DEFOE, Ky. — A Defoe, Ky., business owner plans to use his skills working on heavy equipment to provide cutting edge sales and service for lawn care needs. Marlin Miller’s original plan involved opening a custom welding and equipment repair shop, but he then heard from neighbors in Defoe they needed someone who could provide dependable service for their mowing equipment.
As a result of that input, Miller recently opened Cutting Edge Farm and Lawn at 9160 Castle Highway, Defoe, Ky., where he will offer sales and service equipment.
“Over the years, I’ve been in construction, and I do logging now and I’ve always been around equipment,” he explained. “We’ve always done a lot of our own repair work.”
When Miller found the cost of land in Henry County was much more affordable, he decided it was time to relocate from the Greensburg, Ind., area. He attributed the high price of property in Indiana to it being in demand by farmers to grow corn and beans.
“The land prices were expensive in Indiana, we were looking for a better opportunity to raise our family,” he explained.
Defoe’s growing community of Amish families also encouraged him to bring his young family here.
“As Amish we’re very church oriented and community oriented — usually one family doesn’t settle anywhere by themselves — usually there are quite a few families. We’ll form a community, and that’s what we found here,” he said. “There’s, I think, 10 to 11 families here. We like to be within 10 miles of each other, so we can travel back and forth to each other. We have church at our homes. We’ve been blessed.”
After buying 42 acres from Rhonda Martin about a half mile away from Defoe on U.S. 421, Miller put up the building that will serve as showroom, welding shop and family home. Part of the land provides forage for the family’s horses and goats.
“I chose this property because it was on 421, and I saw a business opportunity,” he said. “My goal was to have a home-based business. Rather than try to build a house and a shop we decided to save a little money and do both in the same building.”
Miller understands it will take time to build up his business, whether it comes from the neighborhood, from traffic on 421 or from nearby counties.
“I’m waiting for the rain to clear up and sun to come out and then I look for things to pick up,” he said. “People don’t know I’m here.”
Eventually Miller plans to have two or three brands geared toward the commercial and residential customer while at the same time building up inventory to cater to the logging industry.
In the welding shop, he also plans to fabricate livestock equipment, like round bale feeders, and offer farm equipment repair. Miller wants to be a one-stop mower shop with the whole line of replacement parts, chainsaw parts, safety equipment and more.
“If I can provide a good service to where people tell their friends, I think that will have more to do with it than anything,” he said. “If I can provide quality equipment that in itself will sell. At the same time, it has to be reasonably priced.”