Know Your Farmer
Brooks and Anna
North Mountain Pastures is owned and operated by Brooks Miller and Anna Santini. The Millers started managing farms together in 2006, and now own 84 acres outside of Newport, Pennsylvania, where they raise chickens, pigs, turkeys, cows and sheep, all with permanent access to pasture.
Anna graduated from Penn State University with a degree in agricultural and biological engineering. She spent summers doing what she loved - working at various farms around the state. These included a grass-based organic dairy, a small goat dairy, and three organic vegetable production farms, two of which were CSAs.
After graduation Anna worked as a research intern at the Rodale Institute's experimental organic farm (Kutztown, PA). She then traveled and volunteered at farms throughout Central America, after which she was hired as farm manager of Hope Springs Farm (Hershey, PA), a therapeutic farm for adults with disabilities. There, Anna and Brooks were married, their son Kaj was born, and they lived and farmed for two years.
Brooks graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor's in aerospace engineering. He worked briefly in the aerospace industry, but soon longed for a return to the outdoors and working with his hands. Unsure of his future as an engineer, he traveled through Europe and then backpacked and WWOOFed in Mexico, confirming a love for farming.
Upon his return to the US, he moved to Hope Springs Farm with Anna, and they soon married. Brooks worked off the farm as a brewer and automation engineer at Troegs Brewing Company (Harrisburg, PA), a small, craft brewery.
Over the years, Brooks and Anna have expanded their knowledge of pasture-raised meats by raising batches of pastured poultry, managing a growing flock of sheep and a small herd of cows through trial and error and with the help of area farmers. Brooks has also spent time with some of the finest chefs in the country, learning artisan techniques and recipes to make salumi directly on the farm.
Today, Kaj is quickly becoming a helpful little farmer. He assists in twice-daily chicken moves, feeding and watering baby chicks, and milking goats. He loves fresh pastured eggs, home-cured bacon, raw goat's milk, and pastured chicken meat. And now he has a little sister, Leila, born in March of this year.