When the family business — Brown’s Farm Implement in Moorefield — was sold in February of 2021, it didn’t mean that Doug Brown found a place in retirement.
Instead, it moved his focus to the family farm — and that focus has led to Brown being honored as the 2022 “Conservation Farmer of the Year” by the Switzerland County Soil and Water Conservation District.
He will be honored tonight (Thursday) as a part of the Switzerland County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Annual Meeting being held in the cafeteria of Switzerland County High School.
“They must be running out of people to give it to,” Brown laughed when asked about the honor. “Seriously, I appreciate it.”
Doug and Julie Brown purchased a farm along the river just east of Tapps Ridge Road along Highway 156 from Julie’s mom, Betty Brown, in 2017; and Doug has been working the farm part time while he was also running the implement business.
Julie’s parents, Bob and Betty Firth, bought the farm in 1969, and she lived with her family there as a child.
“We worked on cleaning it up,” Brown said. “We built all new fence and worked on the buildings and other odds and ends there.”
The farm covers about 107 acres.
Brown raises black Angus cattle on the property, currently with 21 cows and 20 calves.
In addition to the cows, Brown also raises about 30 acres of hay for the cattle; and rents out the rest of the row crop ground.
“A lot of it is alfalfa, we cut it up to five times,” Brown says. “We’ve got a baler that will make silage bales out of it, high protein feed; so we feed a good bit of that. It keeps them in pretty good shape.”
Brown says that in addition to the main farm, he also rents some bottom land down around Lamb.
Brown said that he has worked with the SWCD on some projects in the past.
“We’ve worked with Katie (Collier) and Cheryl (Furnish),” Brown said. “We’ve done some checking on some drainage ditches and things like that. They had a program on some cattle the year before last when COVID came out.”
Being a full time gentleman farmer (“I’m not sure about the ‘gentleman’ part, Brown laughs) keeps his pretty busy.
“I don’t know how I did what I did before when I had the business,” he says.