For this week’s One &Only, home used to be a few hours away. However, life brought her to Holmes County in the 1970s. She was originally hired to be the Holmes County Planning Commission as the organization’s Executive Director. That role catapulted Leah Miller into working with the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce in the 1980s and the Holmes County Commissioners by the 1990s. She began the Small Farm Institute in the 2000s.
Read on to learn more about this dynamic piece of the Holmes County puzzle, her interests and her passion for agriculture.
Current community: Millersburg Marital and family status: Married to Mic (Michael); two adult sons, two daughters-in-law, five grandkids
Occupation: Semi-retired sheep farmer / Leadership Holmes County Director
Hobbies: Walking, traveling, read- ing, botany
Last book I read: “The Lean Farm” by Ben Hartman
First job: Rolling small round bales for grandfather
Worst job: Never had one Favorite childhood memory: Camping out in our sheep pasture Favorite music: Classical and light rock
Favorite food: Park Street Greek Pizza
Best idea I ever had: Taking a job in Holmes County with Planning Commission and marrying my husband
Worst idea I ever had: Not applicable
I am known for my: Work with Small Farm Institute, Leadership Holmes County
If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is: Never stop learning or trying new things
The one thing I would still like to try is: Waiting to see what it might be.
We all have role models. Who have you looked up to over the years? My mother has been a strong role model for me. Others in the county have been RJ Patterson, Arlie Rodhe, Rob Schlabach and Jerry D. Miller. I have been fortunate to have many individuals that have given guidance/suggestions at the right times in my life. I feel that it never stops and I have continued to have that experience.
If you had to describe the greater Holmes County area to someone who may visit, how would you do that? I love the diversity of the landscape from Winesburg to Farmerstown to Killbuck, Glenmont, Big Prairie, Mt. Hope and Millersburg areas. I talk about our glaciated and unglaciated hills, farms, creek bottoms, woodlands and hillsides. In addition to the physical characteristics, I tend to share about our people and their helpfulness and friendliness plus our restaurants, roadside and bulk food markets plus our furniture and wood industry. You can be as busy as you like or as relaxed and slow as you need to be while visiting us.
As a farmer, life can be challenging. What keeps you going? Sometimes, lambing season is challenging and frustrating when the little lambs can’t figure out how to nurse. Or the ewe does not seem to have enough milk. But seeing the little lambs and their mothers helps. I enjoy the different seasons and the activities they bring to the farm…newness and the routines.
Organizations: Millersburg Mennonite Church, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Holmes County Economic Development Council, OARDC Advisory Council
The One & Only is a weekly personality profile that features individuals well-known in the local community. Do you have a suggestion for someone we should feature? Let us know by calling 330-852-4634 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.