George Brown Recognized at Congress for 4-H Experience

This year Tennessee 4-H Congress celebrated its seventieth birthday! This signature event included mock legislation as part of the 4-H Know Your Government activity, a service project benefiting military service men and women, and a visit by Secretary of State Hargett and Lt. Gov. McNally. Tennessee 4-H Congress is a hands-on opportunity for youth to learn more about citizenship and leadership.

George Brown of Coffee County was recognized with the Friend of 4-H award during the 4-H Congress. Brown, a Coffee County 4-H alum, was cited during the awards presentation for his uncommon devotion to and enthusiasm for Tennessee 4-H. He joined his local 4-H club at Hillsboro Elementary School in the late 1950s and would begin a journey that would develop his leadership skills and continue to foster a deep-rooted passion for the agriculture community. After marrying his high school sweetheart, June Gilliam Brown, and attending the University of Tennessee, Brown returned home to work for Tennessee Farmers Insurance Companies. There he spent the next thirty-five years, working with community members and building relationships. 

His 4-H experience continued as he raised his three children, Daniel, Adam, and Samantha, who followed in their father’s footsteps and joined 4-H at the same elementary school. During this time Brown used the program to teach his children life lessons and gain leadership skills that they would employ throughout their lives. He spent many hours listening to 4-H speeches, quizzing his children in preparation for Dairy Quiz Bowl competitions as all three children were on Tennessee State Champion Dairy Quiz Bowl teams, along with many other activities and events. He transported his children and their animals to countless cow and horse shows where he assisted them in every phase of the show process. Currently, the third generation of Browns are beginning their 4-H experience. Brown and his wife’s grandson Avery is a member of 4-H in Coffee County, and three more grandchildren, Addie, Lane, and Wesley, are already excited to join in a few years.

In 2004, the Brown family was recognized as one of two Hale Master Families. Interestingly, the other family recognized that year was the Lemley family from Robertson County. Brown’s son Adam is now married to Marissa Lemley Brown. Son Daniel also met his wife through 4-H. Brown has often commented that “4-H brings daughter-in-laws.” Since his retirement from the Farm Bureau in 2007, he has continued to serve in leadership roles with many organizations throughout Tennessee. Currently, he is serving his second term on the Tennessee 4-H Foundation Board.