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Dr. A Hayden Brown, Jr. and Carlie B. and Vella Flatt Memorial Scholarship Endowment

A. Hayden Brown, Jr. (1946-2014) grew up on a farm run by his Ma and Pa Flatt (Vella Rodgers and Carlie B. Flatt) in Cookeville, Tennessee. They produced beef cattle, tobacco, small grain, hay and, occasionally, hogs. He developed a strong work ethic at an early age. At age 5, he drove the tractor during hay season for his Pa Flatt and other farmers, including Major Shipley. He graduated from Cookeville Central High School in 1964 where he was active in FFA and served as vice-president and president of the club. Hayden went on to major in Animal Husbandry at Tennessee Tech and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1968. His love for agriculture was solidified through the teaching and interactions with Clyde Hyder and Bobby Parham.

While at Tech, Hayden spent many hours working on the Tech farm. The story goes that the Human Resource Director for the UT Agriculture Extension Service, a tall lady in a skirt, rode the tractor with him through the Tech farm during his interview for an assistant extension agent position in Fentress County, Tennessee. (This was just vintage Hayden Brown!) He got the job and worked from 1968-1974 in the position. Hayden developed a strong program in beef cattle agriculture during his years in Jamestown, working one on one with many 4-Hers and farmers. In 1973, he took a county exhibit consisting of more than 75 steers, heifers, and lambs, along with more than 25 youth exhibitors to the State Livestock Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee. His program received the Kroger Award for Exhibitors of the most Choice steers at the Tennessee Finished Cattle Show. As part of his program, he sold animals that were produced by the 4- Hers to Fentress County businesses. The animals were then marketed in the meat cases as being raised by Judy Turner, Joe Potter, and Mark Howard, etc. Thus, before it was a popular trend, 4-Hers learned not only how to pick and raise an animal, but how to show and make a profit in their 4-H project.

In 1974, Hayden moved to Knoxville to finish a Master of Science in Animal Science and then pursued a Ph.D. in Animal Breeding at the University of Tennessee. His doctoral dissertation evaluated techniques used in estimating phenotypic, genetic and environmental trends and interactions in beef cattle. His dissertation was affectionately dedicated to his grandfather Carlie B. Flatt, the best cattleman he ever knew.

Dr. Brown joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in September of 1977, where he served as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Full Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. During his 36 years with the university, he was recognized for the excellence of his teaching and research in the area of quantitative inheritance and especially for his contributions to genetic improvement of economically important traits in Arkansas livestock. A video of his reflections of his career in Animal Genetics is available to view at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E3rCNXtOSM&feature=plcp.

Throughout his research and teaching career Hayden Brown secured more than one million dollars in grants, published 106 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 200 peer-reviewed abstracts. Dr. Brown was inducted into the American Cattle Breeders Hall of Fame in a ceremony that included being driven out on the floor of the Houston Livestock Show in a limousine! He served as advisor and President of the National Block and Bridle Club and advised both the Alpha Gamma Rho and Farm House Fraternities over the years. He was a caring teacher with a strong commitment to helping students achieve their goals both in and out of the classroom. Spring break at the University of Arkansas often involved taking students on a four day whirlwind trip to several states to visit farms or on trips to livestock shows. Rarely did he miss a chance to go with a cattleman out on the farm to discuss cattle and directions that might improve production. He advised 250 undergraduate students, 33 Master of Science students and 12 Doctoral students. For more than 30 years, he continued to mentor 4-H and FFA students and raise funds for livestock premiums at the county, district and State Fairs in Arkansas. His wish was to establish this scholarship at Tennessee Tech in honor of his Grandfather and Grandmother Flatt who set him on his path of working hard, studying hard and using science to improve cattle and students.

He died May 26, 2014, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Helen Gann Brown, and one daughter, Ashley Elizabeth Brown, who teaches school in Springdale, Arkansas; his mother Jean Brown, Cookeville, Tennessee; two sisters, Connie McBride and husband Flave of Sparta, Tennessee; Mena Williams and husband Eugene of Baxter, Tennessee; one brother, David A. Brown and wife Angela of Cookeville, Tennessee; nephews Mark Brown McBride, Tyler Brown, Clay Brady, Levi Whittaker; and nieces Sonya Bowman, Dava Whittaker, Hannah Bowman, and Madison Brown. He was buried in Crestlawn Cemetery in Cookeville near the site of the farm he grew up on. His love and spirit live in the hearts of family and those he mentored. His knowledge thrives in the progeny of cattle across the country.
Scholarships associated with Dr. A Hayden Brown, Jr. and Carlie B. and Vella Flatt Memorial Scholarship Endowment
  • Dr. A Hayden Brown, Jr. and Carlie B. and Vella Flatt Memorial Endowed Scholarship