Fry was born in 1941 and is a lifelong
native of Rose Bud, Arkansas. Born and raised on a farm, Gearld’s
father & mother owned and operated a dairy farm for 10 years.
After graduating from Rose Bud High School Gearld entered the military
and served in the US Army for four years. Upon discharge he
married Margie, his childhood sweetheart. Gearld & Margie
have two sons.
Thinking that he needed a “real job,” he briefly worked in a factory in Searcy, Arkansas but soon found out that this was not the life for him.
In the 60s & 70s Gearld saw the “bigger is better” movement in the beef cattle industry. He could understand the rationale behind the theory but knew that something had to be out of line as this is not what our Creator had intended.
Gearld heard about the teaching of Dr. Jan Bonsma of South Africa and met him in 1972. Bonsma who had studied cattle and their environment and realized that the bigger-is-better movement had caused cattle to genetically digress. Corn and supplements had been introduced as a fattening agent causing taste, texture and quality to plummet to an all-time low. With the introduction of corn and supplements, sustainability was no longer a feasible option in cattle industry.
Gearld studied Bonsma’s work and writings and had the opportunity to sit in on his lectures.
He also has discovered the writings and teachings of the Frenchman Francois Guenon, who in 1838 was awarded a gold medal by the agricultural society of Bordeaux for his remarkable achievements in dairying. His achievement, which would come to be known as the Guenon system, was a rigid and extraordinarily complex way of predicting how much milk a cow would give, of what quality (measured in butterfat), and for how many days per lactation
Knowing that the cattle industry was heading in the wrong direction the Frys opened Fry Reproductive, offering reproductive options such as artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfers (ET) and collecting, evaluating and freezing semen. Fry Reproductive stayed in existence for nearly twenty years.
In the mid 90s Gearld saw the need to aid and assist his fellow cattlemen to “Get Back to Basics,” meaning “grassfed, non cross-bread beef.” Remembering the teachings of Bonsma and how cattle naturally adapted to their environment, he began looking for the proper genetics for a moderately framed bovine with good intramuscular fat and the ability to consistently reproduce offspring equal to or better than the sire and dam. The intra-muscular fat is measured with ultra sound technology.
Gearld crisscrossed the US and traveled to several countries searching for genetically correct cattle. Knowing that none were perfect, he was most impressed with a superior heard of Devon cattle which were found in New Zealand and managed by Ken McDowell.
With the aid of several cattlemen, Gearld was able to import several of the of these fine heifers to the New England area where herds are now being developed in hopes of expanding the breed throughout the US and Canada.
Interview with AG Journal - Used with permission