Ed Fryar of Ozark Mountain Poultry has been named winner of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2015-16 by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas (U of A).

Fryar, who earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and his master’s degree in agricultural economics from the U of A, is president of Ozark Mountain Poultry (OMP). He earned his doctorate in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Minnesota and was a professor of agricultural economics in the Bumpers College for 13 years. His areas of research were grain and poultry marketing, and price risk management.


In 2000, Fryar co-founded Ozark Mountain Poultry in Rogers, AR. OMP is a vertically integrated poultry company specializing in producing chickens raised without antibiotics or animal by-products. The company, which has more than 1,500 employees at facilities in Rogers, Batesville, Warren, Bay and Newport, also raises Heritage chickens fed non-GMO grains.

Fryar has more than 40 years of professional experience in agriculture and has served on the Council of Economic Advisors for the governors of Arkansas since 1983. In 2010, he served as treasurer during Steve Womack’s campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. A member of the Fayetteville School Board in the 1980s and 1990s, he is currently a member of the Agribusiness Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.