Farmer Ingenuity Leads to Family Owned Business

IMG_1161.JPGFarmer ingenuity led Jerry Miller of Deering, ND, to start his own business. This third generation farmer couldn’t find a provider for the type of fertility program he was interested in using, so he founded AgriTec.

“AgriTec looks for high quality, cost-effective products that are biologically superior,” says Jerry. “We want to be the one stop for all the products and services a farmer needs to have a successful growing season, so we also sell seed.”

Desiring to work with a family-owned seed company that offers a broad and deep lineup, last year Jerry and his wife, Dana, planted Latham® brand soybeans on their own farm. Impressed by the high quality and performance – with yield gains as high as 10 bushels per acre over the competition – the Millers decided to make Latham products available to their customers for the 2015 planting season.

Saving time, reducing risk, simplifying decisions and providing options are shared promises of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds and AgriTec. AgriTec strives to provide unequalled service including: custom fertilizer blending, chemical and seed sales, seed treatment, plus custom application of dry and liquid fertilizers and chemicals, both on the ground and aerial.  Soil testing, prescription farming services and agronomy consultation also are offered.

“We enjoy working with everyone at Latham because, although they are personable and friendly, they are also very professional and competent,” says Dana. “Information, orders, deliveries and questions are all addressed with precision.  Dealings are stress free and accurate.”

Raised in a small town in central Saskatchewan, Canada, Dana came to North Dakota for college. She earned a bachelor degree in deaf education and a master’s degree in special education diagnostics from Minot State University. She had served as diagnostic team coordinator for Minot State University but left her job in 1996 to help with Agri-Tec.

The Ward County horse judging team placed fifth overall at the Western National Roundup in Denver last month. Pictured from left to right are coach Paige Brummund and team members Shaylee Miller, Kara Scheresky and Kali Miller.

The Ward County horse judging team placed fifth overall at the Western National Roundup in Denver last month. Pictured from left to right are coach Paige Brummund and team members Shaylee Miller, Kara Scheresky and Kali Miller.

In addition to growing a business, Jerry and Dana have raised their three children on the same farm where Jerry grew up. Their 21-year-old son, Jory, will graduate in May from the University of North Dakota (UND) with a degree in Marketing and Communications. He interned with the North Dakota State Fair in 2014 and is very involved with his fraternity and philanthropy projects.


The Miller’s oldest daughter Kali, 19, is in her first year at UND. She’s planning to pursue a career in the medical field.  Kali was an active 4-H member, and in 2014, she won the state 4-H horse judging competition in Fargo.


Judging horses is a passion Kali shares with her 15-year-old sister, Shay. A freshman at Surrey High School, Shay is active in volleyball, basketball, track and student council.  She also is very active in 4-H. She enjoys showing horses including: Western riding, English riding and games, such as barrels and poles.


Shay and Kali have participated in Hippology contests and were important parts of the team representing North Dakota at the national competition last month at the National Western Stock Show. In March 2014, the Miller sisters along with teammate Kara Scheresky competed in the state 4-H judging competition in Fargo. They took first place in horse judging and were invited to judge at the Western National Roundup in Denver, Colorado. More than 900 youth from 33 states plus Alberta, Canada attended the Roundup from January 8-11, 2015, and the North Dakota team proudly placed fifth overall.

Although Dana wasn’t raised on a farm, she says she’s enjoyed raising her children on a farm where they can pursue their own interests. Growing up on a family farm has also taught them responsibility, she says.

“Our children enjoy the quietness and the open spaces of the farm. They spend a lot of time in the barn with their animals,” adds Dana. “Our girls can be found all summer long with their horses. They have learned independence, responsibility and compassion from owning and caring for animals.”

Caring for livestock and running an agribusiness, plus attending extracurricular activities, means there’s limited time to spend in the kitchen. Dana enjoys recipes that are quick and easy. Today she’s sharing a favorite recipe for Easy Lemon Bars, which is like a vacation for your taste buds.

Easy Lemon Bars



  • 1 package yellow cake mix with pudding added
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1, 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice



  1. Mix together dry cake mix with the egg and oil.
  2. Save one cup of this mixture for the topping.
  3. Pat the rest of the cake mix in an ungreased 9x13 inch cake pan.
  4. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.
  5. Beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice and spread carefully over baked crust.
  6. Crumble remaining (1 cup) of cake mixture over top.
    NOTE: There is not enough to completely cover the filling.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool and cut in bars.