Eddie Fugate was born July 5, 1936 on a dairy and swine farm near Montevallo. He got an early start dairying as his early chores included separating the cream from milk and feeding calves and hogs.
Eddie’s father was a school teacher as well as a farmer. The family moved to Springfield in 1948 where the elder Fugate was a teacher for the Springfield Public Schools.
However, the family maintained a dairy herd and milk was separated and the cream was sold to Producers Creamery until the 1950s when Grade C milk was sold.
In 1950 Eddie bought his first registered Jersey cow from Steward Green, Sparta, for an FFA project.
After graduating from Springfield Central High School he attended Southwest Missouri State College for two years. He transferred to the University of Missouri and received a vocational agriculture degree in 1959. While at MU he was a member of the dairy cattle judging team that judged in shows at Waterloo, Iowa; Hutchinson, Kans.; and Chicago.
Eddie taught vocational agriculture at Ash Grove before returning to MU to complete a masters degree in dairy husbandry in 1965.
While teaching at Ash Grove he met Lora Mae Whitehead and they were married June 14, 1963. The couple have three children- Michelle at Springfield; Michael at Crane; and Mark at Marshfield born in 1965, 1968, and 1971, respectively.
All three showed Jersey, Ayrshire, and Milking Shorthorn cattle at local, state, and national shows throughout their high school years. All three received FFA’s American Farmer degrees.
The Fugates have eight grandchildren and the oldest Vanessa Fugate, 15, maintains a family interest in livestock showing dairy goats as a 4-H club member.
During the time Eddie was at MU his registered Jersey herd continued to grow while his father, mother, and brother cared for the animals.
Eddie and Lora decided on the prefix of Lor-Ed for their registered cattle and all of the cattle they raised carried that prefix.
Eddie taught vocational agriculture for 34 years, and for many of those years the Fugates milked as many as 80 cows.
Lor-Ed Farms bought the remaining 30 head of Hyer Jersey cows, bulls, and heifers from the School of the Ozarks in 1969; the Southeast Missouri State College’s Jersey herd in 1970; and 50 milking cows were purchased from the Paul Estes Homestead Jersey Farm in 1971.
Several of the purchased cows won Regan and Ragsdale state awards for high milk and fat production. Lor-Ed had the high Jersey herd on test during the 1970s and the Fugate herd’s first Jersey classification had 15 animals in the excellent category.
In 1975 Lor-Ed bought eight registered Ayrshires at a Nashville, Tenn., dispersal sale. Two of the cows broke Missouri production records the following year.
Eddie has served as president of the Missouri Ayrshire Association, the Missouri Jersey Cattle Club, and the Southwest Missouri Dairy Goat Association, and is currently director of the American Goat Society.
During his teaching career Eddie helped develop seven FFA American Farmers, 38 State Farmers, and numerous State Proficiency Award winners in vocational agriculture. While a teacher at Logan-Rogersville the FFA chapter won the Governor’s Award at the Missouri State Fair seven years for being the top chapter showing livestock.
The Lor-Ed prefix has been on several local, state, and national award winners. One was a Jersey – Lor-Ed’s Criterion Debbie E-91 – which was bought by R.C. Crowe as a heifer calf and who returned to the Lor-Ed herd as an aged cow after being All-Missouri Winner many times.
Lor-Ed Farm’s goal was to produce a sound cow with a good udder and the will to milk. The Lor-Ed milking herd was sold in 1998 and the Fugates now produce and sell bred dairy heifers.
Eddie served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1959 to 1965. He is a Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors trustee, a member of the Gate of the Temple Masonic Lodge, and the Fugates are members of the Harmony Baptist Church.