A man of distinction and many talents, Fred Johnson was a co-founder of the Certified Angus Beef program and prominent Angus breeder and producer.
1916 - 2007 | Artist: John Boyd Martin (born 1947)
Impact & Accomplishments
Fred Johnson established Summitcrest Farms in Summitville, Ohio, in 1947—with cattle breeding operations in three states and a genetics company in Montana—but it was not until his 1982 retirement that he devoted most of his energies to livestock production.
With an engineering degree from Pennsylvania State University and an entrepreneurial heritage, Johnson’s primary career in family businesses (china, brick, and tile) spanned five decades. He earned both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star in World War II. Johnson was distinguished in the livestock industry as well, holding leadership roles with the American Angus Association, Ohio Angus Association, and Ohio Beef Council.
In 1985, he was appointed to the National Beef Promotion and Research Board, which he chaired, and there helped found the Certified Angus Beef program, with co-founder Mick Colvin.
Nominated to both the American Angus Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame and the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1989, he was named Man of the Decade by Angus News the following year. At about the same time, he was the Beef Improvement Federation’s Seedstock Producer of the Year.
Fred Johnson retired from Summitcrest in 1995, with his children taking over the reins, and he established a second home at Loup River Ranch, near Milburn, Nebraska. In 1998, the Johnson family was selected as one of eight Cattle Businesses of the Century. Fred Johnson was honored with the National Beef Industry Vision Award in 2007, the year of his death.
Did You Know?
Active his entire life in civic and community affairs, Johnson had served in the local school board, had been chief of the local volunteer fire department and had been a member and elder of the Bethesda Presbyterian Church near Summitville.
An accomplished land and sea pilot, Johnson was instrument rated for single and multi-engine airplane. He flew a number of planes in his day, including a World War II vintage P-51 Mustang he had converted for civilian use.
Courtesy of Angus TV