DR. GORDON P. MILLER
Dr. Miller grew up on a dairy farm in northwestern North Carolina. He graduated from Sparta High School in 1950 and entered North Carolina State College that same year, later graduating with a degree in Animal Industry. He also received an Army ROTC commission while attending NC State. Alter a two-year tour of duty in Korea, he returned to the dairy business until his acceptance into the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Upon his graduation from Veterinary School in June of 1963, he was hired as a poultry pathologist by Holly Farms Poultry Industries. Holly Farms was formed in 1962 from 16 companies located in Wilkes and surrounding counties, with its home office headquartered in Wilkesboro, NC.
Early in his career, Dr. Miller learned to use all tools at his disposal for help in controlling diseases, He coordinated with university, state and company laboratories, and he worked in conjunction with breeder, pharmaceutical and vaccine companies for diagnostic answers. It would be in the late 1960s and early 1970s before noticeable progress was made on disease control. Mycoplasma nee breeders were then producing free PPLO chicks, and condemnation for allirsaculitis took a big drop. About that same time, use of a vaccine for Mareks disease was beginning, which drastically cut mortality for breeder hens, greatly increased production, and resulted in a decrease in condemnation for Mareks.
When poultry diseases ceased to monopolize Dr. Miller’s time, he had more opportunities to work closely with the live production staff and with growers assisting in best poultry management procedures. This enabled him to shift his emphasis toward preventive medicine rather than treatment with antimicrobials, resulting in growing efficiency, lower condemnation, increased livability, production of a much better poultry product.
Dr. Miller Worked as vice President of Live Production Services for Holly Farms Poultry until 1989, at which time Holly Farms was purchased by Tyson Foods. Dr. Miller continued his employment with Tyson Foods as Senior Vice President of Live Production and as Senior Veterinarian until His Retirement in 2004.
Among many honors though the years, Cr. Miller received the C. A. Bottorff Award from the American Association of Avian Pathologists in 1996 in recognition of his significant contributions as an avian pathologist to Poultry Health Programs in North American. Dr. Miller is a life member of the AAAP, and he is also a life member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Miller is well known and respected in his local community, as well. He was a charter member of the North Wilkesboro Rotary Club and served as its President for a 1978-79 term. He was also President of the Wilkes Area Poultry Association for a 1975-76 two year term. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of North Wilkesboro.
Dr. Miller and his wife of 48 years, Jean, currently live in Wilkesboro, NC. They have two children – a son, Gordon Jr. “Chip,” and a daughter, Melissa. Chip, a current Tyson Foods employee, and his wife Paula, live in Wilkesboro, NC, with their two sons, Gordon and Cullen. Melissa and her husband, Paul Utt, Live in Raleigh, NC, with their two daughters, Mary Gordon and Caroline, and their son, Brener. Dr. Miller’s Hobbies since his retirement include riding his Harley and spending time in Ashe County at his house on the New River.
In honor and recognition of his numerous contributions to the well-being and development of North Carolina’s poultry industry, the Officers and Directors of the North Carolina Poultry Federation are very pleased to induct Dr. Gordon P. Miller into the North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame, this the 1st day of November, 2006.