For many in the Brown County community, the hope for the next generation goes something like this — the children grow up, go to college, graduate, go find themselves and, ultimately, come back home to settle down.
By this standard, Texas Farm Bureau agent Dustin Larremore is a great example of Brown County’s rising young stars. And as the president of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce ambassadors, Larremore is investing back into the community that raised him.
Larremore lived originally outside the Brownwood city limits towards Richland Springs, then moved into town when he was 10 years old. He attended Woodland Heights Elementary and, eventually, Brownwood High.
Larremore’s father worked for a local cable company, and his mother was an administrator at Howard Payne University. “She at one point ran the entire Mabee Center and did special events and camps,” Larremore said. “She did countless things at Howard Payne, from registrar to recruiting, before she retired to start her own business.”
Taking advantage of the free tuition his mother’s job offered, Larremore attended HPU and graduated with a business degree. From there, he entered the retail industry and began a somewhat transient phase of life.
“The first place I moved to was Granbury, Texas,” he said. “About 45 minutes south of Fort Worth.” Larremore moved on from there to San Angelo and Abilene, working as a manager for the Stage Stores family of department stores — or, as it’s known in Texas, Bealls.
Eventually, Larremore was promoted to a district position and moved to Boise, Idaho. He oversaw Stage locations in six states for about two years, and said he enjoyed his time in the Idaho capital. “A lot of people don’t realize it, but Boise’s a lot like Texas,” he said. “There’s lots of hiking, lots of trails — you can drive 25 minutes north and be in the mountains. It’s a very clean city, a very neat city and a very polite city.”
Larremore’s final Stage position was at its corporate office in Houston. But Larremore, a self-described “small town kid,” wasn’t entire comfortable with the traffic and bustle of big-city life. And he wasn’t sure about the future of his industry.
“I think everybody can see that brick-and-mortal retail is dying,” he said. “I wanted to be in a business that’s stable that could provide a long-term answer — I didn’t want to bounce around from career to career.”
Larremore also wanted to come home and assist his grandmother, who was beginning to struggle with her old age. Larremore’s father died five years ago, and Larremore felt it was his responsibility to help care for his mother in his stead. “My dad was gone and my uncle was disabled, so he couldn’t do much with her,” he said. “I decided to come back and help her with grocery shopping and things like that.”
So three years ago, Larremore left Houston and returned to his hometown. Leaving Bealls behind, he took a job at Texas Farm Bureau — a position he said he enjoys thoroughly. “It’s been great,” Larremore said. “They believe in agriculture. They believe in education. They really try to get to know people, as opposed to an insurance company just trying to sell you something.
“I’m very happy with where I’m at and what I do,” he said.
Now as president of the Brownwood chamber ambassadors, Larremore is trying to promote and assist the city he’s returned to. With the benefit of an outside perspective, Larremore said Brownwood does three things particularly well — creates a sense of community, develops leaders and brings in industry.
“You know ‘Feels Like Home’? It does feel like home,” he said. “It’s always going to be a home for me, but to create that feeling for somebody who moves in … is something that Brownwood does very well. It’s a very open and welcoming community, in my opinion.”
Moving forward, Larremore said he may eventually look at having his own insurance agency, and that he’d like to start a family. For now, though, he’s happy with the roads that led him back to Brownwood. “I’m in a good place,” he said.
In his free time, Larremore said he likes to golf, travel, hunt and hike. His Texas Farm Bureau office is located at 2450 Hwy. 377.