would visit the field. He later worked summer jobs there, and in local cotton and tobacco fields. The region remains agriculturally driven today.
When Sunbelt Expo moved to Spence
Field, Brown was working with Columbia
Nitrogen and exhibited at the show. In 1981,
Columbia Nitrogen was sold to Farmers Favorite Fertilizer, now owned by RW Griffin, a
major sponsor of Sunbelt Ag Expo.
In 1981, Brown went to work with Southern Agri, Inc., which he later owned. The
company was located at Spence Field and
was an Expo exhibitor. Because of its proximity to the show, Brown started an in-bound
and out-bound drayage service so Sunbelt
Expo exhibitors could ship displays, products, and some equipment prior to the show,
to be stored by Brown on site and then delivered to their show location. Brown’s son,
Wendell L., helped with the drayage service
while in high school, and is now Sunbelt
Expo exhibit coordinator.
In 2002, after 36 years in the agribusiness
sector, Brown retired for the first time. Coincidentally, Chip Blalock was looking for a new
security chief for Sunbelt Expo due to a retirement. The two knew each other well, and the
position seemed a good fit for Brown.
Last September, Brown’s wife, Faye,
passed away unexpectedly. They had been
married 54 years. His family, church, and a
special group of friends have helped him
through the adjustment, and his decision to
step down from his position with the Expo is
part of that adjustment.
For many years, Brown and Faye were
part of a RV enthusiasts group called the
SOWEGA Good Sams, which plans joint
camping ventures around the region and
country with fellow group members. “Good
people — just seeing things, playing cards,
and enjoying good fellowship,” Wendell says.
It’s been tough to start back traveling
with the group since Faye’s passing, he
says. “It’s sad doing things without her.” But
for folks like Brown, who have a talent for
pulling good people into their orbit, and for
turning a tough situation into something
positive, continuing relationships with
friends, combined with a healthy outlook
on life, is the preferred way to keep body
and soul moving forward.
“I don’t know about any talent I might
have,” he says, “but I enjoy people, and I like
working with people. Over the years, I’ve
met maybe thousands of people I might not
have met otherwise, and from those meetings I’ve had lasting friendships with some
of them. I’ve enjoyed working with the staff
at Expo, and I will still be around to help
them if they need me.
Along with son Wendell L., Brown’s other
children are Lee Bass and Rhonda Smith.
He has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national
origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal and, where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of
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Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities and wish to file either an EEO or program complaint please contact USDA through
the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish). Persons with disabilities who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above
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Administrator and Director of Land-Grant Affairs for the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology, Fort Valley State University, a State and Land-Grant Institution,
University System of Georgia. Fort Valley State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s and educational specialist degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for
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to the Expo!
Join us on Wednesday,
October 18 for games
and prizes during our
Ag Appreciation Day!
The FVSU building is located at B- 5