Returning to the farm meant living out a life-long dream for Jeremy Brown. Yet, it was risky. He had a dependable desk job, but that wasn’t the life he wanted. Brown not only continued on the legacy of being a fourth generation farmer; he also attended college at Texas Tech University.
He was the first generation to attend a university and he knew that college would be a completely different world than farming. Jeremy’s parents wanted him to attend college to experience something outside the farming world. He knew that he would be returning to his roots, but had no expectation of what could be in store for his future.
While choosing Texas Tech, Jeremy had no idea on what he wanted to major in. He knew he wanted to do something along the lines of agriculture, because that was all he knew. Finally, Brown found an interest in the College of Sciences and Natural Resources, in agricultural education and communications.
“For a guy that really didn’t know what he wanted to do except farm, it was a great fit,” Brown said.
He received a degree in agricultural communications in 2004. While attending Texas Tech, he was not only involved in CASNR, but he was also student body president. This achievement gave Brown the opportunity to work under United States Congressman Randy Neugebauer as an intern.
“The reason I wanted to do it was because my dad had just recently got out of farming,” he said. “So, my opportunity to go back and farm had to come to an end, the doors closed.”
Brown was able to stay in the Lubbock area while working for Neugebauer. He completed the congressman campaign for representative Neugebauer in the time span of four years, only having to go to Washington D.C once a month. This made it easy for him to keep farming on the side, it made him realize he missed it.
“Working with Randy Neugebauer was a neat experience,” Brown said. “It was really fun, and I learned so much about the policy side of agriculture.”
When Brown was not working on the campaign, he was spending every spare moment he had on the farm with his now father-in-law, Mark Furlow.He enjoyed his time being in a suit and tie behind a desk, but he knew he wanted to get back on the farm as soon as possible. Brown always knew he would return to his farming roots, but he didn’t have the opportunity.
I don’t think people truly understand the risks that American farmers take when making decisions.Jeremy Brown
He grew up farming, and he knew that was where he wanted to end his career. His career has always wanted to be in the field doing what he loves to do.
“I am a fourth generation farmer, I grew up on a farm,” Brown said, “I love farming, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Furlow knew how much he loved the farm. Every time Brown would help out around the farm, he felt comfortable and knew that is where he needed to return to. He knew Brown had a passion for farming, he knew he was that was what made him happy He didn’t have that opportunity to do so, because his family was out of the farming business at the time. Furlow decided to go out on a limb and help Brown find his own land and lend him equipment. Brown knew that he wanted to take this opportunity, but had many different plans in how he was going to go about farming this time around.
Brown was studying how to make a difference in the farming of today. He wanted to find different ways to farm and feed the soil. He wanted to expand the way farming was done. He was able to learn different from people’s opinions while off the farm. He had ideas that were different from the old farming tactics. Brown wanted to become a steward of the land.
“Looking back, I am thankful that I took a step back from farming because when I came back, I came with a more open mind,” Brown said. “Maybe there is a better way of doing it.”
Brown believes if you take care of the land, it will take care of you. Brown and his company, Broadview Agriculture, are committed to this goal by focusing on two main practices, soil health and water efficiency.
“We work at building the soil health through the use of compost, minimum tillage or no-till, crop rotation” Brown said, “and high residue multi-species cover crops that help build soil organic matter.”
Broadview Agriculture grows conventional cotton, organic cotton, wheat, rye, grain sorghum, peanuts and sesame.
About 1,000 acres are used for growing organic, non-irrigated cotton. Farming can be done in different ways, not just traditional farming. He believes individuals have to take risk to see what works.
“I don’t think people truly understand the risks that American farmers take when making decisions,” Brown said, “if you never take risks, you will never know.”
Not only is Brown experimenting with different farming method for farming, he has also recently been nationally recognized for his efforts. He was nominated to be one of the eight Face of Farming representatives.
The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance is made up of many affiliates. To be selected as the Face of Farming representatives you have to be affiliated with an organization that is related to agriculture, and Brown is currently members of many different organizations. Brown is a member of the Plains Cotton Growers executive committee, Mary Jane Buerkle is thrilled to have Brown as a member.
“He is a fantastic producer, and we really enjoyed having him be a part of Plains Cotton Growers,” Buerkle said.
This gave Brown the opportunity to start his business of Broadview Agriculture and explain what the business is doing.
“I am thankful to be able to have the opportunity to be able to educate the uneducated,” he said. “I want to be able to represent West Texas in a positive manner.”
Brown said he thinks it is important to understand what Broadview is doing on the farm. He also thinks it is important to show what practices are being used.
He said none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for his family and God. Brown is thankful he is able to return to his roots and continue the farming legacy. He said he loves that it is a family business. Brown’s son, Jude, who is young, gets to learn life skills and the values of hard work at the young age of six. Brown has continued to educate the uneducated about agriculture, because he loves farming and is passionate about what he loves.
“One thing I love about farming is that it is like a canvas,” Brown said. “You are constantly trying to create something and it is a lot of fun.”