Farmer Spotlight

Buddy Miller. Farmer. Teacher.

On Friday August 12, 2016 during National Farmers Market Week, the Alcorn State University Natchez Farmers Market recognized Buddy Miller, the only farmer who has been a part of the farmers market since it opened in 1999.

Miller, a 4th generation farmer, planted his first crop in 1961. For over five decades, he has had a love for farming, and currently provides employment for six families. His farming operation has grown from one crop to more than 16 crops, which includes two varieties of okra; four varieties of watermelons; five varieties of squash, 25 varieties of peaches as well as other crops that include soybeans, eggplants, cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupes, sunflowers, sun melons and pecans.

He is a traditional farmer and states that his biggest challenges have been the weather and government regulations. However, when it comes to marketing his produce, he prefers to market through mail order and at the farmers market.

When speaking to customers Miller’s main focus is all about the children. “I do it {farming} so children can adapt eating healthier, which will aid in promoting a healthier lifestyle at an early age,” he says.

When asked about his biggest success, he says with a smile, “still trying to find it.”

Overall, Miller’s advice to potential farmers are, “they must be committed, willing to work long and hard, and do so without making much money.”

One other thing that’s unique about Miller is he is not only a farmer, but, also, a teacher. He enjoys teaching others what he has learned over the years. Throughout the year, you will find him providing technical assistance and demonstrations to members of the Adams County Master Gardeners.

Miller believes money spent locally is recycled into the economy which allows money to stay where it is earned; thus, creating new jobs.

His daily motto is: If it grows locally, it sells locally, and it stays locally.