Frank E. Miles of Appling County is considered by many to be the Dean of Young Farmer teachers in Georgia. He was born and raised in Appling County and except for military service and college he has worked and lived there his whole life. Frank graduated from Baxley High School and attended both Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and after a four-year stint in the U.S. Air Force, the University of Georgia, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education. He began his career teaching agriculture in Wayne County at Odum High School. After one year he returned to Appling County and accepted a position teaching agriculture in the new Appling County High School. He remained at Appling County High until his retirement in 1994.
In 1971 Frank led the organization of the Appling County Young Farmer Chapter and devoted the remainder of his career to making sure the Young Farmers in Appling County were educated on the newest and best methods of becoming successful agriculture producers. His educational classes included a wide range of topics covering every aspect of farm life as well as many relevant topics in the area of agribusiness and agricultural policy. He supervised countless number of pole barn classes, which were very beneficial in providing shelter for storage of equipment and crops such as hay.
The organizational activities of the Appling County Young Farmers under Mr. Miles’ direction were second to none in the state. Within a year of being chartered in 1972 the Appling County Young Farmers had grown to become the largest chapter in Georgia, a position they held many of the next 22 years, several times exceeding 300 members. Under Frank’s leadership the Young Farmers in Appling County had eight members to serve as officers on the GYFA Executive Board with five of those men advancing through the ranks to become GYFA State President. Appling County had three Outstanding Young Farm Family District winners, and won the GYFA District Chapter Award twice. They hosted the 1981 GYFA Summer Tour, and in 1973 began sponsoring what is the longest continuously running Truck and Tractor Pull in Georgia; 2011 marking the 38th year. Under Frank’s leadership the Appling County Chapter won the largest attendance award at the annual GYFA State Convention for ten years, and routinely had as large a delegation to the NYFEA Institute as most states with thirty to forty Young Farmers and wives attending each year between 1973 and 1994. Miles was recognized as Georgia’s Outstanding Young Farmer Teacher five times, and in 1992 was named the GVATA Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Upon his retirement in 1994 Frank was named an honorary member of the Appling County Young Farmer Chapter, one of only a handful of individuals to be presented this honor.
Frank Miles has accomplished much in life but he remains a modest, humble, and unassuming man. He speaks softly. He remembers your name, and is genuinely glad to see you every time you meet. He is unfailingly polite. He leads by example and he uses the words “I love you” often and with sincerity. He is a true picture of someone who is a teacher of agriculture “by choice and not by chance”, and a well deserving member of the Georgia Agricultural Education Hall of Fame.
On January 17 a special ceremony was held for 2012 Inductees of the Georgia Agricultural Teachers Hall of Fame at the Georgia FFA Center in Covington. Family and friends joined Frank and his wife, Loretta, at the special ceremony.