New Farm Bureau president Brady Brown raises row crops and community goodwill in southern Sanilac County.
Brady Brown is a third-generation crop farmer working land near Sandusky, first cultivated by his grandfather. The new president of the Sanilac County Farm Bureau raises almost 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans and sugar beets alongside his parents and two young children.
It’s his first term as president, following a stint as third member on the executive committee and involvement on the policy development and candidate evaluation committees. He’s also an at-large member of the state-level Young Farmer committee.
“All the beets are in the ground and we just finished corn last night at midnight,” Brady said on a grey day in late April that promised a timely soak for ground that recent winds had dried off quick.
Coronavirus has made for rough sledding for every aspect of Farm Bureau activity this spring — a busy time of year no matter how you slice it.
“We haven’t really had a meeting — just done some stuff on the phone,” Brown said. “We have a WebEx tonight to interview the top three candidates running for Paul Mitchell’s seat.
“I got involved in candidate evaluation because it’s important to keep our friends of agriculture in office. Especially nowadays we really need to push to have good candidates.”
Outside Farm Bureau, some of Brown’s extracurriculars are textbook examples of selfless community service.
Two years ago he was appointed to the Flynn Township Board of Trustees when another member of that body stepped down. He’s found firsthand involvement in local government to be a low-impact but reassuring foil against measures that could make farming a lot harder than it needs to be.
“Our township board meets only once a month, and it only takes about two hours because we really don’t have a lot of issues,” he said.
“I like to stay involved to make sure we face fewer restrictions on going down the road or having to be done with field work at a certain time at night. The local mindset is to keep doing what we’re doing without restrictions on digging ditches or saying where we can and can’t tile.”
He’s also a member of a local non-profit service club called the Good Timers, composed of “35 farm boys” who came together about 10 years ago to assist community members suffering through some of the most adverse hardships life can dish up.
“We have two big parties in the winter, a golf outing in the summer and now we do the Deckerville beer tent,” Brown said, raising $35,000 to $40,000 annually to help local families weathering tough times.
“It’s satisfying to know we’re helping out families who’ve maybe lost a loved one in a car accident or lost their home to a house fire. We’ve helped families with young kids who’ve come down with cancer, we’ve started scholarships, sent kids to Tigers and Pistons games…
“Once in a while we’ll have a family contact us, but a lot of the time people don’t want to ask for help,” Brown said, adding that most cases are learned about through the mid-Thumb grapevine.
“We’re not tied with any another organization, we’re just a close-knit group that likes to help.”