Frank and Brigitte Rhinehart moved to the Missouri Ozarks in May of 1989 after Frank retired as a senior diplomat from the Foreign Service of the US Department of State.
Both had spent many years overseas in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Frank with the Peace Corps, the Agency for International Development and the Dept. of State, Brigitte for the Office of International Development of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
While overseas on assignment in the Caribbean and Africa, they dabbled with raising food animals like rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. Brigitte had a vegetable garden in every overseas country they lived in since the late 1970s, the produce and the home raised and processed meats were skillfully marketed by Frank with his Embassy coworkers. A native of Switzerland, she grew up in a rural area in central Switzerland during a time when farming was a much more important part of rural living than it is today. Her affinity for getting involved with livestock, gardening and later on with dog breeding harks back to her childhood experience with agriculture and rural living in Switzerland.
During a home leave in 1981, the Rhineharts purchased the property in the Ozarks as a retirement home. The farm's only structure was a barbwire fence around the entire 179 acres. Hence, everything from bringing in water and power to building a road, the house, the barn, interior cross fences and waterlines into the pasture had to be tackled before the farm operations could begin.
While Frank is not involved in the cattle business any longer since giving up the very time consuming custom grazing stocker cattle operation in 2002, he still keeps busy with other activities. He is the nationwide sole vendor of calf feeding nipples developed and manufactured in New Zealand which he markets under the name of "Kiwi Calf Feeding System".
He also is an active member of the national motorcycle organization Patriot Guard which ties in with his passion for riding motorcycles and his respect for our country's military.
In 2007, he ran for and got elected as a commissioner for the local county road district to which he has brought some much needed management skills.
Brigitte is kept busy with all things Swissy. At any given time, she co-owns anywhere from one to two dozen of Swissys with other breeders and owners and is responsible for the puppy placement of all her co-owned Swissy females. She is the treasurer for a couple of Swissy clubs and is a past board member, recording secretary and 1st vice president of the GSMDCA, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, the breed's AKC recognized parent club. She is also the treasurer of the local community improvement organization, the Phillipsburg Community Development Council.
Both Frank and Brigitte are members of the Lebanon Kiwanis club and are involved in other activities in the Phillipsburg and Lebanon communities. They also have three 14 to17 year old grandsons who live in Maryland. To them, Frank is the coolest grandpa because weather permitting, he comes to visit on his Goldwing motorcycle which means the kids get to ride on it for short trips to the surrounding area.