Former Iowa State Extension Swine Specialist Recognized as Honorary Master Pork Producer

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Tom Miller.

AMES, Iowa –Tom Miller said yes to a temporary parttime position with Iowa State University Extension in December 1999, and finally said goodbye on May 8, 2020. Through his 20-plus year career as a swine extension specialist in southeast Iowa, he became a source of sound science and real-life experience to producers and others in the pork industry. His clientele ranged from farmers interested in manure management to 4-H’ers with swine projects, and every one of them benefited from their interactions with Miller.

This is a big reason why the Iowa Pork Producers Association honored him with the Honorary Master Pork Producer Award during the 2021 Iowa Pork Congress Recognition Banquet Tuesday evening.

Colin Johnson, colleague and swine specialist in southern Iowa, said Miller was a true team player in extension as he supported efforts across program disciplines of swine, farm management, agronomy, ag engineering and 4-H. Prior to becoming a swine specialist, Miller was a pork producer and well-respected for supplying SPF replacement gilts to fellow producers. He volunteered countless hours and days helping with 4-H swine shows at the county and state level, and enjoyed interactions and working relationships with the southeast Iowa extension ag team, a group of ag and natural resources specialists, county and regional extension staff.

Although Miller often joked that his extension swine specialist job helped support his farming habit, he readily admitted that helping people make a positive difference in their lives was the best part of his job.

Former Iowa Pork Industry Center director John Mabry recognized the value of Miller’s positive attitude and ability to work with almost anyone. He said Miller didn’t look for or expect personal gain; he just wanted pork producers to survive and prosper.

Current IPIC director Jason Ross worked with Miller the past few years and said this about Tom, “He was great friend and a wise counsel to many of Iowa’s pork producers and his ISU colleagues. Tom had the ability to anticipate what producers needed to know to help manage their businesses and thrive, and we were fortunate to have him as a part of our team.”

“Congratulations to Tom for a great career with extension and for choosing to work with IPIC and extension to help Iowa swine producers,” he said. “He’s been a great role model for new extension specialists.”



IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Life Sciences) and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension and Outreach. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.

Jason Ross, professor of animal science and director of Iowa Pork Industry Center, 515-290-8647,

Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center, 515-294-4496,

2021 News and releases