Windy Lane Farms Incorporated in 1981
640,000 bushel grain elevator & fertilizer storage facility
WINDY LANE FARMS, INC
Back in 1864 Solomon Brown came to Ross Township, Clinton County, Indiana. His wife and children were originally from Lehigh County, PA. The same ground in Ross Township is still owned and farmed by the Brown Family. Hal is fifth generation and Ty is sixth generation. Hal farmed with his parents. Then in 1981 the farm was incorporated and it became Windy Lane Farms. Hal and Sue named the farm from the occurrence of the Palm Sunday tornado in 1965. Hal was a Senior in Rossville High School and was living on the farm that was in the path of this tornado. His parents’ and his grandparents’ house, across the road, were completely destroyed. Hal and Sue built a home in 1976 , on the same lane where the original house stood. Through the years more ground has been purchased and buildings added.
Tillage practices on the farm began with the plow, then the chisel plow, to ridge till and now to vertical tillage or lo-till. We only till the soil a couple of inches to get good residue breakdown. We want to avoid any horizontal tillage that would leave density layers in the soil profile that would restrict root growth.
For nitrogen applications, we use 28% liquid nitrogen on the planter and sidedress nitrogen in the soil profile to keep it from leaching into the tile system. With fewer trips across the fields, many gallons of fuel per acre are saved.
In an effort to build more organic matter and soil tilth with diverse soil biology, cover crops are currently being expanded into our corn and soybean rotation. This year we used tillage radishes and crimson clover after soybeans. After corn we use cereal rye. Since analyzing soil tests taken with the growing cover crops, it is quite evident that the soil biology has seen a very significant increase along with fertility values.
Besides using high calcium lime as needed, another effort for the farm is the use of gypsum, calcium sulfate, to mellow the soil, increase water infiltration and encourage deeper rooting of our crops.
With all the above factors combined, we believe we are a good example of sustainable agriculture.
Hal & Sue Brown
HAL & SUE BROWN
Hal and Sue met while they were in Purdue. Hal graduated in 1969 with a BS degree in Agronomy and Sue graduated in 1971 with a BA in Education. Hal grew up in Rossville, IN and attended school there. His parents were Nelson and Katherine Brown and he has one brother. At the age of 10 Hal acquired his first landlord and used the money from this farm to attend college. Hal received the rank of Eagle Scout and was in 4-H for 10 years. While in high school he pitched horseshoes, competitively, and won Jr. World Champion along with some State Champions. Sue grew up in Wayne County on a farm and has two sisters. Sue’s parents are Olen and Kathleen McMinn. Sue helped her dad farm and her summer job was bailing hay, to feed the cattle they raised. Sue was also in 4-H for ten years and graduated from Hagerstown HS.
Hal and Sue were married in December of 1969. Hal enlisted in the Army Reserves and served for 6 years. Sue taught school at Rossville until the birth of their first child, Ty( wife,Sacha) then had 3 girls, Heather, Anissa Need(husband,Kyle) and Lacey Sheller( husband,Aaron). Sue and Hal now have 7 grandchildren.
Through the years Hal and Sue have kept active in the community. Both have been active in their church serving many offices and serving as a Sunday School teacher. Hal and Sue have been score keepers for the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams. Sue went back to the school to substitute until 1998. Hal has served on the Agmax Co-Op Board of Directors and also the Milner Health Care board. Hal has been a Beck’s Hybrid seed dealer for 24 years. Because of Hal’s passion for soil biology he developed 3 microbial fertilizers ,that are certified by OMRI, then started the company called BioGenesis System, Inc.
Ty & Sacha Brown family
TY & SACHA BROWN
Ty is a sixth generation farmer who returned to farm with his father in 1996 after graduating from Purdue with a B.S. degree in Soil and Crop Management. While at Purdue Ty was recognized his sophomore, junior, and senior years as being the Top Student in the School of Agriculture. Ty was also awarded the American Society of Agronomy’s Outstanding Student Award his senior year. Ty was part of the Soil’s Judging Team and Agronomy Club all four years just to name a few of his activities. After returning home to the family farm Ty took an active part in community activities serving as Elder of Pleasant Hill Church for 6 years, the Purdue Club of Clinton County, and served 6 years on the Rossville School Foundation Board. Today Ty is a local 4-H leader, and serves as Chairman of the State 4-H Tractor Council. While farming has always been Ty’s dream and his passion he feels that his greatest accomplishment has been being blessed with four wonderful children and his wife Sacha.
Sacha Heepe Brown hails from Richmond, Indiana where she graduated from Richmond HS in 1994. After HS Sacha attended Purdue University where she majored in Animal Agribusiness, she was on the Horse Judging Team for two years and was a member of the Agronomy club for three. Sacha met Ty her sophomore year at Purdue. They began dating in 1995 and then married the summer of 1997. Sacha graduated in 1998 with a B.S. degree in Animal Sciences. After graduating from Purdue in 1998 she worked for Purdue in the Animal Disease and Diagnostics lab. She continued her work at Purdue until after their first child was born. Sacha has also taken an active part in the community serving as President of Purdue Club of Clinton County, assisting with vacation Bible School and currently serves as our local 4-H club leader. Sacha shares Ty’s feelings for their family choosing to stay at home and take care of the family while still helping on a part time basis with various needs on the farm.
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Windy Lane Farms, Inc. 6147 N. County Rd. 500 W. Mulberry, IN 46058