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SAN ANGELO – West Texas rancher and sheep and goat industry leader Pierce Miller of San Angelo and Ozona has been named the 2013 Texas A&M AgriLife Distinguished Texan in Agriculture.
Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences, Texas A&M University System, College Station, presented the honor during the 40th Annual Sheep and Goat Field Day held Sept. 5 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo.
“It is only fitting that we honor Pierce in this setting as he has long been a staunch supporter of this Center’s work and a tireless advocate for the sheep and goat industry,” Hussey said.
“He is a well known leader, not only regionally, but also on the state and national levels. His strong relationship with the Texas A&M University System is evidenced through his membership in the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation and his support of Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service on both the state and national levels for legislative affairs.”
“The Texas A&M AgriLife Distinguished Texan in Agriculture award is meant to recognize individuals, such as Pierce Miller, who are agricultural leaders in Texas who demonstrate outstanding leadership and provide significant contributions to Texas agriculture,” Hussey said.
Dr. John Walker, resident director of research at the Center in San Angelo, said, “Pierce is one of our best supporters. I depend on him for his wise council, and when I ask for Pierce’s help on a project, I know that it will be done in a professional manner.”
Miller, who resides in San Angelo and ranches near Ozona, is a fourth generation Texas rancher who has spent his lifetime actively involved in the agricultural industry. While growing up in Crockett County, he participated in the 4-H youth program with his primary focus being Rambouillet sheep.
After graduating Ozona High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with high honors from the The University of Texas in Austin. He then entered banking, first with The Fort Worth National Bank for two years and then returning to West Texas where he advanced to become chairman of the board of directors, CEO and president of San Angelo National Bank/Texas Commerce Bank-San Angelo until 1981. He then left to devote full attention to his family’s ranching and oil and gas business, and to serve in leadership roles for several agricultural organizations.
Miller was most recently honored as Man of the Year in Agriculture by the Texas County Agricultural Agents Association during their statewide professional association’s annual meeting at Horseshoe Bay earlier this summer. He is also a past recipient of San Angelo’s Citizen of the Year Award.
Miller’s affiliations and leadership roles include serving as chairman of the board of the National Sheep Improvement Center, as well as board president of the American Sheep Industry Association, Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association, Mohair Council of America, San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Association, Texas Food and Fiber Commission, Texas Council on Agricultural, Research, Extension and Teaching or “T-CARET,” San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, San Angelo Industries and the West Texas Lighthouse for the Blind.
His other affiliations include: the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, the Massie Memorial Foundation, San Angelo Symphony, Hospice of San Angelo, YMCA, San Angelo Boys Club and the Texas Manufacturers Association of San Angelo.
Miller has also served as the vice chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice and as a director of Ranchers Lamb of Texas.
“I’ve always heard that if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it,” Walker said. “That describes Pierce, and he never lets us down.”