More than a century ago, George A. Miller, a struggling sharecropper, scraped up enough money to buy a small farm near the Holston River, northwest of New Market, in Jefferson County, Tennessee. The place was so remote and rundown that he nicknamed it “Lick Skillet” as a joke on himself.
The hillside farmland was badly eroded, with much of its life and resources gone. Neighbors warned that the land was "done wore out" and speculated he would "never make a go of it." But it was all he could afford, and through good stewardship, he managed to raise cattle, tobacco, corn, cereal grains, hogs, chickens, and nine children on that land.
One of those children, George Junior, married Betty Gibson, and they stayed on the farm and expanded it further. Their children (Alex, Elaine and Carter) and their spouses, would eventually settle on the growing farm, creating Miller Family Farms, focused on cattle production, with an 200+ -pair cow-calf operation.
Alex (aka George A. Miller III) married Shannon Welch, and they raised four children on the farm and added more land. Today, those children have children of their own, living and working on the farm; four generations living and farming together! This branch of the family tree manages the “Lick Skillet Farm” brand, created to sell the best possible, locally produced, pastured beef, pork, lamb, and eggs direct to customers.
As did George Miller Senior, we still steward the land with an eye to future generations. Rejecting industrial farm practices, we focus on sustainability over production: we make caring for the land, and the family and friends it serves, the center of every decision.
Learn about our current farming operations at “Lick Skillet Today.”