The staff at Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) recently announced the passing of Bruce Miller, the organization’s longtime director of membership, outreach and the Minnesota Cooks program. His wife, Chris, says Bruce passed peacefully on Nov. 9th at 11:37 pm and that her sorrow is unmeasurable.

TPT’s Mary Lahammer & Minnesota Farmers Union’s Bruce Miller. Photo by Katie Cannon.

The team from MFU and TPT’s Farm Fresh Road Trip show gathered by his bedside Saturday morning to say farewell. Gary Wertish, Katie Cannon, Claudine Arndt, Scott Trotman and I stood together near the end. I knew Bruce for more than 20 years, and while I’m devastated by the loss, I want to share some of his legacy.

On location of TPT’s Farm Fresh Road Trip. Photo by Katie Cannon.

I’ll never forget how Bruce squeezed and held my hand long and strong in his final hours as we stood by his side to say goodbye to a dear friend and cherished collaborator on our Upper Midwest Emmy Award-winning Farm Fresh Road Trip. His heart was huge until the end, even as his body was failing. After several health setbacks, Bruce was put on a ventilator, which rendered him unable to speak. My mother, who works with death and dying professionally and is an incredibly spiritual person, told me that this final gesture was his way of literally reaching out to say goodbye and show his love. 

The Farm Fresh Road Trip team with the Upper Midwest Emmy Award: Katie Cannon, Bruce Miller, Mary Lahammer, Doug Peterson, Scott Trotman.

Bruce loved his friends, family, food, farms, work, the arts and much more. He was loved in return. I knew him from his days at Common Cause, a nonpartisan group trying to make government better. He was outspoken, honest, funny, and full of life and energy – and he was a trusted resource for reporters. Little did we know then that we’d go on to work together and become lifelong friends.

Our hearts are heavy for the loss of a person who was so passionate about everything he did. His legacy lives on in many ways: our Farm Fresh shows on TPT, the Minnesota State Fair program Minnesota Cooks and the wonderful recipe calendar. I echo his words he once wrote about me: “I cannot ask for better partner-colleague-friend.”

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In the Farm Fresh Road Trip series, Mary Lahammer visited local cafes to see farm fresh food prepared right inside restaurants all across the state. Discover more about the local food movement that Bruce Miller championed.