Front Porch Profile: Nathan Brown

Front Porch Profile: Nathan Brown

Hillsboro farmer, Union Township trustee

By McKenzie Caldwell

Manages 1,300 acres grain and 35-head cow-calf operation in Hillsboro. Union Township trustee, Ohio Farm Bureau state trustee for District 20, Ohio No-Till Council board member, member of Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Soybean Association and Highland County Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers with Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board.

What kind of self-care do you practice?

To clear my mind and work through things, I take a walk. Walking gives me time to work through emotions and allows me to understand how I feel before I react to the situation.

If you could have a conversation with any person, dead or alive, whom would you choose, what would you talk about, and why? I’ve always been fascinated with Abraham Lincoln. I would love to talk to him about the adversity he faced in his lifetime and ask him how he knew he was doing the right thing.

What does a typical spring look like for you?

Springtime is very busy for farmers as we are beginning our busier season of the year. With our cow herd, we are busy with calving and caring for our new calves. With the crops, we are busy preparing equipment for planting, getting seed into the warehouse, preparing our sprayer and monitoring our crop fields for the right planting conditions. Once we start planting, it’s 18- to 20-hour days until we have everything planted and sprayed.

What’s something you learned through involvement with an organization or organizations that you wouldn’t have known otherwise?

Networking is one of the most important things you can do. Knowing people and how you can connect different ones in different situations is critical to success. People are the secrets to success.

What’s your favorite thing about being a farmer?

Getting the opportunity to care for our soil for a small time in history. I love digging in the soil, looking at the soil biology and trying to figure out the best way to care for and feed the below-ground life, so we raise a better above-ground crop.

What’s unique about the Highland County farming community?

What is unique about the Highland County farming community is its willingness to support our community as a whole. Many farmers volunteer their time to sit on boards and hold elected offices, support our schools and sports teams, donate to and support fundraisers for the local FFA chapters, and volunteer to help with special programs. Farmers and farming practices are often criticized because of lack of understanding, yet farmers are usually some of the first to volunteer their resources back to the community.

What do you love most about your community?

I love the history our community has. Whether it’s prehistoric mound builders, the Underground Railroad, Prohibition and the temperance movement, or our rich history of military service and sacrifice, our community has so many great events in its history that we should celebrate and reflect on. I love looking back and seeing our towns dressed up in celebration for events. Our forefathers took so much pride in their communities.

Salt Magazine