Miller Farms – Turkey Dinner for 100,000 People

by NxtGen Nexus | Dec 5, 2023 | Impact

GenZ Family Business NxtGens, and even some GenX and Millennials, are making about important decisions about entering the family business on a daily business.  There are a number of excellent reasons to choose the family business including: common values, commitment to shared cause, honoring the family legacy, and an opportunity for ownership.

For GenX family business members who are seeking to make a positive impact on the world, there is no better vehicle than the family business.  In Nature vs. Nurture – Family Business NxtGens and Poodles, the relationship between local family business and philanthropy is discussed.

Family businesses have always played an enormous role in their local community.  While it’s not as pronounced as The Hershey Company in Hershey, PA, they provide the emotional and philanthropic engine in their communities.

About Miller Farms & Feeding 100,000 People in 2023

Miller Farms is a fourth-generation, community-driven business founded in 1950 with the belief that  Everyone Is Family. With humble beginnings selling eggs door to door, Earl and Margaret Miller prided themselves on listening to the needs of their neighbors and making time to help others. For over 70 years, Miller Farms brought people together with their signature farm fresh turkeys and related foodstuffs directly from the retail store on the family farm and through distributors throughout Connecticut. The annual “Thanksgiving tent” on the property drew thousands of people over the five days prior to the Thursday holiday from the New England region to stock up on all their holiday needs. Over a million people have enjoyed a Miller Farms turkey since the 1950s.

In 2020 due to the global pandemic, Miller Farms pivoted and move the celebration and store online, while launching a new tradition called the Thankful Turkey, partnering with other multi-generational family farms to source the best turkeys in the country. With each direct-to-consumer turkey sold, an additional turkey was donated to families in need through our partnership with Connecticut Foodshare, the local Feeding America food bank partner, to help alleviate the pressures of food insecurity. The support was overwhelmingly positive, and thousands of turkeys were donated.

This year, the family upped their game with a pledge of feeding 100,000 people in 2023 alone. The non-profit arm called Miller Farms Cares was established to accept direct cash and in-kind donations from businesses and individuals, thereby increasing donor opportunities. With donations and percentage of sales from DTC turkeys and spices, Miller Farms met that ambitious goal in only 6 months and donated 5,000 turkeys equaling 100,00 meals directly to Connecticut Foodshare, the state’s largest foodbank. This was the single largest donation to Connecticut Foodshare this Thanksgiving season.

Fourth generation co-owner Nick DeJulius, based here in Los Angeles, discusses the importance of the mission of Miller Farms for the family, “Since the company was started by my great grandparents over 70-years, Miller Farms (then Miller Foods) has always been involved in supporting our local town (Avon, CT) as well as greater Connecticut, and projects such as the Thankful Turkey and 2023 Feed 100k campaign provide a platform where the family business itself could be the engine for creating positive impact for the community.  The opportunities to work with other multi-generational family farms and local charitable organizations to help tackle a cause we truly find important strikes at the heart of who we are as a family and a business.”

In addition to Miller Farms, the family’s primary business is now a natural raw pet food company, Oma’s Pride. The company is now led by third and fourth generation family members and still utilizes the same family farm in Avon, CT to make its USA-sourced premium pet food. Currently, all beef used in production of Oma’s Pride pet food is from Brandt Beef, a family-owned and operated ranch in Southern California.