ORLANDO, Fla., – Tom Miller, an Arizona pork producer, executive director of the Arizona Pork Council and past president of the National Pork Producers Council, today was inducted into the NPPC Hall of Fame for his lifetime commitment to advocacy, leadership and advancement on behalf of pork producers at NPPC’s annual business meeting – the National Pork Industry Forum – held here.
Born and raised in Iowa, Miller grew up in Boone and became interested in farming in junior high school, pursuing it by working weekends and school breaks with a veterinarian. He attended Iowa State University, where he earned a degree in animal science. After college, he moved to California, working on a ranch, where he cared for a 300-sow herd – a huge number for the 1960s – and for baby pigs until weaning.
In 1967, he moved to Arizona to work for Arizona Milling, managing a 300-sow unit; he also volunteered to establish the Arizona Pork Producers Association. He subsequently started his own pork production business and in 1975 was named Arizona’s first Pork All-American.
In the 1970s, Miller was elected to serve a six-year term as Arizona’s representative to NPPC and volunteered to serve the rest of his successor’s term when that person resigned. Miller then was elected to the NPPC executive committee and eventually was elevated to president of the organization. While devoting time to the state and national pork organizations and running his own business, Miller helped create what likely was one of the first producer-led marketing coops.
In his role as an NPPC board member and officer, Miller was directly engaged in advocacy on using nitrites; overhauling Farm Credit; instituting two pork marketing campaigns, including Pork. The Other White Meat; and establishing the legislative Pork Checkoff. On the latter, Miller helped shepherd the process, inform producers, equip state executives and set up governance for NPPC and the then-new National Pork Board. He served as the first president of NPPC, following the 1985 implementation of the legislative Checkoff, and later served on the National Pork Board.
Miller also served as the Arizona Pork Producers Association state executive then its national contact – the de facto state executive – for many years and continues in the role today, working with the state’s lone commercial pork production enterprise as well as with many hobby farmers and participating in national meetings, including NPPC’s twice-yearly legislative fly-ins in Washington, D.C.
“With nearly 50 years of service to producers in Arizona and the nation, Tom Miller exemplifies lifetime commitment,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Ohio. “His courageous leadership at key moments during NPPC’s history and his experience, perspective and willingness to get his hands dirty are widely recognized and very much appreciated by pork producers. For that and his continued service to our industry, we are extremely pleased to induct Tom into the NPPC Hall of Fame.”Source : NPPC