Louise Miller, a staunch advocate and supporter of women in agriculture was among the rural citizens to win a 2018 YWCA Brandon Women of Distinction Award.
Miller is the matriarch of Silver Creek Bison Ranch, located between Binscarth and Russell. Operating for over 50 years, the family business was initiated when husband Lorne purchased six bison cows and a bull. Today, Silver Creek Bison Ranch keeps the Miller family busy with over 1,400 head of bison as well as a robust cropping operation and feedlot.
“Louise’s passion is sharing her farm story with visitors from across North America and the world,” said nominee Ellen Pruden, Canola Eat Well director, with the Manitoba Canola Growers. “She is also a proud mom of three grown children including two sons, Jason and Nolan, involved in the farming operation, and daughter Faye, a nurse.”
Assisting with the promotion and growth of bison herds in the province, Miller was a director of the Manitoba Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Association (CBA) for many terms, plus was the first woman to hold the post of president of the CBA, a role she held for three years.
Being involved in agriculture, Miller not only supports the roles women play in the agricultural industry, but also loves sharing stories with the general public to make farms more accessible. By providing educational and networking experiences for farm families, Miller assists them in sharing their stories. She is involved in many events including the #CanolaConnect Harvest Camp.
Named Manitoba Farm Family of the Year by the Red River Exhibition Association in 2013, Silver Creek Bison Ranch is among the distinguished list of 52 families that have been honoured with this award since its inception in 1966.
Unique and outstanding individual achievements for Miller far outreach the farm gate, as she has contributed to the well-being of the Binscarth/Russell communities in many ways. Along with being involved with 4-H as a head leader and sewing instructor, Miller served as school trustee on the Pelly Trail School Board for six years, and served another six years as councillor of the Rural Municipality of Russell.
She has also served as president of the Binscarth Curling Club, and has been a driving force in the local Horticultural Society, encouraging children to explore the benefits of keeping a garden.
Miller has spent many years doing palliative care work at the Russell hospital, and has also served as a volunteer ambulance driver for nine years, and spent a decade working with the hospital auxiliary.
The award was given out at an evening gala last month. Karen Petro, executive director of the YWCA Brandon, feels the evening is a great way to recognize women who have contributed to their communities, for their individual achievements or for being role models for other women and girls.
All proceeds from the gala support programs and services provided by the YWCA Brandon in the community.