as what the future holds, Nathan would like to explore new markets in addition to getting involved with programs that promote and support agriculture.
“I would like to increase our acreage and ensure that if my children want to farm, they have the opportunity to do so and are not regulated out of business by an outside group,” said Nathan. “Educating non-farmers on how their food is produced is critical to the livelihood of livestock producers which feed large quantities of the soybeans produced in this country.”
Nathan is a current member of OSA and the American Soybean Association and believes in the importance of promoting effective policies and legislation to ensure a growing and profitable soybean industry.
“I believe more young farmers need to step-in and advocate for American agriculture,” said Nathan.
“With over 20 million American jobs rooted in U.S. agriculture, we cannot ignore the effect agriculture and soybean production has on the U.S. and people around the world.”
This is the first year of the Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program with one farmer each quarter chosen by a selection committee consisting of OSA and Beck’s Hybrids representatives. One of the Beck’s Young Farm Leaders will be selected as the 2013 Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year and receive a trip for two ($2,000 value) to the 2014 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. Beck’s Young Farm Leaders may also be chosen to attend OSA and/or Beck’s Hybrids leadership training programs, board meetings, events and other relevant activities. The fourth and final quarter applications are due November 1, 2013. Learn more and apply online at soyohio.org/becksyoungfarmleader.