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Industry loses two legends

A pair of industry legends passed away recently.

A pair of industry legends passed away recently. W.D. Farr, 97, patriarch of an internationally known family cattle-feeding enterprise recognized for many years as one of the most technically advanced in the world, died Aug. 13. And, Fred H. Johnson Jr., 91, founder of Summitcrest Farms in Summitville, OH, passed away Sept. 6. Both were cited among BEEF magazine's “Top 40” in 2004 (see

Farr was known for helping bring commercial cattle feeding to the state of Colorado. He pioneered year-round cattle feeding, the feeding of high-moisture corn and many other feeding innovations. But he was likewise considered a giant in the water area, being a leading driver behind water-development projects in the West, understanding early on that water was the region's lifeblood.

Johnson died in his home from complications of cancer. He established Summitcrest Farms in 1949. With cattle breeding operations in Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska and a genetics company in Montana, Summitcrest's champion breeding cattle developed into a brand recognized around the world.

Johnson was a past director of the American Angus Association and a past president of the Ohio Angus Association. In 1978, he helped found Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) and was chairman of CAB for its first six years.