Miller lives out dream on family ranch
Published on Feb. 15, 2020
After moving to Torrington to raise their family and pursue their dream of raising show cattle, Paul and Christine Miller instilled a strong passion for agriculture in their three children, PD, Skyler and Paige.
Therefore, it is no surprise returning home to help run the family ranch has been a dream of PD Miller’s since he was a young boy.
Today, Miller is living out his dream on the family’s M Lazy Heart Ranch in Torrington, where he oversees their show cattle business and mentors youth involved in agriculture.
Miller grew up on the M Lazy Heart Ranch, a family operation that raises nearly 350 club calves and maternal bred calves that are marketed across the U.S. and Canada, while simultaneously running Miller Cattle and Feedyards, LLC., an 8,500 head one-time capacity custom feed yard.
Recently, the family also opened the M Lazy Heart Feed Store as well.
“My mother grew up on a dairy operation in Pennsylvania and my father grew up raising purebred Charolais. He always had a dream to raise and show cattle, so when the feed yard in Torrington came up for sale, we bought it when I was about eight months old,” Miller said.
“We raise and sell about 85 head to junior exhibitors and other operations, such as seedstock operations,” Miller added.
He noted the family just returned from their recent venture to the Denver National Stock Show, which is their biggest outing of the year.
“We had 18 different calves exhibited in Denver from our ranch,” Miller stated.
Today, M Lazy Heart ranch is busy calving their cattle and gearing up for a spring sale and show.
“We have our fall born sale this spring for Texas majors and southern shows,” Miller said. “Our next show is the Green and Gold Showdown in Loveland Colo. in March.”
After studying animal science at Butler Community College and Oklahoma State University, Miller returned home to help with the three-tiered operation.
“I am the show cattle manager for M Lazy Heart Ranch, so I deal with everything from clipping and selling show cattle, to AI and making breeding decisions, as well as building fence and putting in grunt labor. Basically, I oversee everything from the birth to sale of every show animal at M Lazy Heart Ranch,” he explained.
Miller is also a sales representative for Show Cattle Connection and travels the country judging numerous livestock and junior shows.
There is no doubt Miller enjoys all aspects of his work. However, mentoring young producers seems to be what he enjoys most.
“One of my biggest passions in life is helping younger people and younger generations by using the experience and knowledge I have gained through the years,” he said. “When I was 10 years old, I had a heifer that won over 20 shows in a row. She never got beat, but when I took her to the last show, she took third in her class. I walked out of the ring and told my parents I wanted to be the one whose opinion mattered, so I have been working toward that goal since I was 10.”
A family operation, always
While Miller is currently the only sibling back on the ranch with his parents, he believes Skyler and Paige will end up back on the ranch as well.
“In the future, I think they will eventually come back. We want them here and there is a place for them here,” he said.
“Right now, Skyler is completing his senior year at the University of Wyoming and is the starting full back on the football team,” Miller noted. “Paige just started her freshman year at Butler Community College in Kansas.”
He continued, “No matter what, this thing will always be a family-run operation.”
Thankful for the past, looking toward the future
There is no doubt the Miller family’s hard work and dedication has paid off, which is evident through their long list of accomplishments over the years.
“Man there are a lot of them. Thinking about it actually puts me in awe of all the things we have done,” said Miller, when asked about some of the highlighting moments he has experienced over the years.
“If I had to list a few of them, I’d say winning a national championship with the Oklahoma State University Livestock Judging Team, watching my little sister win the Denver Prospect Show twice and selling a promotional sire to Griswold Cattle Company,” he said.
Miller continued, “But, the biggest highlights have been watching the success of our customers and the kids I help mentor.”
Despite their enduring success, Miller says he plans to continue doing everything he can to make M Lazy Heart Ranch even more successful.
“I am not going anywhere,” he stated. “I am going to try my hardest to provide customers with the highest-quality cattle we can at economical prices and give them the best customer service by helping them with everything from clipping and trimming to providing them with feed and giving them advice on how to feed their cattle out.”
He continued, “I certainly want to expand. We currently raise about 350 show steers and crossbred cattle but I want to see this thing grow to 500 to 700 cattle and add a maternal operation where we can expand our business and sell more to seedstock producers.”
Helping America love the farmer again
Miller noted his favorite part of being involved in the ag industry is being around people who aren’t afraid to work.
“It seems people are always trying to get out of work and make a buck the easiest way possible, but those in the ag community are willing to work 100 hours a week and get their hands dirty to make a living. It is satisfying to see people who are willing to work as hard as they can for this industry and for their families and the people they love,” he said.
When it comes to his belief on what the key to keeping agriculture alive and well is, Miller says it all comes down to public perception.
“Anymore, there is such a gap between agriculturalists and the general population so people are forgetting where their food and fiber comes from,” he stated. “It is so important for us to provide education to show the general public we are stewards of our animals. If they knew how much we care about them and how hard we work for them, it would change public perception and help America love the farmer again.”
Hannah Bugas is the assistant editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.