Helen Miller

Founder of the Urban-Ag Academy

Photo by Heather Strachan

Helen Miller has more than 30 years of leadership experience in various capacities including volunteer, mediator, legislative bill drafter, librarian, attorney, legislator and board member of numerous organizations.  She has served on a number of committees in the Iowa House and as an Assistant Minority Leader and an Assistant Majority Leader.

Miller is currently serving her sixth term in the Iowa House of Representatives representing House District 9. Present committee assignments are Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, Economic Growth, Natural Resources, and Transportation Committees. Miller also is a member of the Iowa Advisory Council for Agricultural Education.    

Nationally, Miller serves as the Agriculture Policy Committee Chair and is a member of  the Executive Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. She also is a member of State Agricultural and Rural Leaders Inc., the Iowa State Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, Links, Inc. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.

Miller is a graduate of the leadership programs of Leadership Washington (DC), Leadership Iowa, the Bowhay Instititute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD), the Flemming Leadership Institute, and the Council of State Government's (CSG) Henry Toll Fellowship Program.

The Urban-Ag Academy initiative was launched by Representative Miller in 2011 in order to engage minority and urban legislators more fully in agricultural and rural policy making in state legislative bodies.


Brooke Miller Axiotis

Associate, Urban Ag Academy

Brooke attended Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, PA) graduating in 2003 with a Major in Philosophy and a Minor in Asian Studies. Brooke resided in Japan for four years teaching English as a second language with the Japanese Exchange Teaching Program (2 years), studying the Japanese language through intensive course work (1 year) and as an employee of a major Japanese travel agency in Tokyo (1 year).

Upon returning to the United States, Brooke was employed as the Central Western Iowa Coordinator for the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Iowa. During the 2009, 2010 and 2011 sessions of the Iowa General Assembly, she was employed as a clerk for Representative Helen Miller (D-Fort Dodge) in the Iowa House of Representatives.  Brooke received her Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School in May of 2012 earning certificates in Agricultural Law and Legislative Practice. She became a member of the Iowa State Bar in September of 2012. 

Brooke has been involved with the Urban Ag Academy since its inception in 2011.  Her background in ag law and legislative process have proved to be vital assets to the mission of the Urban Ag Academy.