Ag Proud – Idaho would like you to meet:

Donald Miller, Ph.D.
Technical Forage Adviser
Mountain View Seeds
Nampa, Idaho
Email Donald Miller

What education are you bringing with you to this position?

I have a Bachelor of Science in biology, Master of Science in agronomy and a Ph.D. in agronomy/plant breeding from New Mexico State University (NMSU).

What previous positions have you held?

  • 1984-1994 – Agri-Pro Seeds: Alfalfa breeder western U.S. and international non-dormant market
  • 1994-2005 – Helena Chemical/Americas Alfalfa: Alfalfa breeder western U.S. and international non-dormant market
  • 2005-2008 – Target Seed: Director of alfalfa and teff grass research
  • 2008-2023 – Alforex Seeds: Director of product development

What are your new responsibilities?

My overall job responsibility for Mountain View Seeds (MVS) will be to assist them in developing an alfalfa portfolio for the entire U.S. Since I am based in Nampa, a portion of my responsibilities will be to identify forage varieties that will perform well in Idaho and to educate Idaho farmers on how they can best utilize those elite varieties on their farms.

Who has made the biggest impact on your career?

Dr. Bill Melton, the alfalfa breeder at NMSU. At one time, approximately 50% of the alfalfa breeders in the U.S. were trained by Dr. Melton. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from this exceptional plant breeder. I worked for Dr. Melton for 10 years on his alfalfa breeding program and as a graduate student for eight years. Under his direction, I learned all the skills that I needed to be successful as an alfalfa breeder as well as how to make presentations to growers on the benefits of the new varieties.

How will you be of most help to producers in Idaho?

Having worked in Idaho most of my career, I know the problems producers face in growing alfalfa and other forages. I think that knowledge will allow me to help advise Mountain View Seeds on what alfalfa varieties and traits are needed by Idaho growers to be productive and profitable forage producers.


Why did you choose this company?

The forage industry for many years has been separated into two main groups: grass companies and alfalfa/clover companies. As a result, forage producers often must access their grasses from one company and their alfalfa/clover from another. For years, I have felt that a true forage company should market both types of forages, not just grass or alfalfa.

When Mountain View Seeds approached me about advising them on how to add alfalfa to their portfolio to complement their forage grass business, I agreed with MVS that the timing might be right to combine both forage types into one company, since many well-known alfalfa companies were getting out of alfalfa or significantly downsizing their programs. I felt that providing forage producers with one source to access all their forage needs would be well received by producers, and I wanted to assist MVS in developing a company that could be that one source of forage grasses and legumes. I was happy to join their company in accomplishing that goal. 

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?

My primary goal is to assist Mountain View Seeds in adding elite alfalfa varieties to their product lineup that will have the genetic traits needed for optimal performance in the various regions of the U.S. where they are being marketed.

My second goal is to educate customers on the benefits of the new product lineup and how to properly manage them to maximize their potential and profits.

My last goal will be to educate producers on the potential benefits of alfalfa/grass mixes. New genetics and innovative management techniques are making alfalfa/grass mixes a more viable forage option for producers.