NFL star Von Miller cuts ribbon for his new poultry plant

The Texas A&M poultry science alumnus and former Super Bowl MVP owns the first USDA organic poultry processing facility in Texas.

Roy Graber Headshot
Von Miller joins staff members from Greener Pastures Chicken and Texas A&M University for the opening of the Greener Pastures Chicken plant in Elgin, Texas.
Von Miller joins staff members from Greener Pastures Chicken and Texas A&M University for the opening of the Greener Pastures Chicken plant in Elgin, Texas.
Texas A&M University Department of Poultry Science | LinkedIn

Nearly 11 years ago, published a brief news item about how National Football League (NFL) player Von Miller had ambitions putting his poultry science degree from Texas A&M University (TAMU) to use and having his own poultry company.

But at the time, I’m not sure how seriously people took him. At the time, he said he had purchased 38 chickens, which is far fewer than many backyard poultry farmers’ flocks.

The emergence of Greener Pastures Chicken

This week, I learned just how serious Miller was about a second career in the poultry industry. He put his money where his mouth was.

I noticed on the TAMU Department of Poultry Science LinkedIn page, Miller had just cut the ribbon on the processing plant of Greener Pastures Chicken, a company of which he is the proprietor. He is joined by Greener Pastures staff and representatives of TAMU in the pictures.

The LinkedIn post, in part, read: “Von Miller is known to have two great passions in life - football and chicken. Greener Pastures Chicken reflects Von's dedication to producing a humane and sustainable product. “On April 26th, Dr. Audrey McElroy, Dr. Morgan Farnell, and Dr. Gregory Archer attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating Greener Pastures Chicken's opening of a new processing facility in Elgin, TX. The facility is the first USDA organic poultry processing facility in Texas representing a measure of growth for not only Greener Pastures Chicken but the poultry industry as a whole.”

Oddly enough, I never saw a press release concerning the opening of the plant. When you consider that Miller, formerly a Denver Bronco and Los Angeles Ram and current Buffalo Bill, has had a stellar professional football career that includes being an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and the most valuable player (MVP) of Super Bowl 50, you would think the interest in his poultry would be high and Miller would want to highly promote it.

But maybe he doesn’t have to.

Von Miller’s poultry philosophy

Miller’s company does have a website, which offers the following description of Greener Pastures Chicken: “The Greener Pastures team combines expertise in organic agriculture, poultry science, and livestock nutrition, as well as many years of experience working on the behind-the-scenes infrastructure involved in supply chain management, the natural foods sector, and the hospitality and retail fields. We are committed to bringing you the highest-quality, most ethical and affordable organic pasture-raised chicken possible.”

And according to the website, Greener Pastures Chicken offers “classic-style whole birds” and select cuts that include both bone-in and boneless, as well as with or without the skin.

Curious to know more, I found a YouTube video where he showed former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Nate Robinson his farming operation. The video is about four years old, but it showed that Miller is indeed enthusiastic about it.

Miller and Greener Pastures Chicken CEO Cameron Molberg, a fellow TAMU alumnus, take Robinson through the farming operation, showing him the barns that also give the birds outdoor access. Some of his former TAMU professors also stopped by.

Miller, in the video, said he didn’t want a chicken operation where birds were crowded and getting sick with disease. He touted the company’s “humanely-raised,” “pasture-raised,” and “non-GMO” chicken products.

Von MillerVon MillerTexas A&M University Department of Poultry Science | LinkedIn

And while Miller might be biased, he says the way those chickens are raised translates into a better tasting product.

“I think that a happy bird tastes totally different than a bird that’s stressed out,” he said.

In a light moment in the video, Miller explains one way in which he does not cause stress to the birds. Robinson asked him if chasing after chickens helped him become such a successful defensive player on the gridiron. The two aren’t related, Miller said.

“The thing is, when I’m chasing a chicken, its about being patient. When I’m on the football field, I’m just trying to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, but here on the farm I’m a little more gentle,” he said.

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