ABOUT DEITSCHLAND FARM
It's hard to believe it has been ten years since we posed for this photo with Emilie. Much has changed as we have gotten older and hopefully wiser. Graying hair, wrinkled brows, squint lines, all remind us that time is a precious commodity. We have spent nearly forty years doing what we love, farming and raising Hereford cattle as a family.
Mike and Sheila Miller purchased their first registered Hereford cattle in 1979 and kept them on Sheila's parents' farm near Hershey, PA until they purchased their first farm in Berks County a year later. As third-generation beef farmers, Mike and Sheila have followed in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents. Sheila's parents, Vernon and Mildred Miller, had a commercial Hereford herd, which transitioned into a feeding and freezer beef operation in the 1960s. Mike's parents, Charles and Kathaleen Miller farmed near Gettysburg, PA and raised commercial cattle. The examples of their parents' hard work and love of farming instilled in them the desire to have their own farms. Today, their daughter, Emilie, works for Kansas State University. Emilie, along with her husband, Austin Fink, and sons, Corbin and Canaan, return to Pennsylvania to assist with vaccinations and other chores as their busy schedules permit. They purchased a small farm, next to Austin's parents' farm near Wamego, Kansas, in 2015 where they raise Simmental cattle and show pigs.
The Millers produce registered seedstock for the industry. They sell feeder cattle to repeat buyers. They also have loyal freezer beef customers who purchase quarters, sides, and whole steers on a regular basis.
It is only fitting that the sign marking the entrance to Deitschland Farm was made in 1987 by Sheila's father, a commercial Hereford breeder and World War II veteran who survived the battle of Iwo Jima. Vernon instilled in his daughter and son-in-law the desire to farm and raise cattle. The boards used to make the sign are from the original barn on the 63-acre farm that Mike and Sheila purchased in 1980. A neighboring farm was purchased in 1997 and additional acreage in 2014. Along with cattle, abundant wildlife share the 165 acres of pastureland, hayfields, woodland and conservation habitat where the Millers live. They appreciate the opportunity to rent Sheila's family farm. Weanling calves or late-calving older cows spend summers at Hershey and are cared for by Sheila's mother until they come home to calve.
Sheila's dad farmed his entire life and continued to feed heifers until the day before he died last February. Along with helping to feed the cattle, he helped Sheila and Mike by driving their truck during summer hay season as they gathered big square bales from the hay fields. "He was a big help to us and liked to stay involved in farming, even as he celebrated more than 95 years of life. Our lives have been far different as we have had to adjust to life without Dad. We treasure the memories and all of his advice and counsel so freely given. God bless you, Dad. We will see your loving smile again someday when we hopefully join you in your heavenly home with our Savior and Lord above."
1921 - 2017