Miller named 2019 Iowa Poultry Princess

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

    Koree Miller, 16, of Anamosa has been named the 2019 Poultry Princess for the State of Iowa. 


    Miller found out about the opportunity from Jones County Extension. While Jones County does not have poultry royalty, Miller can still qualify for the state title. 


    The application process involved sending in her resume and writing a two-page minimum paper about the Iowa poultry industry. Miller did a lot of research into her essay. 


    She has had to secure two reference letters from family friends. 


    Miller was chosen out of 19 applicants. The program is open to all 99 counties in Iowa. 


    This is a bittersweet moment for Miller, as raising chickens runs in her family. Her great grandmother Elsie Current of Monmouth was known affectionately as the “Egg lady.” 


    “She had a 17-acre farm and raised thousands of chickens,” said Miller’s mom, Jody Nowachek-Miller. 


    Miller is now the fourth generation to raise chickens. 


    In addition, she gives her chickens’ eggs to needy families in Jones County. 


    Miller also buys a chicken and donates it to people in Haiti to use as food for the children as part of Mission Starfish. 


    “One chicken feeds 300 people,” she said. 


    Miller has been raising poultry since she was 2 years old. She’s been showing them at the Great Jones County Fair and the Wyoming Fair for six years now.


     She now has over 100 chickens. 


    She’s raised several different breeds: bantams, layers, meat, breeding birds, and rare and unusual. 


    Not wanting to give away her poultry exhibit secrets, Miller puts in a lot of time in caring for her chickens. 


    She also helps the younger exhibitors if time allows. 


    “I’ll help them give their chickens a bath, but after that, we’re all on our own in the show ring,” she said. 


    Miller takes note of what the judges have to say, knowing what to do differently the next time. 


    She’s come away with some pretty high honors at the fairs: best of show, senior showman, and junior showman. 


    Miller said she likes exhibiting at the Wyoming Fair because the competition is a bit steeper with open shows. 


   As the state Poultry Princess, Miller has a busy schedule ahead of her for the remainder of 2019. She will appear in numerous parades throughout the state, as well as county fairs in Eastern Iowa. She plans to speak to several 4-H and FFA clubs promoting the poultry association. 


    “I have 11 county fairs, seven parades, and the State Fair,” she said. 


    Miller said she’s excited to travel the state for all of her appearances, meeting other 4-H kids with the same interest in poultry. 


    “I want to get more kids involved,” she said. 


    With her mom’s help, Miller has had to firm up her busy summer schedule. She leaves this week for Washington, D.C., a 4-H trip. 


    “Koree was the one who contacted all of the Extension offices in surrounding counties for their schedules,” praised Nowachek-Miller. “She’s very excited for this.” 


    Miller will be a senior at Midland High School this fall. (She will get to skip her junior year.) 


    After high school, she plans to attend Kirkwood to become an EMT and then a certified paramedic. 


    “It feels good to accomplish something like this,” she said of becoming the state Poultry Princess. “All those years of hard work paid off, and I can follow in my grandma’s footsteps.” 


    Aside from her royalty duties, Miller will return to the GJCF and Wyoming Fair to exhibit chickens. She also typically shows goats, but has to step back this year as her princess duties overlap. 


    Miller is the daughter of James and Jody Nowachek-Miller.


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