With over 30 years of service, Ruby Miller has made significant contributions to Louisiana 4-H as a 4-H member, volunteer and professional. For her lifetime dedication to the Louisiana 4-H Youth Development program, Miller, of Cameron Parish, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in Chevy Chase, Maryland, in 2019.
“Being part of a team that builds and delivers quality programs and having powerful and positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic and professional ways has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” Miller said.
Miller began her 4-H journey as a 4-H Club member in 1966. In 1980, she began to volunteer, sharing her time and knowledge to judge 4-H projects, demonstrations and speeches at parish and area contest days. Miller served as a parish project club leader. She also coached 4-H members for regional and state competitions in livestock, cooking, entomology and horticulture demonstrations, personal development, public speaking and photography. In 1998, while working with the Cameron Parish 4-H Junior Leaders, Miller secured a $1,000 literacy grant.
“Being part of the literacy project was the first time I really understood my own power to help bring about positive change in someone else’s life,” said Gregoire Theriot, an alumnus of the literacy project.
In 2006, Miller began her professional career with the AgCenter as the Cameron Parish 4-H agent. She worked to establish a strong presence on state 4-H leadership boards and still serves as an adviser. She built a robust parish 4-H shooting sports program and instilled a spirit of service into a Keep Cameron Beautiful Campaign that included the creation of an annual calendar featuring 4-H'er artwork. During her tenure, Cameron Parish was devastated by Hurricane Rita. Despite her own home being damaged, she led the community’s recovery effort and reestablished community-based programs, such as community gardens to bring citizens together and empower young people in community service.
“I have been blessed to have a person in my life that strives to make the people around her better,” said Cameron Parish 4-H alumna, Maeleigh Conner. “I thank God for having planted Mrs. Miller in my life at an early age and for giving me a one-of-a-kind mentor that has watered and enriched me in all parts of my life.”
Now retired, Miller continues her dedication to 4-H. She’s a lifetime Louisiana 4-H Volunteer Leader Association member and helped publish the group’s first website. She co-developed an online volunteer mentoring program and 4-H volunteer Facebook course.
Still a Cameron Parish 4-H volunteer, Miller secures healthy living grants and works with teen leaders to produce and deliver lessons for grant programs. Miller continues to judge at numerous state, regional and parish level 4-H events. She coaches teens in consumer contests, photography, cooking demonstrations and career preparation.