Madison County farmer Josh Miller has been elected chair of the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) Board of Directors during its 62nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Sacramento, Calif., on July 27.
Miller, a fifth-generation farmer from Anderson, oversees 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans, primarily as a 100-percent no-till row crop operation.
He also serves as board member of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) and was elected to the USGC’s officer rotation in 2019.
Previously, Miller was a finance officer for Lockheed Martin, a contract officer for the U.S. government and a U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant. He has been awarded the Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the 2018 River Friendly Farmer Award.
After his military service, Miller went on to further his education and received an undergraduate degree in management and economics from the University of Maryland and a Master’s of Business Administration with a focus in finance from Indiana Wesleyan University.
— U.S. Grains Council (@USGC) July 27, 2022
Miller and his wife, Jennifer, are raising three small boys, Liam, 6, Declan, 4, and Cole, 1. Jennifer works full-time off the farm as a veterinarian for Elanco Animal Health. The Millers, early in their marriage, made a home on the northside of Chicago, where she was a companion animal veterinarian. Although, they loved living in the city, they knew that getting back to the farm and getting closer to family was their goal. In 2010, they decided to move to Anderson to raise their young family and to work full-time on the farm.
“It is important to me to learn as much as I possibly can – not just about how to do the best job I can on the farm, but also to learn as much as I can about how what I do affects the world as a whole – how my efforts create global ripple effects that help sustain those who need what I grow the most,” said Miller.
The USGC is a membership-driven organization of corn, sorghum, barley producers and agribusinesses that support free and fair global trade. The Council is based in Washington, D.C., but it has a full-time presence in 13 global markets. The USGC operates programs in more than 50 countries.
The Council assists companies that sell farm products on the global market, and it helps to educate international purchasers. The USGC also conducts research on topics such as air quality studies for ethanol or feed ration studies for livestock. Miller said the USGC works to help international buyers to get the information they need to feel confident in purchasing American farm products.
“The U.S Grains council promotes the sale of grains in all forms around the world,” Miller explained. “As a farmer, I fully understand the value of creating new international markets for our crops. I believe we are also helping those countries get the best products possible, too.”
Miller said USGC’s work in the aftermath of the African Swine Fever (ASF) pandemic in Vietnam and China during the past few years is an example of the Council’s effectiveness. Once ASF went through and destroyed most of the hog operations in that region, some farms there switched to poultry production. The USGC was in Asia, Miller said, to assist those farms in determining poultry feed rations, which was something those farmers had not done.
“By helping to grow the poultry sector in Vietnam and China, the U.S. Grains Council has encouraged those farms to buy U.S. grains to feed their flocks,” he said Miller. “We have built a great relationship there. We have a unique niche to build positive relationships and educate grain buyers internationally.”
With his previous worldwide travel and background, Miller admits that his experience is the exception and not common in agriculture. He was able to see first-hand the global economy and the infrastructure for agriculture supply chains. At the end of the day, though, he said, “We’re all farmers who just want to feed the world.”
In addition to Miller, Brent Boydston of Bayer Crop Science was elected as USGC Vice Chairman. Outgoing chairman Chad Willis shared his thanks for the USGC’s support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My chairman’s mission this year has been Together in Trade, and I’m proud to say I’ve seen it in action – not only in Council meetings like this one but also overseas with customers and our staff in markets around the world,” Willis said. “It takes a team of us working together in trade and we have and will continue to accomplish so much in this way.”
Miller shared his goals for the year and his theme – Live the Mission – during his incoming remarks. “We all have a vested interest in U.S. grains and we each have a commitment to make this industry work together – and when we live the Council’s mission, we are the best we can be,” Miller said.
Earlier in the week, the USGC meeting included presentations on the continuing conflict in Ukraine, grain trade success stories from the Council’s various overseas markets and a peek into the upcoming Farm Bill.
Source: Indiana Corn Marketing Council