, | Certificate of Distinction: 2000
Throughout his farming career, Morgan Miers was an innovator and visionary who adopted new technologies that would not only improve his operation, but would leave the land more productive than when he began. A desire to also “leave the world a better place” has been Miers’ foundation for a lifetime of public service that has touched virtually every aspect of life in his native Decatur County.
Miers received a B.S. in Animal Husbandry from Purdue University in 1941. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into the U.S. Army, where he served four years in WWII in the European Theatre, earning both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Medal for Bravery.
After WWII, Miers returned to Decatur County and became the fourth generation to assume the reins of his family’s farm. Upon his retirement, the farm was primarily a producer of seed corn, soybeans and wheat for Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Miers grew specialty crops like popcorn and sorghum long before it became fashionable, and he was among the first farmers to use herbicides and insecticides to increase yields. In the late 1950’s he was an early adopter of double cropping soybeans after wheat. In the early 1960’s he was one of the first farmers in the state to use the Purdue computerized farm record keeping system. Miers aggressively improved the fertility, soil pH and drainage of his farm to build a sound foundation for maximizing yields and profits. He installed more than 400,000 feet of drainage tile and began the practice of land leveling to improve surface drainage. Miers worked closely with USDA’ s ASCS and SCS agencies to adopt environmental and conservation practices, and to construct erosion control structures long before their value was widely accepted.
Miers’ community leadership has included the presidencies of the Decatur County’s United Fund, Cancer Society, YMCA and Historical Society. He also chaired the Decatur County 4-H Fair from its inception until about 1980. Miers served as the Decatur County Democratic Chairman for 32 years, was a five-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and was treasurer of the 9th District Democratic Party. Miers was also an active member of the Greensburg Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as numerous other cultural and education groups and local veterans’ and Masonic organizations. A life-long member of the Greensburg Methodist Church, Miers taught youth and adult Sunday School for more than 40 years. A lay leader, he also is past chairman and member of the board of trustees.
Miers is committed to championing the cause of education and the belief that public higher education should be made readily available to citizens. He is a founding member and has served for 20 years on the Indiana University - Purdue University - Columbus (IUPUC) advisory board. IUPUC Dean Paul Bippen says that through numerous activities and introductions, both formal and otherwise, Miers has increased Bippen’s visibility and that of the IUPUC campus in Greensburg and Decatur County.
Miers has been honored locally with the Decatur County Extension Certificate of Distinction, the Decatur County REMC Distinguished Service Award, the Community Service Award from the Greensburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and induction into the county’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. He was recognized for Meritorious Service by Gov. Roger Branigan and Congressman Lee Hamilton, and he has twice been named a Sagamore of the Wabash, by Governors Evan Bayh and Matthew Welsh.