WOOSTER, Ohio – Summitcrest Farms leader Fred Johnson has been recognized by Beef magazine as one of the Top 40 beef cattle industry leaders.
More than 100 individuals or teams were nominated for the awards that draw attention to leaders who improve production, marketing, animal science and end products.
Recognition. Johnson, of Summitville, Ohio, has made major contributions to the advancement of cattle breeding and marketing the past 68 years. He began breeding dairy cattle in 1936 and beef cattle in 1949.
He was president and CEO of Summitcrest Farms from 1936-1996.
With his belief in total performance in producing Angus seedstock, Johnson led Summitcrest Farms to become a brand recognized around the world.
The ranch’s three locations in Summitville, Ohio; Freemont, Iowa; and Broken Bow, Neb., total 17,000 acres where 1,500 Angus cows and 1,200 commercial animals including steers are raised, making it one of the largest operations in the country.
Summitcrest genetics reach the farthest corners of the world, including Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America, England, Scotland, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil.
His focus. Johnson’s focus on customer-based production began in the 1970s, ahead of the industry curve.
Summitcrest offers the largest private database of sire/dam identified carcass data in the world and is the largest source of carcass data to the American Angus Association’s Sire Evaluation Program.
The ranch opens its records to all who have purchased or are considering purchases so they can select genetics with knowledge and proven performance.
Bull sales are held annually in Iowa and Nebraska.
On the board. Johnson’s contributions to the beef industry extended beyond his own backyard – especially his work with the Beef Promotion and Research Board.
He served as its first treasurer and also served as the board’s third chairman and chairman of its Foreign Marketing Committee.
Honors. Johnson was inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin portrait gallery, American Angus Heritage Foundation and Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.
He was received Certified Angus Beef’s Commitment to Excellence award in 1992.
For consumers. Johnson was among the visionaries who conceived the Certified Angus Beef Program. As its first chairman of the board from 1978-84, his leadership led to its current status as the No. 1 branded beef program in the world.
Next generations. Fred and his wife, Betty, passed their interest in Summitcrest Farms to the third and fourth generations in 1996.
He then purchased another ranch on the Loup River in Nebraska, built a new home and stocked it with purebred and commercial Angus cows.
Another Ohioan. Louis “Mick” Colvin, a special adviser for Certified Angus Beef in Wooster, Ohio, was also on the list.
In 1978, few were even talking about branding fresh meats, yet he visualized the positive impact a branded beef company could have for all involved in its production, sale, marketing, and consumption.
With the premium Certified Angus Beef brand, he made it happen and started a branding revolution impacting how meat products have been marketed since.
Branded. Colvin took the concept of identifying and marketing beef from Angus-type cattle to the well-established and world-renowned CAB brand.
He worked closely with USDA officials to form procedures for impartial verification of the brand’s consistent, high quality. This structure created the opportunity for over 40 other beef and pork brands to become certified and verified programs today.
Growing demand for the brand has led licensed packers to pay over $178 million in grid premiums since 1978 for cattle meeting the brand’s requirements.
Biography. Colvin was previously executive director of the Certified Angus Beef program and regional manager for the American Angus Association.
He has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Ohio Angus Association and the Industry Advancement Award from the American Meat Institute.
He’s also been inducted into the Angus Heritage Foundation and received awards such as the NCBA’s regional vision award, Ohio Department of Development award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State University’s department of animal and dairy science.
He established Colvin Angus Farm in 1969 with his wife, Virginia, and two sons, Scott and Mike.
Scott and granddaughter, Caitlyn, assist with operations. Mike and his wife, Mary Ferguson, purchased breeding stock from the herd in 1994 to establish Wolf Creek Angus Ranch, Luray, Kan.
Local connections. Also honored in the Top 40 were:
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