Lead your FSA: Wyoming rancher uses role on committee to promote agriculture
July 24, 2018
Amy Miller of Wheatland, Wyo., always knew she'd be working on her family's ranch. The ranch, established by her grandfather in the 1940s, is a true family business. Miller works alongside her father, as well as her husband, children and father-in-law, to produce sugar beets, corn, and occasionally small grains and pinto beans.
They have a 3,500-head feedlot for backgrounding cattle, a 700 head cow-calf operation and they pasture 7,500 yearlings annually. Additionally, they have a hay operation, baling mixed grass and alfalfa.
"I have always loved every minute of it, the good and the bad," she said. "I liked school and I did well, but I always wanted to be out on the ranch helping Dad."
Miller received a degree in accounting from the University of Wyoming. She returned to the ranch after spending time as a loan officer in Arizona for Farm Credit Services Southwest. She utilizes her business acumen to handle all the bookwork for the ranch. She also conducts the ranch's business with the Farm Service Agency. In 2017, she was elected to serve on the Platte County FSA County Committee.
“I like agriculture and I love to promote it, so I thought it might be a good way to get the word out about the different programs,” she said. “My goal is to get as many people as I can to know about the programs and that there is help available.”
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"I had done a lot of work with the office, but I didn't really know much about the committee," Miller said. "I went into the office and talked to the staff about it and thought it would be a great way to learn about agriculture."
County committee members are elected by their peers and are a direct link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers on the committee help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level, help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer and work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers
"I like agriculture and I love to promote it, so I thought it might be a good way to get the word out about the different programs," she said. "My goal is to get as many people as I can to know about the programs and that there is help available."
Miller finds the knowledge that members have on local issues is an important part of the county committee.
"They are important because we know what is going on in the county, whether it is drought or a snow storm that hits one part of the county and not another," she said.
In addition to her work on the ranch and on the FSA county committee, Miller is active in Farm Bureau and promoting agriculture to youth by hosting agricultural tours on their ranch.
"Agriculture is such an important part of the world and I hope young people keep coming back to it," she said. "I hope they come back and enjoy it like I have enjoyed it."