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Hard work and dedication key for Miller

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Greybull – Growing up in the industry, Ashley Miller has been part of the agricultural community in Big Horn County her whole life.

Ashley’s parents, Jim and Brenda, were both raised in agriculture, and her father and uncle operate the family farm. Miller’s mother is the executive director for the Big Horn County Farm Service Agency and has been a 4-H leader for 14 years.

Miller started in 4-H when she was eight years old and has been a member for nine years. She has also been a Paintrock FFA member for three years now.

She got her start in showing livestock with market lambs and market hogs, seeing great success in her showing career. In FFA, Miller has made great accomplishments, including participating as a member of the livestock judging team, the vet science team and winning the chapter FFA Creed speaking contest and the extemporaneous speaking contest. She also received the Top Record Book of the chapter and was Star Greenhand.

Hard times

Life in 4-H and FFA hasn’t always been easy for Miller, however.

On July 17, 2016, Miller was in a car accident, leaving her in a coma at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings, Mont. until Aug. 8 of that year.

Miller explains, “I was transferred to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Englewood, Colo., where I stayed until Nov. 1.”

When she arrived home, she had many challenges to work through. The right side of her body was slow to regain strength again, but her vision fully returned, and she is working on her memory and thought processing skills.

Miller notes that, though she had a wheelchair at home, she let it sit and collect dust, determined to do things herself.

Ag influences

Miller speaks about how 4-H and FFA has helped her after her accident, saying, “When I came home from Craig, I had a lamb waiting for me. This was a project put together with the help of my FFA Advisor Jared Boardman, 4-H Educator Gretty Gasvoda Kelso, and my good friends Morgan Haley, Dasha Kelso, Jordan Flitner and Scottie Flitner. These people all worked together with me to help me get my lamb ready for the National Western Stock Show.”

Miller attended the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo. in January 2017, re-entering the show ring for the first time since her accident.

Miller says, “I feel this lamb gave me the incentive I needed to get stronger. I remember the first day I was able to walk up to the shed and see him. It was an amazing feeling.  I can’t thank all of those who helped me through this process and encouraged me along the way.”

Miller’s mother Brenda states, “Having these projects has given her the will and drive to get back into the show ring. She is just doing what she loves.”

Miller attributes her incredible recovery to physical, occupational and speech therapy and the help of agriculture.

“Hard work and dedication is my motto, extra hard work,” Miller says, referencing of her achievements and getting back into the show ring.

Looking forward

Miller is looking forward to this year’s ventures and is busy with a multitude of 4-H and FFA projects.

Miller is currently working with two market lambs, two hogs and a market goat. As she does every year, Miller is entering sugarbeets, barley, hay and oats into the county fair, as well.

She is currently serving as the parliamentarian for the Shell Rough Riders’ 4-H Club and is the Junior Leader President for Big Horn County 4-H. Miller is very active in her school and in the Paintrock FFA Chapter. She plans to get back into her ag and music classes, as these are the subjects she loves the most.

When asked about her future, Miller states, “My current plan is to show at the Big Horn County fair with my lambs, pigs and goat.”   

She is excited to start planning for her next projects after fair and is going to continue showing.

Looking even further, Miller says “After high school, I plan to attend college and study to become a speech therapist. My speech therapist in Craig had such an impact on my recovery that I would like to follow in her footsteps.”

Bree Dooley recently graduated from Northwest College with her associate’s degree. She is from Shell and will be continuing her education this fall at the University of Wyoming. Send comments on this article to

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