Von Miller may not be the first chicken farmer in the National Football League, but surely he’s the only one who is also a Super Bowl MVP and a “Dancing with the Stars” performer. Somehow, it all makes sense for the Denver Broncos’ top linebacker.

 

The Aggie effect

As a three-star high school recruit in DeSoto, Texas, Miller had his pick of many top-tier football programs including Louisiana State University, Florida, Oklahoma and Ole Miss. He says he chose Texas A&M, a school known for its agricultural programs, in part because, “I really just wanted to play right away, and A&M offered that opportunity and made me feel wanted.”

While he didn’t start out in Aggieland with his mind set on a Poultry Science degree, an undergraduate course about chickens wound up having a big impact. He says, “I didn’t know what I wanted to do and, honestly, it just started from me taking an elective that I thought would be an easy class. The professor didn’t see it that way and pushed me, and I really enjoyed it.”

He started a small chicken farm in his sophomore year.

 

Living the dream(s)

After graduating from A&M, Miller was drafted second overall in 2011 by the Broncos. Just recently, he signed the largest guaranteed contract for a non-quarterback in NFL history. While that might be enough for some, Miller is also committed to his small farm back in Texas. “I’m proud to have healthy birds. I’m not close to the 30,000-bird farms that are out there, but I think we have a lot of bang for the buck.”

He says while it’s a small operation for now, his goal is to grow Miller Farms and hopefully acquire a commercial farm near DeSoto. In the meantime, this renaissance man will continue working hard on the field while keeping a hand in the chicken coop. “It’s definitely a bit slower-paced, but still just good, hard work. It’s fulfilling.”