Title: Owner, Farmer, Restaurant Owner
Company: Windy Groves Inc., This Is It Eatery
Location: Freeport, IL
Education: Graduate, Leadership Institute, Highland Community College (2015); AS in Business Management, Freeport Senior High School (1984)
Career History: Owner, This Is It Eatery, Freeport, IL (2017-Present); Owner/Farmer, Windy Groves Inc. (1989-Present); Tool and Die Maker, Sauer Danfoss (1990-2010); Forge Operator, Star Manufacturing (1987-1990)
Greg A. Miller, Owner at Windy Groves Inc. and This Is It Eatery, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the fields of agriculture and food.
Motivated by hard work and the golden rule to “treat others the way you would like to be treated,” Mr. Miller grew up on his family farm and excelled in the lifestyle throughout his upbringing. However, his parents ultimately lost the farm, which led to major financial hardships within the family; during this time, he lived out of a car and often didn’t have enough food. After earning an Associate of Science in business management in 1984, he worked as a forge operator for Star Manufacturing for a few years and then was able to purchase the family farm in 1989. He turned it into Windy Groves, Inc., a 2,000-acre farm which, among its 40 cows and many crops, specializes in cash grains—including dry field and seed peas and beans, sunflowers, and popcorn—to this day.
In addition to his myriad responsibilities at Windy Groves, Mr. Miller excelled as a tool and die maker at Sauer Danfoss from 1990 to 2010. Through a co-worker at the farm, he became involved in the restaurant business. He initially served as a silent partner but after six months, the owner stepped down and so, since 2017, he has been the sole proprietor of This Is it Eatery, whose motto is “Home of the owner-raised beef” and signature dishes include meatloaf and mashed potatoes, open-faced roast beef sandwiches, homemade macaroni and cheese, and tater tot casserole with pulled pork. His wife, Sheila, eventually left her job at a local school district to manage the business. Outside of his primary endeavors, Mr. Miller has donated two significant grants to the Freeport Rural Fire Department and Freeport High School, found success as a public speaker, and graduated from the Leadership Institute at Highland Community College in 2015.
Recognized with awards and accolades for his livestock and farming expertise, Mr. Miller has also been proud to be affiliated with numerous organizations, including the American Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, Illinois Beef Association, County Farm Bureau, and Local College Leadership Program. Upon reflection of his life and career, he has been extremely proud of his service to others, strong work ethic, and unwavering ability to always do a job right the first time.