It’s safe to say NorthStar Genetics Community Star winner Kevin Miller is a firm believer in community. His schedule is jam packed – tending to his 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans and sweet corn, as well as running a small swine operation in Minnesota is a full-time job. Despite the magnitude of time this operation consumes, Kevin further loads his already crammed schedule with acts of service to his community.
“I’m on a lot of boards, too many sometimes,” Miller says when asked about his community work. He goes on to explain his community involvement further, by telling me he’s on the Highland Watershed Board, his local church board (where he’s filled multiple roles but is currently trustee), is a member of his local Lion’s Club, and an active fundraiser for community initiatives including summer school, youth sports programs, and even parties – a list of responsibilities rivaling even the most hectic of schedules.
Wondering how he can possibly keep up with all these demands, I ask Kevin what his secret is. “Just keep going,” he says. “Get up early and stay up late.”
Kevin Miller credits his wife, Brenda, as well as their children, for making it possible for him to donate his time to so many worthy causes. His family is always there to lend a helping hand when needed, which allows him to continue volunteering his time.
It was actually through Brenda, his wife, that Kevin Miller identified a kindred spirit and community advocate while Brenda was getting donations ready for a local charity. Chastity Fritz started her charity, Project NO MORE, three years ago for those in need in Winthrop, Minnesota. Using her own basement as the charity’s home base, Fritz began to collect items for the less fortunate, with a focus on helping her community.
“At Project NO MORE we have an income based free store,” Fritz explains. “Those in need fill out an application, and if they qualify they shop for free.” Fritz’s free store at Project NO MORE contains clothing, household items, toiletries, and even pet food.
Project NO MORE has grown substantially in three short years, and as well as providing clothing and household items to the less fortunate, Fritz and her volunteers treat the Project NO MORE headquarters as a resource center. Also offered through Project NO MORE are job resources, addiction resources, parent support groups, a veteran card giving program, games and crafting nights, a Christmas present program, as well as an adoption program for grandparents.
Kevin Miller will be donating his $1,000 award from NorthStar Genetics to Project NO MORE. “I felt the project that she’s working on is a community effort,” Miller says. “I know we’ve donated stuff to her, and I just felt it was a local project that she’s been working very hard on… She puts in a lot of time and her heart’s into it big time, so we felt very comfortable that it was a good place to fund or give them a gift.”
On behalf of NorthStar Genetics, thank you Community Star Kevin Miller. Your efforts giving back to farming communities are crucial to keeping community spirit alive.
“The idea for the Community Star program stemmed from recognizing the vital and selfless role that farmers play in supporting their farming communities,” says Dan Hogstad, CEO, NorthStar Genetics. “Despite their busy lives, they find time to give back to their communities. At NorthStar Genetics, we, in turn, wanted to recognize these individuals and say thank you. Without their efforts, many small town agricultural communities would fail to thrive.”
NorthStar Genetics is a trusted seed company because of their dedication to local growers and conditions, providing seed that is grown and conditioned locally on the same land as the farmers who grow it. By testing hundreds of varieties, they are able to designate them to specific areas based on local conditions and be confident that they will perform. NorthStar Genetics proudly serves four states, offering the highest quality, locally proven genetics available.