Animals’ best friend
Local business owner Don Brown was never a 4-H member and doesn't have any children in the club himself, but he's doing his part to make sure young 4-H'ers have plenty of incentive to participate in the upcoming Leavenworth County Fair.
Brown, who owns House Country, a livestock and pet supply and feed store in Leavenworth, is one of the many private sponsors that will ensure this year's fair goes off without a hitch.
Last year, Brown provided $500 in prizes for the cattle and horse group at the fair and sponsored the rabbit group, which, he said, "was not getting much recognition or sponsorship."
For the rodeo, Brown donates feed for the rodeo stock as well as some shavings for the livestock sale.
And, for the past four years, Brown took it upon himself to raffle off an American Paint Horse that he owned to raise money for the fair and rodeo.
"We try to cooperate with the fair board and 4-H leaders," Brown said. "These kids that are with any luck growing up with animals are better off. They learn responsibility and learn to care for them. The hope is that this will benefit us in 10 or 20 years when they're running the town."
Brown, who at one time owned 40 horses and cattle on his farm near McLouth, said he looks forward to spending time at this year's fair.
"We'll be there everyday," he said. "There are lots of friends with animals there; lots of our customers really get involved with the fair."
For Brown, owning a horse and pet business for the past seven years and helping young agriculturalists go hand in hand.
"Nearly everybody that comes in the door is a friend," Brown said. "I can't imagine doing anything else."
NAME: Don Brown
OCCUPATION: Owner, Horse Country
ADDRESS: 728 Cherokee, Leavenworth
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE AREA, AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE? "I've been here since 1973. The company I was working for at the time transferred me here. It just seemed like home, so I stayed."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LIVING HERE? "The fact that we're a small enough community, and you get to know your neighbors."
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN? "We raise horses and cattle but don't have too much of a hobby besides that."
WHAT MIGHT SURPRISE PEOPLE ABOUT YOU? "Nothing that I know of. What you see is what you get:it's the same thing everyday."
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED? "Animals make better people. At nursing homes, they take dogs and cats in to be with them:and all kids enjoy animals."
WHAT CLUBS OR ORGANIZATIONS DO YOU BELONG TO? Board member, Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society