Speaker Bios

2014 Annual Meeting Speakers Guide
General Session

"Opening Remarks

Dr. Larry R. Arrington joined the University of Tennessee as chancellor of the statewide Institute of Agriculture in September 2011.

Previously, Arrington was professor of agricultural education and communication at the University of Florida and served as interim senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences from 2009 to 2010.

Prior to that, Arrington worked in the Florida Extension Service, serving as dean from 2004 to 2009. He began working at the University of Florida in 1981.

A native of Plant City, Fla., Arrington earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural and extension education at the University of Florida, his master's in vocational education at the University of Georgia and his doctorate in agricultural and extension education at the Ohio State University.

Arrington has been rewarded for his expertise and leadership in agriculture. He was presented the Gene Trotter Agricultural Leadership Award in 2010 by the Wedgworth Leadership Institute, a state program to develop leaders in agriculture and natural resources. He also received the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Award for Service to the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy in 2010. Arrington was named a distinguished alumnus by Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; the UT College of Veterinary Medicine; UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers; and UT Extension with offices in all 95 Tennessee counties.

Arrington and his wife, Candace, have three children.

"100th Anniversary: History and Future Priorities of TN Division of Forestry

Jere Jeter, was born and raised in Gleason (Weakley Co) TN, attended University of TN at Martin in their Pre-Forestry Program and graduated from UT Knoxville in 1971 with a BS Degree in Forestry.  His first forester position was in New Hampshire where he worked for Davis and Simmonds Lumber Company in forest and land management.  In 1975 he began his career with the State of TN as an Area Forester in Selmer.  He has also held positions as Staff Forester for Utilization and Marketing and Assistant State Forester.  In addition to his first professional position he also has other private sector experience managing Camden Hardwood Company in Camden, TN.  He is an Eagle Scout, served as a congressional page in Washington DC and is a graduate of the TN Government Management Institute. 

He and his wife Maureen have been married 43 years and live in Leipers Fork in Williamson County; they have two children and seven grandchildren (two of which are adopted from Rwanda).  He was appointed to the position of State Forester in December, 2012.

"Historical Perspective & Outlook for the Future

Gary Schneider is a native of Wisconsin, but for the past 37 years he has lived in Knoxville. Prior to coming to Knoxville, he was on the forestry faculty of Stephen F. Austin University, Texas, and Michigan State University. Gary served as chairman of UT's Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries from 1977-1985. He retired in 1999 as Associate Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and Professor Emeritus. Gary's formal education was in the Midwest, attending the universities of Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State. His degrees include a BS, MS and Ph.D in forest ecology and soils.

Gary has served on numerous Boards and Councils, including the The Society of American Foresters (and Fellow), the American Forestry Association, the UT Institute of Agriculture Development Board, the UT Federal Credit Union, and on the Stormwater Advisory Committee, Town of Farragut. Currently he is president of the Board of Directors of Partners of the Cherokee National Forest, a 501c(3) non-profit organization.

Gary and his wife, Joretta, have two married daughters, Gwen and Jenni, who live in Knoxville.

"UT FRREC 50th Anniversary Recognition

Richard M. Evans “ BS, Forest Resources Management (Univ. of TN ˜68); MS, Forest Genetics (Univ. of TN ˜71); Fellow, Society of American Foresters; SAF Certified Forester; Retired 2011 as Director of the Univ. of TN Forest Resources AgResearch & Education Center & the UT Arboretum; Assistant Geneticist Texas A&M University 1970 -1972. Richard's career spans over 40-years of experience in management of the resources of the University of Tennessee Forest R&E Center which included leadership and collaboration in research, outreach, and development programs across several academic areas.  He has directed summer intern programs for over 80 students and was instrumental in developing research initiatives that supported faculty development and graduate student studies and thesis. He is presently a UT Research Consultant and assists with the development of the University's Gas and Oil research initiative.  Richard and his wife retired to Clinton, TN where he enjoys trout fishing on the Clinch River, which just happens to run in his backyard, gardening, and a mired of family and outdoor activities.

"Historical Perspective & Future Research Goals Socioeconomic Impact of TDF, UTFWF, UT FRREC

Julius Johnson was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam and sworn in as Tennessee's 36th Commissioner of Agriculture in January 2011. 

As commissioner he directs the work of more than 800 full- and part-time employees with responsibilities ranging from farm and agribusiness development, food safety and pesticide regulation to animal and plant health protection and forest and water resources management.

Prior to his appointment, he served as Chief Administrative Officer of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, serving thirty-seven years in various positions with one of the leading farm and rural advocacy organizations in the nation.  Having had extensive experience in working with government at local, state and federal levels, he is widely regarded as a leading authority on farm policy and rural issues.     

He is active in many civic organizations and has served on the University of Tennessee Agriculture Development Board and in leadership with the Maury County Chamber of Commerce.  He was a Kiwanian and has served as past president of the Middle Tennessee Council of Boy Scouts.
 
He has been recognized by numerous organizations including the Future Farmers of America and the University of Tennessee Gamma Sigma Delta Honorary Society and Alpha Gamma Rho agricultural fraternity.

A native of Forbus, Tennessee. in Fentress County, Johnson received his bachelor's degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  He and his wife, Karen, have two adult children and make their home in Columbia, Tennessee.

Friday Morning Breakfast

"History of Oak Ridge the "Secret City

With almost 44 years of experience at the Y-12 National Security Complex, Ray has developed an extensive understanding and appreciation of the heritage of Y-12's history. Having served for 16 years in ever increasing levels of management responsibility, he has learned all the buildings on the site and their history. He has co-produced the award-winning and highly acclaimed Secret City DVD set that has become the definitive history of Oak Ridge. Ray can be found at the Y-12 History Center where he routinely provides tours of Y-12 and continues to advance the knowledge of Y-12's unique history for visitors and the public.

Ray has produced several Y-12 History videos including the multiple award-winning Our Hidden Past series. Ray has written eight books, published five photo books and created one audio book. He also publishes two weekly Oak Ridge history newspaper columns, Historically Speaking and Y-12: Local Treasure and National Resource.

In July 2012, Ray was selected to testify at the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on H. R. 5987, A BILL TO ESTABLISH THE MANHATTAN PROJECT NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK IN OAK RIDGE, TENNESSEE, LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO, AND HANFORD, WASHINGTON. The Congressman for the third district of Tennessee recommended him for this honor.

At the East Tennessee Historical Society's 2013 annual meeting in May, Ray was awarded a first ever double award, Professional Achievement and Community History Award. In October, 2013, the first annual Bill Wilcox Bow Tie Award was presented to Ray for his work supporting Aid for Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties. In December, 2013, Ray was inducted into the Order of the Muddy Boot, Oak Ridge's prestigious award presented by the East Tennessee Economic Council for individuals who have had a major and sustained positive impact on the East Tennessee region.