Dairy Farmer from New Bremen, Ohio
Lou is a second generation dairy farmer from Auglaize County, Ohio. Together with his brother Alan and son Tony, they care for 265 Holstein cows and farm 300 acres of crops. Brownhaven Dairy has won several environmental stewardship awards including the Ohio Conservation Farm Family award.
What do you do on your farm to protect the environment?
Lou: We’re taking many steps to protect and preserve the land, air and water, including planting wide areas of grasses along waterways on our farm, maintaining wetlands and planting cover crops. We also use no-till practices to prevent erosion and recycle nutrient-rich manure from our animals to nourish our crops. In addition, we plant what is called a quail buffer along those wooded areas that may be difficult to farm to encourage wildlife habitat.
HEAR FROM THE FARMER
Hear Lou Brown describe how he uses tile stops to monitor and prevent manure from getting in creeks
Why is caring for the environment important to you?
Lou: We pride ourselves on being good stewards of the environment, and we take that responsibility very seriously, particularly because our farm is only three miles from Grand Lake St. Marys. We are committed to doing what’s right for the future generations of both our family and our community.
My family lives on this land, drinks the water and breathes the air, so we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our neighbors to take good care of the environment.
We have great pride in everything we do, whether it’s with the cows, our crops or our land. We continue to use the latest technological innovations to improve what we do because we want future generations to inherit not only a well-cared for farm but also our commitment to environmental stewardship.
We’re very humbled to have received an environmental stewardship award by our industry. It’s an honor to be recognized for something we’re so passionate about doing.
We get to work together as a family, and it’s very rewarding…
What’s most rewarding about the work you do?
Lou: I love being a dairy farmer. If you don’t love your work, it’s very hard to get out of bed in the morning—and around here there’s no sleeping in! We get to work together as a family, and it’s very rewarding to care for our animals and for our environment, and ultimately to produce a safe, wholesome product for consumers. We put in very long hours, but, at the end of the day, we know we’ve put in an honest day’s work.