By Katherine Gathje, Interim Extension Educator
The Miller family of Brownton has been named McLeod County’s “2021 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.
The Miller Family Farm started around 1948 when Herman Miller Sr. purchased the home farm in Penn Township. He farmed and raised pigs until he passed away in 1955. That year, his son, Herman Jr. was 15. Herman Jr.’s sister and brother-in-law ran the farm until Herman Jr. finished high school.
After completing high school Herman returned home to manage the farm. In the late 1970s, his oldest son, Kevin, began farming with Herman and they continued farming together for many years. In 2006, Herman semi-retired and Kevin began to take over the operation. Kevin currently manages the farm along with the help of his sons, Logan and Lane.
Kevin and his sons currently raise pigs in a farrow-to-finish operation as well as producing corn for Heartland Corn Products, sweet corn for Seneca Foods, and soybeans for seed production. In addition to farming with their dad, Lane and Logan rent some of their own land and are raising a small cow/calf beef herd with plans to expand.
Logan and Lane help with all fieldwork involved in crop production as well as the daily chores of the farrow-to-finish business. Logan works off the farm at AgRevival in Gibbon. Daughter Lindsay is a veterinary student at the University of Minnesota with plans to be a food animal veterinarian after graduation. She pitches in when time allows and advises on herd health and improving farrowing efficiencies. Lane recently received his Farm Operations and Management diploma with an emphasis on livestock production from Ridgewater College.
Kevin and family belong to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Brownton where Kevin has served in many different roles. Kevin is on the Penn Township Board, the High Island Watershed Board and is a member of the Brownton Lions Club. Kevin’s wife, Brenda, worked for Glencoe Regional Health Services for 27 years and volunteered a great deal of time with various groups including her church, Lake Marion 4-H, McLeod West and GFW school boards and GFW FFA. She enjoyed spending time with her community, friends, and family as well as camping and gardening. Brenda passed away last year and she is missed by all.
The families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 5 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls. Profiles of the 2021 honorees and information on the recognition event can be found on the University’s farm family website. The Miller Family will also be recognized during the McLeod County Fair on Saturday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the indoor show arena.
Honored families are chosen, one per county, by local University of Minnesota Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to their communities and to enhancing and supporting agriculture.
“These farm families are a major driver of Minnesota’s economy and the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities,” said Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension. “The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these farm families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities.”
Along with Farmfest, University units sponsoring the recognition event include University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine.