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What We Do Matters

Posted by stephanie Rogers on June 22, 2023 in Alumni & Friends, News
Dean David Gray with Class of 2023 Life President Gabby Schenkels
Dean David Gray with Class of 2023 Life President Gabby Schenkels

Alex and Lindsay Brown (Van de Riet) are first-generation dairy farmers.  With two licenses, a combined total of nearly 200 registered Holsteins and three children, life is busy.

“I grew up on a dairy farm in Shubenacadie and graduated from the NSAC in 2011 with a degree in Agricultural Business,” explained Lindsay.  Since graduating, she and her husband Alex have been busy growing their business.

Lindsay and Alex have two licenses; Browntown Farms in Shubenacadie where they milk 115 head of registered Holsteins in a free-stall and in 2019 purchased another farm, Brownford Holsteins, in neighbouring Milford Station milking 60 head in a tie-stall facility.

“I work in the office and help fill in the gaps around the barnyard (there's always something that needs to get done, or errands to run) and raising our three children, Jack 11, Blake 9 and Harris 6,” she added.

When she is not busy, Lindsay enjoys her hobbies.

“When I'm not busy with barn work, I enjoy my hobbies,I definitely have too many and squeeze them in when I can, but I spend an hour in the early morning painting,” she said.

Lindsay picked up the hobby in her early 20s working primarily with acrylic and through word-of-mouth has had the privilege to do some custom paintings -- anything from milk cans and cows to pet ornaments for Christmas gifts, anything that pulls on the heart strings.

“I am always so grateful for those who ask me to paint them something near and dear to their heart and any admirers of my work,” she added.

The Class of 2023 recently asked Lindsay to paint something that encompassed soil science, animal science and environmental science for their Class gift as part of Convocation ceremonies. Not an easy task.

What she came up with truly tugs at the heart strings.

“There is lots of symbolism in this piece. What came to mind was the 'little things' are what make the ‘big things’; when nurturing that tiny earthworm or providing pollen for the little bee you are nurturing the bigger picture, the earth,” she explained.

“Ensuring the foundation of our planet is looked after through research and good stewardship as represented in the painting as bees, earthworms, root systems and soil health, weather, and animals, we are working toward a sustainable, healthy future,” she continued.

“The cow represents animal science but also, economics and food production-- the cow makes the milk and the dollar. The ear tag is part of the cow, but also symbolic of the role of technology and the due diligence (in this case, cattle traceability) within Canadian agriculture to provide safe products worldwide.”

What we do Matters by Lindsay Brown will hang in the Student Learning Commons and was presented by the Class of 2023 as the Class Gift to the Faculty of Agriculture.