Ed Fryer

  • DistrictSouth Central
  • HometownWhite Sulphur Springs

Ed Fryer was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016; he will be up for re-election in 2018.

Ed and his wife, Beverly, ranch near White Sulphur Springs, MT; they have two children: Jim Fryer and David Fryer.

Industry Involvement: Commercial Cow/Calf, Stocker/Backgrounder: I started out as a cowboy on a large, remote, absentee owned mountain ranch in 1973. I was soon working with minimal oversight on sensitive projects such as heifer calving and running large numbers of yearlings with multiple owners on summer pasture. In 1982, I started on various supervisor positions responsible for all personal aspects, livestock inventory, grazing management, interaction with various agencies, input on budgets, bull purchasing, and other details.

In 1992, I moved into a series of management positions on several ranches, often with more than one division and separated by significant distance. Duties expanded to include operational budgets, accounts payable, product sales, equipment inventory and replacement, livestock inventory, facilities, water rights, public relations within communities and agencies, owner’s personal needs, plus the daily workload and details of ranching.

Most of those changes required a new address so decisions to move involved Bev, my wife of 40 years and my 2 sons. I have worked in two states, a number of countries, and my boys went to a half dozen schools. Each of those changes was also the result of a need for change within the organization. I was brought in from outside to facilitate something different from the status quo. Examples are personal, production, inventory and inventory management, facilities, equipment, and general accountability on all of the above.Both sons have college degrees, families and work in agriculture in Montana. They have done it all in a variety of settings. Both were in 4-H and did well with horses and steers. Bev and I helped with 4-H extensively then and still do occasionally. David my youngest son volunteered with the BQA project for a couple years demonstrating low stress livestock handling with which I helped with.

I also help produce and am president of the Smith River Ranch Rodeo on July 4th of each year. I help the Meagher Co. Cattlewomen with their major fundraiser breakfast for 1200 at the Red Ants Pants Festival. I have also volunteered and have been an assistant judge at the Montana Draft Horse expo in Deer Lodge. In my spare time, I make saddles and other leather products for both sale and use on the ranch.

Leadership Involvement: Committee Chair of Landowner/Recreation and Wildlife Committee at MSGA, President of Studhorse Allotment Grazing Association, and Director of the Green River Council-Wyoming in the early 90’s.

In your opinion what are the major challenges the beef industry will face in the next ten years? Communicating our story more effectively to consumers, excessive regulation and government over-reach, and keeping young people with hands-on experience interested and involved with agriculture.

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