Gerald “Jerry” Dryer, who had a long career working in and writing about the dairy industry, died Thursday, Sept. 19, after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
Dryer was born March 15, 1944, in Reedsburg to Mathilda “Tillie” (Hayenga) Dryer and Grant R. Dryer. After graduating high school, Dryer earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from UW-Platteville and his master’s in agricultural journalism at UW-Madison.
In 1978, Dryer was named editor of The Cheese Reporter newspaper in Madison, following a seven-year stint in Washington, D.C., working for the National Milk Producers Federation. Dryer spent three years at The Cheese Reporter before leaving in 1981 to found a consulting business and a weekly newspaper called The National Daily News (now the Cheese Market News).
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Four years after founding the newspaper, Dryer and co-founder Harold “Pete” Peterson sold it to Gorman Publishing. The two then served as co-editors, while Dryer also worked as editor of Dairy Foods magazine and The Dairy Marketing Letter, a weekly newsletter he created in 1978.
Dryer left Gorman Publishing in 1989 and continued to work in the dairy industry as a consultant, market analyst and editor for the next 30 years. At the time of his death, Dryer was editor of the Dairy & Food Market Analyst, another weekly newsletter he founded; chief market analyst at Rice Dairy; and president of JDG Consulting, the firm he founded in 1978.
Private memorial services will be held for immediate family. Dryer is survived by his two sons, Gerald Dryer Jr. and Andrew Dryer.