Technically his official title is Assistant Professor and Superintendent of the Montana State University (MSU) Western Agriculture Research Center; Zach Miller, however, prefers the more humble title, "Plant Nerd".
Around 10 years ago MSU and the Montana Organic Association (MOA) began collaborating on methods of integrative weed management for organic farmers. Many MOA farmers grow Timeless products, naturally MSU began using our seeds for their trials. A decade later, he continues to introduce new varieties and improve the quality of the seed for our growers. Zach has the unique opportunity to work with organic and conventional growers while also growing with organic and conventional methods himself.
"There is a lot to admire about organic farming -- not counting its environmental impact,” Zach said. “Organic farmers have gotten off the commodity farming treadmill, tend to have a better quality of life, have figured out how to farm profitability and are a backbone to rural small-town culture.”
Zach believes that supporting organic agriculture literally changes the visual landscape of Montana. He stands in a good number of fields helping farmers. Commodity wheat grows for miles and miles. Now, among the waves of grain, you can find waves of blue (flax), white (lentils), and pink (chickpeas) in the fields of organic farmers, grown for profit and/or soil sustainability.
MSU has recently been awarded a USDA grant from the Organic Research and Education Initiative to help organic farmers find ways to manage creeping perennials such as Canadian thistle. This should be good news to the rest of our growers! Find out more about Zach's projects on pulses and more.
Thanks Zach for providing top of the line seed for our growers! We appreciate all you do.