Our family: Aaron and Charlene Miller—E’delweiss Farm; Brad, Jane, Ben and Hannah Miller—Hope Ridge Farm; Brenda, Kevin, Ozzie, Isaac and Elliott Thomas; and Craig, Tina, Heather, Elizabeth and Erin Miller.
How we met: Charlene and I met while attending East Fairmont High School in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1955.
About Farm Bureau: I became a Farm Bureau member in about 2002. I am a trustee for Monroe County Farm Bureau.
We raise: Blonde d’Aquitaine beef cattle. From selection of the genetics to production of the beef, no one else is involved, just our family. There are only two other registered Blonde herds in Ohio. These cattle combine tenderness, juiciness and flavor with very lean beef.
Hardest chore: Managing cattle due to the distance between our farms.
Your motivation: Working together to produce a natural product for the consumer …hormone-free, lean natural beef. By hormone free, I mean we use no feed products or management practices that in any way add hormones of any type (specifically stimulants such as bovine growth hormone) to our beef. We are not certified organic but we do follow organic management practices almost exclusively. We don’t grow our corn, but with that exception, we probably exceed the standards for organic production.
Your passion: Becoming good stewards of the land … leaving it a better place for the future.
What’s happening on the farm: Oil and gas leasing; expanding beef handling facilities; improving marketing.
Achievements: Top quality Blonde d’Aquitaine herd 1990 to present.
Why we farm: To manage the land God has entrusted to us.
Our county: Our area is known as the Switzerland of Ohio. It is located in Appalachia. We have scenic hills, beautiful streams and plentiful wildlife.
Our future: Healthy herd management.
Our biggest challenge: Keeping ahead of cattle needs.
Our family enjoys: Family camping, reading, golfing, traveling.
Biggest misconception you’ve heard about farming: That animal agriculture is bad for the environment.
Here is a favorite recipe, but our beef is very tasty, whether it be a burger, steak or roast, with just a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place one 3- to 3½-pound boneless beef brisket* in Dutch oven. Halve 2 onions; stick a whole clove into each onion half. Add onions with cloves to meat with 2 branches celery, 4½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns.
Barely cover with water. Cover; bake for 3 to 3½ hours. Add 6 medium carrots, pared, the last 20 minutes of baking. Discard onions and celery. Serves 8 to 10.
*Before preparing the recipe, the brisket could be tenderized. To tenderize, marinade in black tea or rub tea leaves on brisket. Let set for 1 hour. Drain or rinse off leaves before preparations above. If not all the tea leaves rinse off, that won’t affect the taste of the meat.