Wyoming Senior Assistant Attorney General Chris Brown was awarded the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s 104th annual meeting.  Presented November 10 in Cheyenne, the award is given to those who have gone above and beyond in their service to agriculture.  

“We are proud to recognize Chris Brown for his dedication to water law in Wyoming,” said Todd Fornstrom, WyFB President. “Knowledge of water resources, water law and the ability to represent the Cowboy State and constituents of the Cowboy State on all issues water are a few of the merits that define Chris Brown’s work.” 

Brown has worked in the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office since 2011. His primary responsibilities are to the State Engineer’s Office. He provides day-to-day advice and representation on all water related issues arising throughout the state, and national water issues affecting Wyoming. He is also the primary attorney for the state on all interstate river compacts and decrees.

“I do most of my work behind the scenes and so the recognition was very unexpected,” Brown said. “I also play only a small role when it comes to protecting and defending Wyoming water and water users. Many people at the state, from the Governor and the State Engineer, to the many hydrographers and water commissioners throughout the state work very hard to protect Wyoming water.”

“Even though my role is small, I take it very seriously and very personally,” Brown continued. “The Wyoming Farm Bureau is a tireless advocate for Wyoming's farmers and ranchers, by far Wyoming's largest water users, and receiving its recognition is very humbling.”

Before joining the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office in 2011, Brown was a partner in a private law firm in Powell. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2002. A Cody, Wyoming native, Brown is a Veteran of the United States Navy.

In his nomination letter, Retired Wyoming State Engineer Patrick Tyrrell, wrote: “Chris has become the State of Wyoming’s leading attorney on all things related to the Colorado River. In doing so, Chris has established himself as possibly the best attorney on Colorado River issues across seven states.”

The nomination continued by stating Brown’s effectiveness is not limited to the Colorado River. Tyrrell noted Brown’s work on the U.S. Supreme Court Case between Montana and Wyoming and work on groundwater orders among his highlights. Tyrrell wrote, “Chris is an advocate not just for the State Engineer, but all who use Wyoming’s water.”

Tyrrell described Brown with these words: “He’s a stand-up guy, both for his primary client (the State of Wyoming), and also for anyone looking for an honest, unfiltered, and hopefully helpful, answer related to Wyoming water. He does all this with a smile, an incredible work ethic, and the support of many people with whom he has dealt.”

“Water and the management of the resource is crucial to agriculture and our ability to grow food and steward the land,” Fornstrom continued.

“We thank Chris Brown for his distinguished service to Wyoming agriculture through your work for the State of Wyoming, Wyoming water law, and Wyoming water users,” Fornstrom concluded. “We are proud to recognize and show our appreciation for his distinguished service to Wyoming agriculture.”

“I deeply appreciate the recognition, and it continues to be an absolute privilege to represent Wyoming and its water users,” Brown concluded.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization. The purpose of the 104th annual meeting held Nov. 9-11, 2023, was to develop policy to guide the organization in the coming year.  On the web, www.wyfb.org.

The mission of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is to represent the voices of Wyoming farmers and ranchers through grassroots policy development while focusing on protecting private property rights, strengthening agriculture, and supporting farm and ranch families through advocacy, education, and leadership development.