Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Joining the Washington County Extension Office as county director in February was a homecoming of sorts for Andy Miller.
Miller graduated from Washington High School in 1998 and went on to Indian Hills Community College and Buena Vista University, where he earned degree in criminal justice and political science with a minor in psychology.
Miller’s family owns and operates Morningstar Farms near Washington.
“They sell Christmas trees,” Miller said. “I help them out every year. That’s my knowledge of ag.”
Since 2005, Miller has served as the probation and parole officer for the Department of Corrections 8th Judicial District. Before that role he has served as a residential officer and youth care worker.
“As things turned, I had the opportunity to come here,” Miller said.
He is already impressed with the people he works with at the Extension office.
“I love it. We have great people,” Miller said. “Obviously, Amy Green runs the 4-H program, and she’s fantastic. I think she’s Washington County’s go-to person. I hope to continue to learn from her.”
Miller realizes he has big shoes to fill.
Nancy Adrian, Green’s mother who died in December 2019, was the longtime county director.
“Nancy had a lot of good ideas and did a lot for Washington County,” Miller said. “I’m hoping to fill those shoes and live up to her status and continue that legacy of adding good programs to Washington County.”
The first goal, though, is to get through the 2021 Washington County Fair.
“Amy says that if I still have all my hair after the fair, I’m a keeper,” Miller said. “I’m hoping to get some programs up and running after the fair and just get rolling.”
He sees part of the Extension’s role is to help rebuild the post-COVID economy.
“One of our main goals is to revive the Iowa economy after COVID,” Miller said. “Things kind of dipped down, and we lost a lot of small businesses.
“We’d like to help the ones we have left and partnership with them to get people back out and traveling around and spend money locally. As the Extension, we can be part of that.”
Miller has been a volunteer on the Washington Fire Department since 2015, where he leads fire prevention outreach in the Washington Fire district.
He is trained in trench rescue, dive team rescue, CPR, mental health first aid certified and is a substitute driver for the fire department.
He and his wife, Cheyenne, built a home on his family’s farm, where they raise their three daughters.
“What a better place to raise your kids than back in your hometown,” Miller said. “We lived in bigger places for a while, but we knew we wanted to come back home.”