Browntown Farms

Warfield, Virginia

Browntown Farms

Warfield, Virginia

A Vision Implanted 

Herbert Brown considers his journey into agriculture a living testimony. As a young child from Southside, Virginia, he did not know what his future would hold. Herbert often envisioned himself making a difference but didn’t know how. 

During his senior year of high school, a teacher approached him and suggested a career in agriculture. Although he came from a long line of farmers who once operated a tobacco and row crop farm, like many young people, he never considered a future in agriculture. 

After researching possibilities, Herbert sought an education in Agriculture Business and Economics from Virginia State University. And he earned a Colonial Agricultural Educational Foundation Scholarship to help afford it. 

After his first year, Herbert started his career working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a summer intern.  

“I learned so much in this role and it enabled me to be close to home so I could work on the farm during the summer months,” he explained. 

Partnering with Farm Credit 

Herbert also started a relationship with Colonial Farm Credit around that time, to save his family’s 114-acre farm. Originally purchased by his great-grandfather in 1908, the land had become idle for many years. 

After that initial farm ownership loan, purchasing a tractor to keep the grass cut, building a tractor shed and incurring other financial expenses, he realized his family needed to develop an enterprise to offset the cost of maintaining the farm. 

As a result, Herbert’s father attended workshops offered by the VSU Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) and began to produce vegetables on a seasonal basis. 

“I am very grateful for the relationship with Farm Credit and technical assistance from VSU SFOP,” Herbet said. “These two relationships have been critical to continue the legacy of my family’s 115-year-old century farm." 

Today, Browntown Farms serves as a source of locally grown fresh produce that provides healthy fruits and vegetables to all. 

Committed to the Future of Agriculture 

Almost two decades later, Herbert still serves Virginia agriculture as the USDA Liaison for Virginia State University, where he connects students, producers and communities to USDA programs and services. 

Prior to this role, he served as the Assistant Director for the Virgina State University Small Farm Outreach Program, and enjoyed creating real life solutions for small and beginning farmers. 

“I salute Colonial Farm Credit for making a continued commitment to invest in the next generation of agriculture leaders, and creating opportunities for young people to continue their education,” he said.