East Berlin, Pennsylvania
The Miller family relied on support from Horizon Farm Credit to secure a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brothers Larry and Lester Miller, farm with their sons, Jeremy and Curtis Miller in East Berlin, Pennsylvania. The family owns and operates three agricultural operations: D Fred Miller, where they produce grain and beef, as well as Round Hill Dairy and Round Hill Turkey.
Continuing a family legacy
The Miller’s farm has been in the family for generations. Larry and Lester grew up, first watching, then helping, their dad manage two properties for which he was responsible – the family’s home farm, as well as the second piece of property that he purchased in 1950.
Years later, Larry and Lester’s own sons were interested in staying on the farm, too. They wanted to follow in the footsteps of their fathers and their grandfather before them. In order to make room for everyone and ensure that there was enough to go around, the Millers expanded their family business.
Today, they produce 100 acres of alfalfa and 300 acres of wheat. “We got plenty to do to keep everybody moving,” Lester said.
Everything was going according to plan, that is, until early spring of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The Millers were flooded with uncertainty about the future and what was going to happen to the farm. “We weren't quite sure how bad it was going to get,” Jeremy said.
That’s when they sought support from Horizon Farm Credit. “Our loan officer helped us through the loans; they got everything ready for us, which made things easy and quick,” Jeremy said.
Support when they needed it most
Horizon Farm Credit helped the Millers apply for a PPP loan, a federal program with the goal of supporting small businesses in the wake of the pandemic. “Horizon staff were very helpful with PPP loan,” Larry said. “Actually, they initiated the process and helped us through it.”
In fact, the support the Millers have received from Horizon has been crucial to weather the chaos of the pandemic. “Our loan officers have been extremely helpful.” Larry said. “They know what we need, know where we're headed, and look out for us.”
As they think towards the future, Curtis and Jeremy are hopeful that their children will, one day, want to take over the farm.
“In the back of our heads is to keep the legacy going, the legacy that our great-grandfather started,” Curtis said. “I get up every morning and go to work to feed the world.”