Voluntary Check-Off Hall of Fame: Bruce and Karen Grant were first recognized by the NPPA in 2012 when they received the Outstanding Pork Service Award for Producer Outreach. The opening statement of their tribute said “they jumped in with both feet.” It was true then and it is still true today. Bruce and Karen Grant’s farrow-to-finish farm is located near Meadow Grove. Karen served on the NPPA board of directors for six years, participated in the Pork Leadership Institute, a program that is jointly sponsored by the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council. She has traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Nebraska’s congressional delegation to discuss issues that affect our industry. On the International front, Karen traveled with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to Japan and China as an advocate for our nation’s pork industry. In 2015 she was honored as the Ag-ceptional Woman of the year, and is a former “Pork Queen.” Collectively, Bruce and Karen have served as delegates to Forum, the National gathering of pork producers, over a dozen times.
A volunteer is defined as a person who freely offers to undertake a task. Bruce and Karen have faithfully been there for the NPPA. The Grants have enormous energy making each event they volunteer for a memorable one. They are strong supporters of 4-H and supply hogs to children for the Madison County Fair. Through the Nebraska’s Farm Bureau Foundation’s Ag Pen Pal Program, they have opened their farm and dedicated many hours teaching youth to understand where their food comes from and promote the livestock industry. They are involved in their church and community, both having served on numerous boards. Bruce and Karen are parents to Jason, Jeremy and Kristen and are proud grandparents. The Grants will continue their commitment to living and telling our positive pork story from the Madison County line to the State Capitol to the halls of Congress.
Check-Off Hall of Fame: Jim and Jan Miller have a farrow-to-finish operation in Belden, in Cedar County. They also raise corn and soybeans. Jan is a major contributor to the pork industry and Jim has been an instrumental part of the Soybean Association. Jan was first elected to the NPPA board of directors in 2008, serving as president-elect and then as president in 2014. Prior to serving on NPPA’s board, Jan participated in the DuPont’s Young Leader Program in 1999 and the 2004 the Pork Leadership Academy. After joining the NPPA board, Jan traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the Legislative Action Conference, served as a Pork Forum delegate and vice chairman of the National Pork Board’s Producer, Public, and Workplace safety Committee. Miller is active in her local church, the Cedar County Pork Producers group and Ag-ceptional women’s steering committee, a local group that promotes agriculture in northeast Nebraska. In 2011, Jan was honored as the Ag-Ceptional Woman of the Year.
Transitioning to the other side of this remarkable couple, Jim Miller has been involved with the pork industry, and has been an instrumental part of the Nebraska Soybean Association since 2000. He served on the Nebraska Soybean Association board from 2000 through 2008 and was elected to the American Soybean Association board of directors in 2008. Jim has given a tremendous amount of time and talent to serving the soybean industry. Throughout his volunteer leadership roles, he has served in numerous capacities at the local, state, and national levels.
While it might appear that Jim and Jan are moving in different circles, nothing could be further from the truth. The Millers’ dedication to agriculture goes beyond the pork and soybean industries. They are true partners that believe in taking their turn to be involved, making sure agriculture has representation now and for future generations. They understand the importance of involvement and how it contributes to the success of these associations and all of agriculture.