June 2017

Michigan State Representative Beau LaFave visits Miller Family Farm


From left to right: Dawn Miller, Rob Miller, Karly Rae, Representative LaFave, Hannah Miller, Jonnie Miller and Jake Miller

Dawn and Rob Miller of Miller Family Farm hosted Michigan State Representative Beau LaFave and Miss Karly Rae on Sunday, June 4th at the farm.   State Representative Beau LaFave was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the people of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties and serves on the Energy Policy, Insurance, Judiciary and Natural Resources committees in the state legislature.

The Miller Family Farm was established in 2012 in Carney, Michigan.  The farm uses controlled environment agriculture, hydroponics and aquaponics to bring fresh produce and fish year around to groceries stores, schools and farmers markets.  The farm strives to be environmentally friendly, energy efficient and sustainable.

The Representative and Miss Rae toured the farm with the Miller family and learned how lettuce and tilapia are grown and harvested in an indoor, virtually zero waste closed loop system.  In the Miller’s aquaponics system, the fish are grown in indoor tanks and the fish tank water is circulated to the lettuce greenhouse.  The fish tank water provides the perfect set of nutrients for the lettuce.  In turn, the lettuce purifies the fish water which is then returned to the fish tanks.  Lettuce raised in an aquaponics system is cleaner than field grown lettuce because it is not exposed to dirt which contains soil born bacteria and pathogens like E. coli, salmonella and listeria.

The Representative and Miss Rae also toured the tomato greenhouse which is undergoing routine maintenance in preparation for the next tomato crop planned for the fall of 2017.  The Miller Family Farm is well known for its large, slicing tomatoes that are grown hydroponically.

Lettuce is currently harvested three times a week all year round and may be found under the EatUP label in nearby grocery stores in Escanaba, Powers, Stephenson, Wallace, and Menominee, Michigan and Marinette, Wisconsin.  Tomatoes will be ready and ripe starting in early October and will then be available on a continual basis going forward.  Sometime in the near future, the Miller family plans to offer tilapia locally at the farm.

The Miller family welcomes individuals, groups and organizations to tour their facility by appointment.  More information is available on the Miller Family Farm website or on the Miller Family Farm facebook page .