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Names in the News for Jan. 11, 2005
Johanns names members to the Popcorn Promotion Board
WASHINGTON, D.C. — USDA Secretary Mike Johanns recently announced the reappointment of one member and the appointment of two new members to serve on the Popcorn Board.

Wilfred E. Sieg, Jr., from Ramsey, Ind., is reappointed to serve a three-year term beginning immediately and ending Dec. 31, 2008. Ralph Ferber, Nashville, Tenn., and Norman Krug, Chapman, Neb., are appointed to serve three-year terms beginning immediately and ending on Dec. 31, 2008.

The board, authorized by the Popcorn Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, conducts promotion, research and consumer information activities to maintain and expand the popcorn market.

The nine-member board is composed of eligible popcorn processors who normally process and distribute more than four million pounds of popcorn annually. The nominees were appointed from nominations submitted by the industry.

The program is funded by assessments paid by persons who process more than four million pounds of popcorn annually. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service monitors the operations of the Popcorn Board.

Rheinheimer joins Organic Valley as regional pool coordinator
LaFARGE, Wis. — Organic Valley Family of Farms recently announced that Lowell Rheinheimer joined the cooperative as a regional pool coordinator for Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and Tennessee. In this new role, he will serve the needs of current and prospective Organic Valley farmer members.

Rheinheimer’s primary responsibility is to help interested farmers understand how they can participate in the growing organic dairy market. He will hold regional educational workshops, organize hands-on barn meetings, participate in various dairy industry events and make personal farm visits to interested farmers who want to know more about organic dairy farming opportunities.

Rheinheimer has worked in organic farming nearly his entire life, growing up on an 80-acre livestock and crop farm in northern Indiana. In the early 1970s, after moving to New England, he helped develop the Natural Organic Farming Association, working to organize some of its first on-farm education programs.

Rheinheimer has a master’s degree in resource managment from Antioch University.

He can be reached through Organic Valley’s Membership Services at 888-809-9297.

DiPietro named vice president of UT Institute of Agriculture
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee has named Dr. Joseph A. DiPietro as its new vice president for agriculture. He is currently the dean of the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Dr. Joseph DiPietro brings a world of experience to the University of Tennessee,” said UT President John Petersen. “He brings the leadership that will keep UT’s Institute of Agriculture positioned as a major component of economic development and outreach in every county of the state, and this will ensure UT’s continued success in fulfilling our land-grant mission.”

DiPietro will begin in his new role in late February.

He has served in his current position in Florida since 1997. Prior to that, he served as the associate dean for research at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and as the assistant director of that institution’s agricultural experiment station. In addition to his administrative background, he has conducted research on the epidemiology, control and treatment of parasitic diseases of livestock, specifically horses, cattle and swine.

As UT’s vice president for agriculture, DiPietro will oversee the operations of the UT Institute of Agriculture, which includes the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station and UT Extension.

Chosen from 50 applicants and nominees for the position, DiPietro will succeed UT Associate Vice President for Development Buddy Mitchell, who has served as the interim vice president for agriculture during the search.

UT Chancellor Loren Crabtree chaired the search committee for the position. The vice president for agriculture position was vacated by Jack Britt in 2004 when he became UT’s Executive Vice President. To learn more about the UT Institute of Agriculture, visit

Published in the January 11, 2006 issue of Farm World.