How Ben Brown of Brown Dairy Farm Keeps the Family Legacy Alive with the Help of Alabama Farm Credit
Brown Dairy Farm has been a household name in Alabama for over 70 years. Starting as a smaller farm with a few cows, the Brown family worked hard to build a successful dairy operation that now produces over 20,000 lbs. of milk month-to-month. And the best part? The family has been able to keep the 70-year family business tradition alive, expanding their operation along the way with the help of Alabama Farm Credit.
Brown Dairy Farm was started 70 years ago by Ben's Pawpaw and used AFC to build and grow. Ben saw his Pawpaw's dedication to his craft and knew from a young age that he wanted to follow in his footsteps. Getting started at first was not easy, as this field is not where you can miss a day or take a day off. However, Ben has made this his life's work, and as a small farmer, he offers some valuable insight and advice for others interested in ag.
Keeping the Family Tradition Alive - For Brown Dairy Farm, it's all about hard work, dedication to animal welfare, and a commitment to producing high-quality products. Ben Brown learned these values from his grandfather and father, who worked tirelessly to build the business. Today, Ben carries on that tradition by putting his heart and soul into the farm daily. Their farm would not be sustainable without the help of the family. Brown's wife, kids, and uncle all take part in the day-to-day tasks and relish in these values that have been passed down.
A typical day on the farm is better described as the everyday. Brown mentions how "you just don't get to miss a day with it." They milk, on average, 60-75 heads of cattle per day, have a feed schedule of twice per day, and continually maintain the herd's health. Brown Dairy Farm has grain-fed and grass-fed cows, which affects the milk supply's taste. Another critical aspect of their success is monitoring the bacteria levels, food supply, and weather. On top of servicing their dairy operation, the Browns plant and harvest specialty crops that include watermelons, cantaloupes, and pumpkins.
Expansion and Modernization: While keeping the family legacy alive is important, Ben Brown knew that to stay competitive and meet the market's growing demands, he needed to expand and modernize the business. With the help of Alabama Farm Credit, he could do just that. Brown Dairy improved its milk production facilities and invested in equipment to make operations more efficient. The result? A more prosperous, sustainable business that's poised for continued growth.
Ben Brown and Brown Dairy Farm are a true success story. They've faced challenges, worked tirelessly, and always retained sight of the values that made their business successful in the first place. And with the help of Alabama Farm Credit, they've built a sustainable, thriving business that will stay in the family for generations to come.
What advice would you give to a young, beginning, or small farmer looking to get started in ag or grow their operation?
"The best advice I can give to young, beginning, or small farmers is that if it is your dream, hold it steady, and it will continue in the right direction. Everything you do daily keeps you going, so keep your head up, embrace the learning curve of a new day, and know that the Lord will plant you in that direction."
Brown Dairy Farm and Alabama Farm Credit are the perfect examples of successful agriculture partnerships. Together, they've kept the family legacy alive while modernizing and expanding the business. In addition, they remain committed to the future, always looking for ways to improve and grow. It's a reminder that anything is possible in agriculture with hard work, dedication, and the right partner.