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Member Bios
C. Reed Funk, Ph.D.
Click here to view Dr. Funk's interview at the 34th Annual GREEN EXPO Turf and Landscape Conference
Reed inspecting...
Reed inspecting hazelnut Reed inspecting hazelnut
 Dr. C. Reed Funk is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Improving Perennial Plants for Food and Bioenergy, Inc (IPPFBE). Dr. Funk is a gifted scientist and a great humanitarian with a tremendous vision of how improved perennial plants can benefit the world. He grew up on a dairy farm where he learned to work hard and love things that grow. He attended Utah State Agricultural College (USAC) and graduated with the highest grade-point average in his class. USAC is now Utah State University (USU).

 

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Reed enrolled in the Army ROTC program while attending USAC and served with distinction in Korea. Reed returned to USAC and received his Masters of Science degree in agronomy for his research on salt-tolerant plants. He then worked in the alfalfa-breeding program at Iowa State University. Finally, he accepted the position of instructor of agronomy at Rutgers. He finished his doctorate in corn-breeding research at that institution and was then hired as an assistant professor of turfgrass breeding, commencing his fifty-plus year career at Rutgers University. Reed achieved the status of associate professor, full professor, and professor II (distinguished professor) in recognition of his outstanding research and teaching ability. When Reed retired in 2003 he was named the George Hammell Cook Emeritus Professor. In the following years, he continued to work with graduate students and managed funded projects related to the improvement of underutilized perennial plants.

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Carol Jean Peterson
Carol Petersen serves as Vice President and Chairman of the Audit Committee. A tranined dietician, Carol also provides sound imput on the varieties of fruits and nuts that IPPFBE will research. She and her husband, Brian, lease 35 acres of their Thatcher, Utah property to IPPFBE, and assist in the rating of the apricots, pistachios, and other fruit and nuts produced there.
 
Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson serves as a member of the IPPFBE board of directors. He is the Agricultural Advisor to IPPFBE operations. He has a Bachelors of Business Administration from Idaho State University and he has spent twenty-three years as managing member of J7, LLC a family held farming operation. Jeff believes that as our planet's growing population demands a high standard of living, our resources need to be used more efficiently. One important way of accomplishing efficiency is by improving the genetics of perennial plants that we grow for food, fiber, and fuel.
 
Thomas J. Molnar, Ph.D.

Thomas J. Molnar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Plant Biology and Pathology Department
Rutgers, State University of New Jersey

Tom Molnar is not only one of the founding board members of IPPFBE and Chairman of the Research Committee, but also an assistant professor at Rutgers University and a member of various organizations.  He has traveled extensively throughout the world and published numerous papers.

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