For 15+ years before opening day at Buford Corn Maze, Rodney Miller dreamed of developing a family friendly agritourism destination. A lifelong farmer from Southern Illinois, where he still maintains an 800 acre farming operation, he had a profound passion to showcase the great things that are part of Agriculture.
The lifestyle of rural America is something he cherishes and believes is the core fabric that makes America so strong. The American Farmer feeds the world and his dream was to, in some small way, bring attention to that worthy profession.
Buford Corn Maze was the culmination of that dream. Over many years Miller had assembled equipment and knowledge in the field of Agriculture was poised to be successful. In 2009, with partners he asked to join him, the Buford Corn Maze opened and his dream became a reality.
Rodney Miler is President/CEO of BCM. Kendra Miller, Jerome Beggs, and Tina Beggs are partners who have embraced that dream and work hard to make it successful. Together, they form a strong team and will take Buford Corn Maze to many more successful years.
About the founder
Rodney Miller was born and raised on a farm in the Benton, Illinois area, where agriculture was a way of life. He now lives on a farm in the Ocilla, Georgia area with his wife Kendra. They have three children and one granddaughter. He is an avid collector of antique tractors and equipment. Rodney maintains an 800-acre row crop operation in the Benton, Illinois area, and a small farming operation in Georgia.
He currently is the Co-Host, along with Jann Carl, formerly of Entertainment Tonight, of the highly rated National TV Show, Small Town Big Deal, that “Celebrates the Great Stories from across America”. He is the creator and Pres./CEO of the show, which airs every Thursday night in prime time on the RFD-TV Network and FamilyNet. The show can also be viewed anytime at www.carbontv.com and on Wonderful Living TV Network.
Rodney previously served as the CEO of McCormick International, USA in Duluth, Georgia and was CEO of Montana Tractors. The late J.B. Hunt was the majority owner of Montana. Rodney led a team that took Montana Tractors from $2 million in annual revenue to over $80 million in annual revenue in just three years.
He recently served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. He also supports agriculture around the country by serving on several boards, including: the Georgia FFA Sponsor Board, the Georgia Agribusiness Council, the Illinois Rural Heritage Museum, and the Georgia Agritourism Association. He has been regularly featured in various trade magazines and publications and has written regular articles for some.
In 2009, Rodney was named “Alumnus of the Year” for Benton High School in Benton, Illinois.
About the partners
Kendra Miller serves as the secretary in charge of finances for Buford Corn Maze. In addition to her finance duties, Kendra is also a member of the Buford Corn Maze team and is out at the property throughout the fall season.
Kendra has always worked on the family farm. Raised on a small farm in Southern Illinois, she worked the farm with her father, who was a coal miner and part-time farmer.
She now lives with her husband, Rodney Miller, on a small farm in Ocilla, Ga. Married for 36 years the couple have three children — Lindsey, Mallory, and Reid — and one grandchild, Lili.
She and Rodney started out their married life on a small farm and eventually grew it to a 1,500-acre row crop farm, along with raising cattle, hogs and goats. They also owned a construction company where Kendra was active in the office side of the business. Kendra and Rodney then opened a tractor dealership, and was the office manager there as well.
After selling the dealership, Kendra went to work for Blue Cross Blue Shield as an office manager. She also was employed as a dental assistant for four years, working mainly with mentally challenged patients.
After Rodney’s job carried the family to Arkansas, Kendra managed the Miller Family Farm fulltime.
Their eventual move to Georgia reignited the farming bug in Rodney, and the Buford Corn Maze was born.
In addition to the family farm and the Buford Corn Maze, Kendra stays busy as office manager and production assistant for “Small Town Big Deal,” a national television show that Rodney co-hosts on RFD-TV.
Kendra loves being involved with the Buford Corn Maze and especially likes to see the faces of people that are enjoying a little bit of the farm life each fall!
Jerome & Tina Beggs
Although Jerome and Tina Beggs never dreamed of operating a corn maze; their creative genius along with their farming experience and business acumen helped make the dream a reality. Living in the Atlanta metro area for several years had created a bit of a distance from farm life for Jerome and Tina. However; after Jerome and Rodney teamed up to start a row crop operation, the tractor wheels began spinning again. It was out of the row crop operation that The Buford Corn Maze got its roots.
Jerome and Tina were high school sweethearts and have been married for 30 years. Both were born and raised in the rolling hills of Eastern Alabama’s farming country. Since each is from a large family, rooted in the farming traditions of the region, agriculture has never been far from their sight. Tina and Jerome grew up living and working on farms that were only seven miles apart. Thus, they have a common background not only rich in farming history but also drenched in a work ethic that has served The Buford Corn Maze well.
Jerome’s boyhood history is alive and well at the corn maze. Jerome’s father, Paul, operated a 40-acre cattle farm, a small row crop operation, and hand-milked a few Guernsey dairy cows. Thus, Jerome is no stranger to an operation like the corn maze. Throughout his childhood and young adulthood, Jerome sowed, plowed and harvested crops for his father’s farm operation. Jerome’s childhood and teenage years were filled with feeding cattle, birthing calves, milking cows, churning butter, and of course – driving tractors! In fact, when one visits the corn maze, Jerome’s prize possession, his father’s 1959 Ford 641 tractor, is there working hard. It was completely personally and lovingly restored by Jerome.
Tina’s father, L.J. Pollard, had a 100-acre cattle farm along with a very large poultry operation. Similar to Jerome’s, Tina’s memories are feeding cattle, gathering eggs in the poultry houses (from the 14,000+ chickens!) and even driving tractors too! Many of the other attractions at the corn maze have been influenced by Jerome’s and Tina’s life-long experiences of loving and taking care of farm animals.
Aside from his love of farming and dedication to the Operations of The Buford Corn Maze, Jerome is a 25-year engineer in the fiber optic telecommunications industry. This engineering background is basic to his ability as VP of Operations to operate and maintain the equipment and facilities that are vital to the corn maze operation.
Tina is the Human Resources Manager for BCM. As part of the scheduling dynamics of the corn maze, Tina develops and presents agriculturally enriched educational field trips that are offered to the local schools. These field trips are individualized for differentiated age groups and aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards. Tina has more than twenty five years experience as a self employed business woman and currently is a self employed hair stylist in the Buford area. She thoroughly understands customer satisfaction and works very hard to make the corn maze a fun and rewarding experience.
Jerome and Tina are involved in their local church and are quick to give God credit for any success they may have.
In the few months out of the year that are not consumed with corn maze preparations, Jerome and Tina enjoy hiking, mountain biking and running.
The Beggs’ continue to keep the farming atmosphere alive in their family. They have two daughters who grew up learning to take care of goats, cows and chickens. Their older daughter, Jadah, and younger daughter, Karlee, are involved in the corn maze operations as well – truly making it a family affair. Together they have helped propel The Buford Corn Maze into a first class family friendly agritourism destination.Contact us anytime for more information!