By T.J. Hug
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Involvement is a difficult thing to attain.
To be a so invested into something that one is willing to put time into on a consistent basis is hard for most people. In fact, for most people, such passion remains unknown to them for a large portion of their life span.
Kirby Miller is not most people, though.
The North Central senior from Kunkle has invested herself into many different things in her young life. Academically, she totes a 3.9 grade point average. She’s joined several organizations, and laid claim to multiple accolades. But in what does she involve herself?
For one thing, she loves goats.
Officially joining the American Dairy Goat Association four years ago, Miller named her farm “Kirby’s Kids.” She had actually owned some of her goats a full two years prior, however. So what makes goats so special?
“They’re basically like dogs.” Miller remarked.
This is due mainly to the level of companionship a goat can share with its master, according to Miller. If that is indeed the case, then she has made a deep connection to over twenty goats, all of which live in a pen in her back yard.
It was her work in 4-H that led Miller to discover her passion for goats. After four years in the organization, she decided to try and raise the animal herself.
“Basically, I just kinda loved it.”
4-H has been a major part of Miller’s life in general over the last decade, actually. In that span, she has accumulated 163 awards through the nationally recognized group. These honors include being one of two students in Williams County to win the title of 4-H Outstanding Teen, being a state delegate, and earning commendations on several of her projects.
Not only that, but Miller has been selected for to represent the 4-H brand in many different ways. As a local 4-H Ambassador, she has the annual task of meeting with elementary students and explaining just what it is that makes 4-H so special. She also serves as a Youth Representative for the North Central 4-H Advisory Council, a committee that handles events such as the Chicken BBQ and Livestock Interviews. Her own club within 4-H, the High Achievers has elected her as President of the group. She even takes time to be a councilor for 4-H Summer Camps.
This heavy background in working with animals has steered the academic interests of the North Central Senior Class Vice President and Student Council Member. The top student in her class, Miller has already been accepted into multiple universities, though Findlay sticks out the most for her after taking a visit there. The school has programs which fit her intended course of study; to be a Nutrition or Reproduction Specialist in Animal Sciences.
As she prepares to advance her academic career to the next plane, one has to wonder what it is that Miller will miss most about her time at North Central.
“Probably the small environment.” Miller surmised. “I like the feeling of knowing all the people that are around me.”
Does this mean she is concerned about moving on to a new and larger environment at the collegiate level?
“Actually, no.” Claimed Miller. “I don’t mind being around and meeting new people. That doesn’t frighten me at all.”
Perhaps such confidence in her social skills can be traced back to Miller’s work in peer mediation through North Central’s Students Offering Acceptance and Respect (S.O.A.R.) Program. A member of the program since she was in fifth grade, she has helped to sort out problems between her fellow students on four or five occasions. With at least fifty student mediators roaming the halls of the school, that is no small number.
“The program fits my personality.” Miller admitted. “I’m one of those kids that can’t butt out.”
Which would also explain why she chose to take part in the safeTALK Program. Those involved with safeTALK are charged with answering phone calls from their peers who may be contemplating suicide. Miller received a few days training to qualify her for this role, but she has also elected to sit in on lectures her instructor gave to junior high students to help gain a better sense of how to handle such situations.
Also, her current tenure as both Miss Pioneer and Williams County Fair Queen are fine examples of Miller’s outgoing nature as well. What speaks to character, however, is the value in which she put on winning Miss Congeniality at the Pioneer Pageant.
“I think that’s more important than (winning) Queen.” Miller proclaimed.
Being crowned Queen of the Fair had long been a dream for Miller, though. Watching as a child, she saw many Fair Queens come and go. All the while, she patiently waited for her turn to compete for the crown.
“It’s something you look forward to.”
Miller continues to look forward today. With a college all but selected, and a field of study firmly in place, she already has an idea of what she will do once she earns her degree. There are positions on farms, in animal food mixing companies, in the government, or even within the more familiar confines of 4-H that could put her projected area of expertise to good use.
It’s admirable that Miller is getting a head start on finding her career. For many people, involving themselves in such thinking so early would simply be unthinkable.
T.J. Hug can be reached at