MANTI—The Sanpete County Cattlemen’s Association has named Brad Bown of Manti as the 2002 latest King Cowboy.
Russell Faatz, association president, presented the award at the organization’s annual dinner Thursday, June 23 at the Fairgrounds pavilion. Bown will represent the association in the annual Sanpete County Fair parade later this summer.
The King Cowboy honor is awarded by nomination and vote of the entire membership, said Faatz. “This is not a little accomplishment; it’s a significant honor,” he said.
Born and raised here in Sanpete, Brad grew up on the Bown family farm south of Manti, where he learned lifelong lessons of hard work, and how to sweat and have fun at the same time.
A normal day for him growing up was doing morning chores before catching the bus to school, After school, it was back to taking care of chores and helping milk the dairy cows in the evenings.
Then there was supper, homework and family time, followed the next day by the same routine.
Summers were a little different, as school didn’t get in the way. During those months, responsibilities for him and his brothers were helping their dad with milking cows twice daily; taking care of the sheep and cow herds; growing and putting up hay crops; and building those beautiful pyramid haystacks for the coming winter.
Looking back, he says it was the most perfect way to grow up and learn life skills.
Brad graduated from Manti High in 1975, then attended Snow College for one year before he moved on to Utah State University with his brother, Scott, where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture.
Brad and Scott also opened and successfully ran Bown Brothers Chevron in Manti during the summers while he attended college. That is how they put themselves through college.
Brad’s interest was still the family farm where he had grown up. He returned home to work with his dad. Later, the family decided to let the dairy cows go, replace them with range cows and increase their sheep herd. The idea was to free everyone up and give them all more time to do as they pleased. The Bown family discovered, as Brad puts it, “There is life after milk cows.”
Brad realized that there was not enough money in the family farm to support two families. He took employment with David Madsen Construction of Mayfield for a few years, and then was hired by the Department of Corrections as an officer at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in 1990.
In 1992, he was hired by the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office to work at the jail. Today is a lieutenant, one of the highest ranks among officers at the jail. All the while, Brad has continued to work and play at the Bown family farm.
Brad was instrumental in getting the demolition derby started at the Sanpete County Fair. He served on the original Derby Committee and then became derby chairman for a few years.
Later, the county commissioners asked him to serve as Fairboard chairman. He accepted and served for more than 15 years. Brad is still a member of the Sanpete County Fairboard in charge of the horse pulls.
In September 1988, the love of his life, Lori Kay Lyon, consented to marry him. They have been happily married for almost 34 years. Brad and Lori have raised three children: Zeb, Braidie and Boston.
All their children are happily married, successful and now have children of their own. Brad and Lori are now proud grandparents to 10 grandchildren. His family and posterity are truly his most prized possessions.
When Brad’s dad, Bruce, decided he couldn’t continue to run the farm, he turned it over to his sons, Brad and Glade. Today, they carry on his legacy by watching over 75 head of range cows and 300 head of sheep. They manage the farm, raise crops and watch over the livestock, and have made it a self-sufficient, successful operation.
Brad said he was truly honored to be asked to serve as King Cowboy and is grateful to join the ranks with previous King Cowboys.
“It’s an honor to follow in my dad’s footsteps, I thank my wife, Lori, and my family,” he said. “I appreciate being in same ranks as my fellow farmers; you are the real heroes.