Ag Professor Brings Family Ranch Experience to Students | Bismarck State College

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Ag Professor Brings Family Ranch Experience to Students

Posted: Aug 23 2021
Ag Professor Brings Family Ranch Experience to Students
 
“People often take for granted how fortunate we are to raise our kids in North Dakota.”

Carmel Miller is an associate professor in BSC’s Agriculture department. She says having a family background in agriculture has a lot of benefits. “Kids get to experience nature, they know where their food comes from, it’s a relatively safe environment, and family and neighbors are close. Many of our students have the same background, and it’s really easy to relate the experiences we have on our ranch with the students in the Ag program.”

Her work outside of the classroom helps her bring experiences to her students. “My husband Todd and I own and operate a 450-head commercial cow/calf pair operation in Grant and Bowman counties. We’re also involved in Miller Land and Livestock, a family ranching partnership on my dad’s ranch,” she says.

During the summer, when many of her students are home working on their family farms and ranches, Miller is practicing her what she teaches, too. “After the busy spring calving season, the summer months are occupied with neighborhood brandings, moving cow/calf pairs to summer pasture, fencing and haying. Ranching is a family occupation and we all chip in and help wherever and whenever we can. My daughters are active in 4-H and will be working with lambs, steers, and horses in preparation for the County Fair. We also spend a lot of time practicing for and traveling to rodeos.”

Miller also checks in with her students and helps them create industry connections. “Of course, a large part of my summer is spent dropping in on students who are completing their internships and visiting farms, ranches, and agribusinesses. Summer tours offer networking opportunities with people who work in agriculture and a great chance to learn from industry experts.”

Miller has been teaching at BSC for twenty years, and she has seen a lot of growth and change both in the college and in the field. She says she is looking forward to the expansion of the Agriculture program in the coming years: “I’m especially excited to see what opportunities the polytechnic mission has for the Agriculture department, starting with the Custom Applicator program this fall.”

One of the things she enjoys most is being a part of her students’ career paths: “Almost everywhere I travel, I run into former students, and I know that BSC holds a special place in their hearts.”

For more information about BSC's Agriculture programs and courses, visit bismarckstate.edu/academics/agriculture.