Fred Johnson Jr., Angus Breeder, Innovator Passes
Morning Journal and News
SALEM — Fred H. Johnson Jr., 91, passed away on Sept. 6, 2007, at his home in Summitville, Ohio, from complications of cancer. He was surrounded by his wife and family. Born in Clearfield, Penn., on March 26, 1916, the son of Frederick and Ethel (Carthcart) Johnson, he moved to Summitville, Ohio, with his parents in 1921 and resided there for most of his life.
After retiring, Mr. Johnson dedicated his full energies to the family cattle operations, Summitcrest Farms, which he established in 1949. With cattle breeding operations in Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska, and a genetics company in Montana, Summitcrest’s champion breeding cattle have developed into a brand recognized around the world.
Mr. Johnson was a past director of the American Angus Association, a past president of the Ohio Angus Association and a past chairman of the Ohio Beef Council. In 1985, he was appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Stewart Ling to the National Beef Promotion and Research Board where he was elected its first treasurer and was subsequently named chairman of the board.
In 1978, Mr. Johnson helped found Certified Angus Beef and was chairman of that program for its first six years. Certified Angus Beef is the largest and most successful branded-beef program in the world, with current annual worldwide sales of well over 500 million pounds.
In 1989, Mr. Johnson was inducted into the American Angus Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame and the Ohio Agriculture Hall of Fame. The 29th All-American Futurity was dedicated to Mr. Johnson. And in 1990, Angus News named him the Man of the Decade. The Beef Improvement Federation named him Seedstock Producer of the year for 1989.