SPRINGFIELD – A Ford County farmer has received the national Spotted Hall of Fame award.
Bob Miller has worked with spotted hogs ever since he was involved in FFA and 4-H.
“I started out with crossbreds and in 1969 my dad took me up to Piper City and bought me three open gilts and a boar,” Miller recalls.
Miller currently runs 60 purebred sows consisting of four breeds. He has had many mentors over the years ranging from agriculture teachers and fellow breeders from across the country. The main focus of Miller Farms in Melvin is raising show pigs and breeding stock, although they raise market hogs and have a meat business as well. The meat venture has turned out well for the family.
“If we want to get out and work hard at it, we can sell an awful lot of meat.”
Miller has served twice on the National Spotted Swine Board of Records. His first term was back in the late 1990s for six years when he was eventually elected president. He won as a write-in candidate in 2012 and was on the board for a few years before serving as president again. Miller also serves as vice president on the CPS executive committee, which is in charge of the whole breed office located in Peoria.
“We have a good time and enjoy getting out and meeting these guys at the national shows to reminisce and talk about what’s going on with the breeds,” Miller said.
In addition to his work with the Board of Records, Miller is also in his second term as a purebred representative for the Illinois Pork Producer board.
“I’m getting old enough that one of these days, I’m going to have to quit taking all of these high-paying jobs and stay at home and work,” Miller joked.
The national award Miller won is often presented to individuals who have passed away so Miller feels fortunate to be around to see it. He also appreciates the countless people he has met over the years.
“I am very thankful for that and deeply appreciate it.”
Located in southern Ford County, Miller Farms is a sixth generation family farming operation with a deep heritage established in 1872. The family has been raising hogs since 1970.