The Bill Miller family of Izard County was one of eight district farm families selected in the annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program.
The Miller family represents the North Central District which includes Baxter, Cleburne, Izard, Fulton, Independence, Marion, Searcy, Sharp, Stone and Van Buren counties.
The program is sponsored by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Entergy Arkansas, Arkansas Press Association, Arkansas Farm Bureau and other federal and state agricultural agencies.
Visiting teams representing the sponsoring organizations chose the district families from among 75 county farm families, said Sonja Coderre, a spokesman from Natural Resources Conservation Service.
A team of state judges will visit the eight district families in September to select the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year. The state winner will be announced at an awards luncheon Dec. 5 at the Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale. The luncheon will honor all county and district farm families.
The Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program, now in its 56th year and the only one of its kind in the county, highlights the importance of farm families and agriculture to the state, Coderre said.
Selection at each level is based on farm practices, home management and community leadership, Coderre continued.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to assist them in maintaining and improving natural resources on their lands, Coderre said.
Miller said, "We were really surprised; we didn't think we had any chances competing with larger farms within our district. We are certainly honored."
The Miller's farming operation also includes Bill's father and mother, Conway and Sandra Miller, who live in the LaCrosse area.
Bill's interest in farming has been handed down through four generations.
His wife, Maggie, is also a farm girl and was raised on a farm in Rosie.
The couple enjoy working together on the farm and driving the tractor and other farm equipment.
The Millers' raise pullets and run a cow-calf and stocker cattle operation on their farm near Sage.
They have a total of 1,091 acres with 780 acres used solely for pasture while the rest is woodland.
The Millers raise day-old chicks into 20-week-old pullets and roosters. They also have 120 cows and they have experience with stocker calves.