|Brant Miller, Bowdoinham, Maine
A brief description of the operation.
Brant Miller operates a small farm in Bowdoinham, Maine, that is in the process of transitioning from North Country Cheviots to hair sheep. The sheep are Katahdins (which were originally developed in Maine) and are part of the Maine Star Flock Project. Some of the goals of raising this breed are parasite tolerance, excellent mothering and low maintenance. The Star Flock Project is also striving to improve the carcass characteristics of the Katahdin breed. Miller’s flock will soon be enrolled in the National Sheep Improvement Program and the scrapie program. Miller was raised on a Midwestern farm raising sheep and grain and has been farming in Maine for more than 20 years. He also keeps bees as part of the farm operation.
Why are you an ASI Guard Dog Member?
“I am a Guard Dog member in order to strengthen ASI (American Sheep Industry Association) by providing funding that is flexible enough to respond to issues with few strings attached. Much of ASI’s funding is dedicated to specific programs and doesn’t allow flexibility to respond to emerging issues. Guard Dog funds can provide this flexibility.”
How do you think the industry has benefited from the Guard Dog funds?
“The funding has been very useful in assisting in legal action to protect the industry from special-interest lawsuits. It has also provided otherwise unavailable funding for targeted grazing projects and lobbying efforts.”
What do you think are the industry’s biggest needs for the future?
“One of the greatest needs of our industry is the recruitment of young producers and leaders to assure a future for the industry. Another important need is to be continually vigilant in protecting the industry from special-interest groups that are committed to destroying agriculture by using unsound science. We need to actively promote the environmental benefits of grazing using scientifically documented research.”
Established in 2001, the Guard Dog Program utilizes the recommendations and donations of dedicated industry individuals to address a variety of issues. We hope you enjoy learning about these individuals, their businesses and their foresight for the U.S. sheep industry. If you would like to become a member of the Guard Dog Program, contact the American Sheep Industry Association.