May 2021 - 42

5 MINUTES WITH ...
5
MINUTES
-WITH-
DUSTYN MILLER
Could you share a little about your background?
I am a fifth generation " farmer, " so one could say
growing plants is in my blood. I earned a bachelor's
degree in agribusiness management from Penn State and
returned to the family business to help posture Miller
Plant Farm to remain relevant and sustainable in the
community for years to come.
In 2011, we opened up a new garden center and
farm market on site where we can now hold events,
workshops and festivals, and provide a very customer
friendly experience. I prefer to not abandon my passion
for growing by keeping a very hands-on structure with
my work, and am responsible for growing many of the
ornamental crops, as well as aiding in the management of
the retail garden center.
As a family business, what measures do you
take to separate the family part from the
business part?
This is such a sobering question - makes me realize I
should have more measures in place! Not only do I work
with my father, sister and cousin, but my wife is involved
in the business, too! And we all live on the farm as well!
During the spring season, the work switch does not
get turned off very much, admittedly. One thing that is a
blessing is that our business does close on Sundays. I still
have to put some time in at work and, depending on the
seasons, sometimes more than just an hour or two. But
Sundays are greatly cherished and protected as family days.
Note: After my wife proofread my responses, we now have a
new rule of no discussion of business at the dinner table.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I really enjoy how happy plants and gardening make
people. Whether it's a seasoned gardener or a rookie,
when I get to share information with folks sometimes the
excitement level is off the charts. It is very refreshing, too,
because in this industry you have to work extremely hard
during the prime seasons. Without some affirmation, one
would surely burn out.
By Teresa McPherson
Dustyn Miller is ornamental grower/retail
greenhouse and nursery manager
at Miller Plant Farm in York, Pennsylvania.
He is a GPN Magazine 40 Under 40 alumnus
(Class of 2017).
42 | LAWN & GARDEN RETAILER | MAY 2021
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I really enjoy working in the yard and garden. I live in an
old house on about 13 acres, and in five years I've planted
over 50 trees and only cut three down. I also enjoy riding
my mountain bike, playing in the yard with the kids, and
sharing my love of nature and outdoors while hiking with
my wife, two daughters and dog.
Favorite plant to grow? Why?
It is so hard to pick just one. I have a very unique love/
hate relationship with poinsettias. The crop offers up
many challenges that you don't get with many spring
crops, and I always enjoy a challenge. I've grown them
for 15 years and feel like I've seen it all and made all the
mistakes, but every year you will learn at least one new
lesson when you grow poinsettias.

May 2021

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