PLATTEVILLE—Cuba City native Ron Dieter was recognized as one of four distinguished alumni at UW-Platteville on Friday, Oct. 13. The award ceremony during homecoming week acknowledged individuals who have demonstrated career success after graduating from the college.
Deiter is a professor of economics and co-advisor of the Ag Business club at Iowa State University. He graduated from Cuba City High School in 1967 and UW-Platteville in 1971. He was named salutatorian for his class at UW-P and served as state president officer for the FFA.
During his acceptance speech, Dieter recalled a story about starfish washing up on the shore after a storm and a boy throwing them back. When asked about it, the boy is told he will never get them all back in the water, but the boy claims helping as many as he can will make a difference for those individuals.
“So, the lesson is, individually we may not be able to change the entire world and solve problems associated with mass violence, hurricanes, wars, forest fires, cancer, etc., but every day we are able to positively affect a portion of someone’s life,” Dieter said. “My fellow award winners are evidence that UW-Platteville is preparing people to go out into the world and make a difference. I feel like I’m one of those lucky starfish because there are so many people who have helped me get to where I am in life today.”
He thanked his nominator, Dr. Kliebenstein, a 2011 recipient of the same award.
He even thanked all of the cows he milked on his family’s farm near Dickeyville.
“I tell people, ‘being a dairy farmer is a lot like being in jail, except in jail you don’t have to milk cows.’ So, I want to thank all the cows I milked over the years for giving me the motivation to get my college degrees.”
He shared his appreciation for his grandmother, Elsie Dieter, who lived in Platteville, feeding him lunch each day during his college career.
He noted several teachers who made a difference in his life, including Charlie Larson who taught agriculture at Cuba City High School; John Simonson who taught Principals of Economics at UW-Platteville; and Dr. John Ambrosius, Dr. Bob Cropp and Dr. John Cottingham in the Ag Economics program at UW-Platteville.
He remembered his late brother, Mark, and late mother, Theresa. He had several family members in attendance, including his sisterKarla Schroeder, sister Linda Griffin, sister Donna Rogers and her husband Pat, dad Burnell Dieter and stepmother Harriet Dieter.
“Finally, I want to share this award with my wife Lynn,” Dieter said. “Our relationship started as sweethearts at Cuba City High School. We were married while I was a grad student at Illinois. While at Illinois, she worked nights as a nurse and was willing to share a one-room garage apartment so we could make ends meet. When we moved to Ames, Lynn continued to work as a nurse, took care of our home and was the key contributor to raising our three children. All of this so I could devote more time to my career at ISU. Without her unwavering support and unconditional love, I wouldn’t be here today. I will never be able to thank you enough. Lynn, this award is as much yours as it is mine.”
He and Lynn (Loeffelholz) have three children and three grandchildren with another expected soon.
Deiter has received many local, state and national awards and recognitions with emphasis on teaching, advising and service. His accolades include:
- Edwin G Nourse Best Doctoral Dissertation Award, American Institute of Cooperation 1980
- Walnut Grove Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Ag, Iowa State University – 1986
- Teaching Fellow Award, Nat’l Assn of Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) – 1991
- Distinguished Service Award, Iowa FFA Association - 1991
- Outstanding National Ag Business Club Award (advisor), SS-AAEA – 1992, 1995,1998, 1999, 2001,2004,2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015,
- Teaching Award of Merit, Nat’l Assn of Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) 1997
- John Deere Award for Outstanding Teaching Programs in Ag Business (NACTA) 1998
- National Creative Ag Business Club Award (advisor) SS-AAEA – 2000,2001,2003,2004,2006,2007,2008,2009, 2010,2011,2012,2014,2015
- E.B. Knight Outstanding Journal Award, Nat; l Assn of College & Teachers in Ag (NACTA) 2001
- First Place National Academic Quiz Bowl Contest (advisor), SS-AAEA 2012
- Distinguished Service Citation, Iowa FFA Assn. 2015
- Ron Deiter ISU Agriculture Business Club Endowment Fund ($150,000) from Farm Credit Services of America and AgriBank
Dieter volunteers in a variety of capacities:
- Iowa Department of Education prepared on a volunteer basis the Iowa FFA Farm Business Management Career Development Event annually 1980-2017.
- Iowa 4-H Youth Conference gave workshop presentations on a volunteer basis, annually 1999-2017.
- Annual Support: Various charitable organizations such as Red Cross, United Way, Blank Hospital, St Jude Hospital, etc. 1977-2017Also receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award were John Boldt, Larry Daehn and Arnie Miehe. The Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to Ann Moyer, Artanya Wesley and Amanda Zopp at the same ceremony.
“I have been told the number of UW-Platteville alums who are still alive today is over 50,000 and, at my age, maybe to be a part of this group is one of my more significant accomplishments,” Dieter said.