Browns’ Theodosia property recognized as Century Farm

Scott and Wanda Brown were recognized for their Missouri Century Farm on Friday during Hootin an Hollarin. Also pictured are MU Extension staff members Traci Foster, left, and Randy Wiedmeier.

As he was presenting the Browns’ Century Farm award Friday, Ozark County Extension agent Randy Wiedmeier told the crowd why he always wears a necktie. He recalled a day when he was a boy growing up on his family’s ranch in Shoteau County, Montana, in the mid-1950s, and an Extension agent came to the ranch to help his dad and grandpa with some problems. “He showed up, and he had on a tie and a Montana State University shirt,” Wiedmeier said. “My grandma was so impressed with how he was dressed, and also with his knowledge, that she told me, ‘Randy, if you ever go to work for the Extension Service, I expect you to wear a tie.’” Four years ago, Wiedmeier said, he signed a contract with Missouri University Extension, “and I’ve worn a tie every workday since then in honor of my Grandma Maude Tarbet.”

Scott and Wanda Brown of Theodosia were recognized for their Missouri Century Farm on Friday during Hootin an Hollarin. The award was presented by Randy Wiedmeier representing the MU Extension Service here.

The Brown family farm was established Aug. 27, 1898, by Scott Brown’s great-great-grandfather, Clate Brown. Over the past 120 years the farm has produced cattle, hay fields and pastures for grazing, cultivated countless kitchen gardens, hosted wealthy tourists as premium fox-hunting territory and is the setting for a published memoir, Son of Pioneers, in which Scott’s great-uncle Omer describes what it was like growing up at the turn of the century in the Lutie area. Several of the “pioneers” portrayed in the memoir have been traced back to some of the original gravesites in the old Lutie Cemetery. 

Remnants of the original homestead, built by Clate, who was described as “a pretty fair stone mason,” can still be found where a longstanding stone foundation, fireplace and part of a chimney are weathered away and abandoned. Scott can recall a time when his grandma’s dogs and chickens would peck and wander through the old leaning structure, sometimes coming in and out through the open windows. 

In 2013, Scott, a retired steamfitter / welder, and Wanda, a retired registered nurse, took guardianship of the Brown family farm. They arrived to find that the 40-acre parcel had been sitting idle for ages, and they’ve spent the past five years restoring, rejuvenating and enhancing the property. 

Presently they have 24 head of cattle and say they’ve surrendered a handful of laying hens to some typical Ozarkian predators. This will be the first year they will get to harvest apples and pears from their fruit trees. 

Scott and Wanda say they’re delighted that their property has been recognized as a Missouri Century Farm, and they hope that one of their six children will continue safeguarding the Brown family farm for generations to come. 

Ozark County Times

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