Dr. Ed Fryar started Ozark Mountain Poultry in 2000, after working 13 years as a professor of agricultural economics at the UA. He grew the business to more than 1,800 employees and processing more than 1.2 million chickens per week. OMP focused on antibiotic free and non-GMO chicken products, servicing the retail and foodservice channels with its Forester Farmers Market brand. In just over a decade, OMP experienced significant growth in both our customer base and our product offerings – with sales reaching more than $280 million. Fryar also worked to establish direct buying channels with Arkansas grain producers. The company was also known for its RFID tracking of poultry during production and an incentive-based pay system that results in higher output and higher yields. Arkansas-based George’s Inc., acquired the OMP business in 2018. Fryar has served on the Council of Economic Advisors for Arkansas governors since 1983. He is also a member of the Agribusiness Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Before starting OMP, Fryar was a tenured professor at the UA, focusing his research on grain and poultry marketing and price risk management. He also worked for the United States Department of Agriculture. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas and a PhD from the University of Minnesota.