Bill Armstrong and Ronnie Liedtke are the 2014 Inductees into the Dairy Products Institute of Texas Hall of Fame.

 

Our first 2014 inductee into the Dairy Products Institute of Texas Hall Of Fame is Bill Armstrong.

 

Beginning on his parents and grandparents dairy farms, Bill began his dairy career early in life. Learning many of the milking and sustainable farming skills prior to entering high school, he became extremely interested in agricultural studies and participated in most opportunities offered by the Future Farmers of America's  high school program.

When asked by his advisor, " What do you want to do after high school?" Bill responded by saying "Continuing to milk cows is NOT an option". His advisor discussed majoring in Dairy Manufacturing and Bill's interest was raised when he was assured "no milking of cattle".

Beginning the summer after high school graduation , Bill started his college training and continued until he received his BS and MS from TAMU and Purdue Universities in Dairy and Food Science. 

Completing his US Army obligation, his first dairy manufacturing job was with Schreiber Foods where in received promotions to Corporate Director of Manufacturing in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

After leaving his Texas home for 20 years, an opportunity presented itself in Dallas, Texas, to become Chief Operations Officer with TCBY (The Country's Best Yogurt) manufacturing company, Americana Foods. 

These were exciting times managing the construction and operation of a mix, ice cream and novelty plant producing truck loads of finished goods for distribution in all 50 states and many foreign countries. 

When TCBY was sold, Bill took a brief pause before joining Lone Star Milk Producers as their Manufacturing Officer where he has served for 12 years coordinating with customers and milk co-operatives in the manufacture and sale of dairy commodities.

Beginning in May, Bill and Melissa will devote their full efforts to their ranching business near the original dairy farm where Bill's dairy career began. 

Bill has been a long time DPI Board Member with both Americana Foods and Lone Star Milk Producers, retiring from our board this year.

Bill, on behalf of DPI, thank you for your career and hard work in the Dairy Industry and for your support and participation in this Association. 

 

Our second inductee into the Dairy Products Institute of Texas Hall of Fame is Ronnie Liedtke.

 

Ronnie was born and raised in Gainesville, TX.

He graduated from Gainesville High School in 1971 where he was a 3 year letterman in football and baseball, student body president, and a member of the National Honor Society (graduating 3rd in his class). 

Ronnie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M in 1975 with a BS in Dairy Manufacturing. He was a member of Alpha Zeta, an agricultural honor society, and Beta Sigma Phi, a food science honor society. Ronnie was one of the recipients of the Merit Award as the Outstanding Student in the College of Agriculture. 

He worked his way through A&M. During the school months, he worked for the Dairy section for 3 years. He was the first employee for H.E. Randolph & Associates , doing the lab work in Henry's garage. During his senior year, Ronnie worked at nights for Lilly Ice Cream in Bryan, TX. For summer jobs, he worked for Oak Farms in Dallas and Safeway in Garland, TX. 

After graduation, Ronnie spent the next 21 years on the manufacturing side. He worked for 

Kroger in St. Louis (now MidStates Dairy)

Gilt Edge Dairy in Norman, OK (now Hiland Dairy)

Southland Corporation/Morningstar at Oak Farms Dallas, Oak Farms San Antonio and Specialty Foods in a Sulphur Springs, TX.

The Dannon Company in Ft. Worth

17 years ago, Ronnie went to the other side - Sales. He is the president of 3B Packaging & Ingredients, Inc and represents several DPI Associate members

Silgan PCS ( formerly Portola Packaging and IPEC)

Lyons Magnus

Star Kay White

 International Food Products (formerly Dairy House)

Ronnie is a past president of the Texas Longhorns for DPI of Texas. He is a member of the Texas Association for Food Protection and the Missouri Dairy Products Association. 

Ronnie is married to Jan Dowell Liedtke. Her father said they have a mixed marriage since Jan went to Baylor and Ronnie is an Aggie! But that is another story. 

They have 3 children and 6 grandkids. Their son , Aaron, lives in Ft. Worth with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Lou (4) and Cora (1).  Lee and his wife, Jennifer, live in Mansfield, TX  with their children, Kylie (8) and Blane (5). Their daughter, Lauren, lives in Dublin, Ireland with her husband, Chris, and sons, Nate (3) and Alex (2). 

Ronnie has been associated with the Texas Dairy Industry over 40 years and has been a long time supporter and participant in DPI.  It is my pleasure and honor to induct Ronnie Liedtke into the Dairy Products Institute of Texas Hall of Fame.