Fred H. Johnson Jr., who did more to advance the Angus cattle breed than probably any other individual in the breed’s history worldwide, died Sept. 6, 2007, at age 91, at his home in Summitville, Ohio,
Johnson built an innovative tile manufacturing company with his brother, Pete, and threw that same business passion into developing a herd of Angus cattle with unparalleled genetics. Johnson purchased his first Angus cattle in 1949 and later expanded Summitcrest Farms to include ranches in Iowa and Nebraska. Cattle and semen from Summitcrest have been sold in more than 45 states and more than eight countries. In 1978, he co-founded the Certified Angus Beef branded beef program.
Johnson was a past director of the American Angus Association, and was appointed by the U.S. secretary of agriculture to the National Beef Promotion and Research Board, serving as the board’s first treasurer and second chairman.
He was inducted into the American Angus Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame, the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the prestigious Saddle & Sirloin Club’s Gallery Hall of Fame. In 2007, the National Cattlemen’s Foundation presented Johnson with its National Beef Industry Vision Award. The Johnson family was also named one of eight Cattle Businesses of the Century. He also served on the Ohio Exposition Commission, which oversees the Ohio State Fair.