Milan Center Feed & Grain

Milan Center Feed & Grain
Lynn Stieglitz
15402 Doty Road
New Haven, IN  46774
Phone: 260-657-5461
Fax: 260-657-5397

If you make a triangle on the map with New Haven, Harlan, and Woodburn, in the middle you will find a treasure; Milan Center Feed & Grain. Milan Center Feed & Grain was founded in 1957 by Marvin Stieglitz, who began by selling bagged feed from their farm in Harlan, Indiana. Eventually, Marvin and Joan purchased a mill in Harlan and quickly outgrew the facility. When the sight owned by the Brueggeman family on Doty Road went up for sale in 1963, it seemed the perfect location for the growing business. Lynn Stieglitz who is the oldest son and current general manager of Milan Center Feed & Grain said, "This particular facility was built in 1948 right after the war. It is kind of amazing when I look at it; it was built out of rough sawn logs and big timbers. I think it was probably a state of the art building in its day."

What made this location even better was a large home to raise a growing family. Stieglitz shared that his family moved next door in 1971. He said, "I was intrigued with the variety of things going on next door so I would come over and help out after school."

Stieglitz was involved with the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization. During his involvement they talked a lot about what they would do in the future, particularly about careers in agriculture. Purchasing some hogs and helping to raise them on a nearby farm, Stieglitz dabbled in animal husbandry. He provided the feed and the farmer took care of them, all with the hope that there would be some money left at the end.

Graduating high school in 1976, it was time for college. Stieglitz shared, "I was just more interested in the business. I did go to Michigan state; they had an eighteen month program of Ag Tech. It was basically six quarters of elevator and supply management." Returning home after graduating from that program, he began working at Milan Center Feed & Grain full time.

In 1983 an additional building was added for office and retail space opening a whole new service for their clientele. Then in 2001 when the Old Brueggeman Lumber Company burned, a new retail space was built and opened in 2004.

Milan Center Feed & Grain is predominately a feed mill and farm store. Their motto "Large or Small We Feed Them All" certainly is accurate. Located at their facility is machinery used to turn raw ingredients into feed of all types. They produce and bag the feed, and in addition to bulk feed, ship the finished product all from their buildings.

The farm store has animal feed for all types of animals; household pets as well as farm animals of all kinds. But, that is just where their inventory begins. The store also carries gift items such as toys, perfumes, jewelry, house decor, and much more. It is a great resource for one of a kind gifts that cannot be found at other larger and urban stores.

Stieglitz loves the variety involved in his business. He stated, "If I get tired of working on spreadsheets, I just take a break by going over to the farm store and helping out. There is always something to do there. That's what has always attracted me to this business; there are just so many aspects to it."

Some of the things Stieglitz sees changing in the agricultural business are continued consolidation of smaller agricultural businesses into larger ones, the growing use of the internet for shopping, and the increase in suburban back yard plots and animal husbandry such as chickens etc. He emphasized that by using a small family business such as Milan Center Feed & Grain, you get much more personal service. He said, "When you talk about back yard flocks there is competition like Tractor Supply and Rural King, but you won't have people with forty years of commitment and knowledge serving you, their turnover is too quick." He also shared that while the internet business may grow, there are still times when people don't want to wait for shipping and they want it now. That is a plus in a shop and carry store like the Milan Center Farm Store.

Milan Center Feed & Grain has been a member of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce since 2006. They originally joined for the PHP discount that was given at that time, but discovered that they enjoyed being members and so stayed even after the discount went away. Stieglitz said that he enjoyed being part of a smaller Chamber of Commerce. He also said, "I have been involved for the last couple of years in your Ag Appreciation Day, you have had some great speakers. I was able to make a business contact with a dry basement company last year that was reliable and reputable. In 2018 my son-in-law, who was a new employee which works in crops and forage, got some good exposure at the event."

Stieglitz said, "I know we are out in the country, but we offer some great products and services even for people in the suburban setting. I'd like to be a really good neighbor; a cousin out in the country, just a little ways out. It seems like a drive but it's only seven miles. When someone wants to put in a yard they can go to a Menards and get seed or they can come out here and talk with someone and tell them 'I have a sunny spot or shady spot' and if something doesn't work they can actually call us back and we can give them some ideas and maybe sometimes even replace the seed. That's what we want people to know that by showing up here we try to do things more personally and accurately. Part of our mission is to specialize in exceptional, personal service for our customers."