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A Dutch-trained world-class miller calls Holland, Michigan home

HOLLAND, Mich. – There's nothing more American than baseball and nothing more Dutch than windmills. FOX 17 caught up with a mother and a miller, a person who runs things like the famous windmill in Holland, at her son's Little League practice on Saturday. It's the perfect end to another Tulip Time weekend.

Alisa Crawford has achieved another achievement with the historic craft of milling.

“It’s a pretty big book,” Crawford said, referring to a textbook she’s studying.

Crawford is a top-notch miller who makes his home in Holland, Michigan. She traveled all the way to the Netherlands to become the only person in America to receive three certifications from the Dutch Millers Guild.

“Although I’m not Dutch by blood, I’m Dutch at heart,” Crawford said.

It is this heart filled with a love of craft, community and the connections she has made over the years that has made Alisa the person she is today.

“It is a very traditional, ancient craft that goes back many centuries and is necessary because people need to eat. So there have to be millers milling the grain,” Crawford said.

Reaching the finish line was a real challenge. Alisa had to learn Dutch in order to pass all the tests.

“Set your goal. Work hard and achieve it. “It’s such an incredible joy you feel afterwards,” Crawford said.

Alisa most recently held the Dutch certification for running watermills, but also has a badge for running a windmill and certification as an artisanal grain miller.

For almost two decades, Crawford operated the famous windmill in Holland.

“At heart, I’m a historian and conservationist. “I loved history since I was a little kid,” Crawford said.

This latest achievement is about more than just a love of history or its craft.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a miller or a mechanic. Be good at what you do,” Crawford said.

It's about doing what you didn't know you could do. Aim for goals you didn't know you could achieve and strive for more.

“I think everyone should be a lifelong learner,” Crawford said.

Crawford says if there's one thing people take away from her story, it's that if you want to do something, you have to go out and do it.

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Anna Harden

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