Minerva Dairy former CEO Phil Mueller was inducted into The Ohio State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology Hall of Distinction on Friday, during Ohio State’s 2022 Homecoming Weekend. 

Mueller, a fourth-generation Minerva Dairy family leader who led the company from 1976 to 2010, joins an elite group of Ohio State alumni in earning the Hall of Distinction honor. Nominated by fellow Hall of Distinction awardee Dr. John Lindamood and supported by his children, fifth-generation Minerva owners Venae Watts and Adam Mueller, the induction recognizes Mueller’s outstanding career in the dairy industry and his continued service to Ohio State and the community. 

“I am incredibly humbled and grateful to be given this prestigious honor from an institution that is so near and dear to my heart,” said Mueller, who represents one of three generations of proud Ohio State alums in the family and is a past president of the Midwest Dairy Association. “I’m also thankful to my Minerva Dairy family — the ones who came before me and the ones who are so competently carrying the baton today — for allowing me to do the work I love for so long.” 

Established in 2013, the Hall of Distinction seeks to recognize graduates and friends of the Department of Food Science and Technology — part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences — who have “made significant contributions to the food science and technology profession.” Previous inductees include Timothy P. Smucker, chair emeritus of The J.M. Smucker Co. and past Ohio State trustee; Dale Seiberling, a pioneer and expert in Clean-In-Place technology used in the dairy, brewing, food, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries; and Dr. W. James Harper (posthumous), an Ohio State professor whose teaching and research in food science spanned 70 years, including 20 years as the J.T. “Stubby” Parker Endowed Chair in Dairy Foods.  

Along with Mueller, this year’s Hall of Distinction inductees are Dr. Martin Okos and John Richardson.