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BLUE ASH - Bob Miller, director of the farm department at WLW-AM for 35 years, died Tuesday of cancer at Hospice of Cincinnati. He was 87.

Through his reports broadcast from a spread in Mason called "Everybody's Farm," he kept Ohio farmers abreast of the latest agricultural techniques and technology. They thought so highly of the programs that the farmers used to say if Bob Miller said it, it must be true, according to Mr. Miller's wife, Dorothy.

He was so influential that the dean of agriculture at Ohio State University dubbed him "Mr. Ohio."

Mr. Miller broadcast his morning show from sites around the farm, including the milking parlor and the hen house. Then, he delivered his noon report from a small white studio on the farm.

"Because of his skills and experience, he was able to be a wonderful spokesman to and for the farm community," said Bill Myers, who worked for WLW from 1952-1982. "Bob was there at a time when WLW was a very strong influence in the farm community. The farmers got a lot of information off that radio station. Bob was certainly a key factor in providing information that farmers needed. The farm department made a lot of money because of the huge sponsorship, because of the power of the station and the quality of the information. It was relied upon and trusted."

Purchased by Powel Crosley Jr. around 1940 as a place to try out equipment, fertilizer and seed, Everybody's Farm was a working farm of several hundred acres.

It demonstrated the latest agricultural techniques and was visited by thousands of schoolchildren and farmers annually.

Mr. Miller also hosted a Saturday morning TV show called "Farm Front" on which he conducted interviews with farmers who were using new farming techniques.

Mr. Miller's influence was felt beyond Ohio. He accompanied U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson on a trade and goodwill tour of Japan, China, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand in 1960.

He also reported on Peace Corps agricultural projects in Africa and South Central America and donated fees from speeches to the Peace Corps to build a school in Zaire.

Mr. Miller was invited to the White House to meet presidents Truman, Nixon, Ford and Carter.

Robert Ceylon Miller was born July 23, 1919, in Litchfield, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio State University with majors in rural sociology and rural economics in 1943.

He served as a Navy lieutenant junior grade on the USS San Francisco during World War II. He joined WLW after his discharge in 1946.

Mr. Miller was inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame and the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the National Association of Farm Broadcasting in 1989. He was a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Van Miller of Maineville; two daughters, Kathlyn Bork of Aurora, Ohio, and Holly Ruff of Maineville; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Mr. Miller's life will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Sharonville United Methodist Church, 3751 Creek Road. Refreshments will be served afterward in the fellowship hall. Mr. Miller's body was cremated.

Memorial gifts are suggested to Media Heritage Inc., Voice of America Museum, 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester, OH 45069



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