There is scarcely an Indiana farmer who has not benefited from Leroy Brammer's decades of service to agriculture. And his leadership on local planning and policy organizations has had an impact on every citizen of Switzerland County. Brammer's farming career spanned four decades, was played out in both Delaware and Switzerland Counties, and was marked by recognition of his innovation and accolades of excellence at every step along the way.
For more than 35 years, Brammer was manager of Fisher Farms, a grain and livestock operation that included farrow-to-finish swine production and, at various times, a cattle feeding operation and a cow-calf herd. The Switzerland
county farm, North Bend Farms near Patriot, began in 1963 with 300 acres, an 80 sow farrow¬to-finish operation and annual production of 1400 head of finished cattle. By the mid 1990's, the operation encompassed 2,400 acres (l ,400 tillable) and the sow herd had grown to 600 head. Also by that time, the cattle feeding operation had been phased out and replaced with a 290 head brood cow herd. Early in the 1990's Brammer adopted no-till practices on all of his crop acres.
Brammer was a progressive, innovative manager. North Bend Farms was the site of many research trials for herbicides, insect control and swine growth compounds. Brammer was tapped as a resource speaker for national satellite teleconferences on swine production. And, with Brammer's backing, the first fire drafting basin in Switzerland County was installed on the farm in 1993.
Brammer's service to agriculture spans many organizations. He served eight years on the Indiana Pork Producers Council, working to develop a check-off to fund marketing efforts. From 1992 to 1995 Brammer was member of the Indiana Soybean Development Council, where he worked to develop the National Soy Diesel Development Board. He represented Indiana on the national soydiesel board, serving on the committee which oversaw the testing that allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to approve soy diesel as an alternative fuel. Brammer also served on the Switzerland County Soil and Water Conservation District board and the Ohio-Switzerland Cattlemen's Association. He was an organizing director of the Southeastern Beef Cattle Association, a four county alliance. For eight years Brammer was a member of the Switzerland County Extension Board and served as board president. He served 12 years on the Switzerland County 4-H Fair Board, and worked to develop the livestock show and sale.
Brammer's service to his community has been far-reaching, as well. He was a founding member of the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department, and served as the department's president and chief for several years. As president of the Switzerland County School Board, Brammer worked to consolidate the elementary schools and spearheaded the building project for the resulting new school. Brammer also served as president of the Switzerland County Area Planning and Zoning Board, where he wrote the county's first new zoning plan in 32 years. Brammer is a member of Patriot Baptist Church, where he has served as moderator.
Brammer was recognized in 1965 as Delaware County's Outstanding Young Farmer. In 1987, he was named a Master Farmer by Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. In 1993 Brammer was Switzerland County's Conservation Farmer of the Year. Also in 1993, the Indiana Soybean Development Council recognized him with the SoyDiesel Pioneer Award.