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Junior Miller Companies

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I have met many fascinating business people over the many years I have been doing Speaking on Business. This state has an abundance of outstanding, dynamic achievers.

I can't remember when I enjoyed a visit more than a recent chat with Junior Miller in Hyrum, Utah. E. A. Miller & Sons Packing Company and Miller Blue Ribbon Beef are part of one of the great business success stories of Utah. In fact, the name Miller and the word "beef" are practically synonymous in Utah.

Junior's father Ernest Miller started in the meat business in Hyrum in 1935. He would process veal and pork for local farmers for their freezers.

Soon, Ernest started buying cattle from local farmers and he would sell them to wholesalers in Salt Lake City. In those days, it was mandated by inspection rules that whole veal had to be delivered with heads and hides on, and liver and hearts intact. Because there was no refrigeration, the animals would be slaughtered in the afternoon so that the canyon breezes would cool the veal enroute to the market.

In 1953, Ernest died. Under Junior and his older brother Lynn's management, the company showed spectacular growth with more than $600,000 in business annually. After Lynn's death, Junior headed the business alone. Not only is Junior Miller very affable, he proved to be a great businessman. By now, the company was selling and shipping cattle all over the west. Their trucks became a very common sight on America's highways and carried this message: "In passing may we suggest Miller's Blue Ribbon Beef."

In the late 1970s, John Miller, Lynn's son, joined the company. He complimented Junior's management style and soon the two's great expertise and hard work elevated the company to more than $1 billion in sales annually. It's apparent the name "Miller" and beef will continue to be a vital part of Utah's agricultural economy.

This is Fred Ball, for Zions Bank. I'm speaking on business.

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