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GUEST: -RKQ6WLND3UHVLGHQWRI&HUWL¿HG$QJXV%HHI® WR Jr What drew you to the fi eld of beef? Were you raised with an agricultural background? JS I grew up in the small rural community of Lincolnville, Kansas where my family owned a modest diversifi ed farming operation. We maintained a small herd of commercial beef cows as well. While growing up I was always drawn to working with the cattle more than grain farming. We had our own meat processing equipment on the farm and would harvest a few cattle and fabricate the carcasses into packaged beef for our family’s use. Looking back, this specifi c experience is what drew me toward a long-term career in the beef industry. In high school my FFA advisor encouraged me to pursue meat judging contests. Later, at Kansas State University, I participated in both meat and livestock judging teams and was supported by the guidance of several mentors in the Department of Animal Science and Industry. I am very fortunate that today, through the Certifi ed Angus Beef® brand, I get to work within a business fi eld that I feel like I have been a direct part of since I was very young. WR Jr What does the President of Certifi ed Angus Beef do? JS Since the Certifi ed Angus Beef® brand is owned by the American Angus Association, my fi rst obligation is to work with the Board of Directors to make sure that the brand’s activities are consistently aligned with our mission statement to increase the demand for registered Angus cattle. Working with a team made up of approximately 130 staff members, I am also responsible for helping to establish the direction and goals for the brand and make sure the team has the necessary resources and support to accomplish them. I attend a lot of meetings and events and get to visit with many cattle ranchers, feedlot and packing plant operators, food distributors, beef exporters and importers, retailers, restauranteurs and consumers around the world. It is a really fun job as I also get to eat a lot of great tasting Certifi ed Angus Beef® brand products! WR Jr What area of the country does most of the Certifi ed Angus Beef come from? JS Cattle that produce Certifi ed Angus Beef® brand carcasses ultimately can come from herds using Angus genetics in any and all parts of the country. However, states with large populations of cattle and BY BRIDGET ROMEY, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGE 12 specifi cally large Angus cattle populations like Montana, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and the collective southeastern part of the U.S. would be large sources of cattle that supply our brand. WR Jr Do more Certifi ed Angus Beef products go to restaurants or to private homes? JS In 2015, more than 898 million pounds of Certifi ed Angus Beef® brand products were sold worldwide. More than 40 percent of that total was sold through U.S. retail stores for use by consumers looking to cook a great meal at home. The segment of the business known as foodservice, sold 37 percent of the total and represents the amount of Certifi ed Angus Beef® brand products that went to restaurants. WR Jr How do you promote Certifi ed Angus Beef to the world? JS More than 120 million pounds of Certifi ed Angus Beef® brand product are sold to brand partners in more than 50 different countries outside of the United States, with Canada and Mexico being the two largest international destinations. We promote the brand internationally in the same manner we do domestically, by engaging our brand partners through educational seminars and by providing printed materials in multiple languages designed to help them learn how to communicate the story of our Angus ranchers, the brand’s 10 science-based quality specifi cations that assure a great tasting, fl avorful experience, along with several promotional ideas designed to help them sell more product. To do this effectively, we have a team of people who specifically focus on servicing our international partners. WR Jr What can kids in agriculture do to promote beef? JS Continuing to eat beef and encouraging your friends to do the same is a great place to start! As kids, you truly represent the next generation of agriculture and the beef community. Many of you I am sure are already doing a lot to promote this business simply by having an interest and a desire to be a part of it. With so many consumers today being far removed from the realities of agriculture and beef production, most don’t understand the hard work it takes to produce beef, nor do they appreciate the high level of respect and care farmers and ranchers provide the cattle they raise. I would encourage you to be proud to be involved in agriculture and hope that you share your excitement and individual farm and ranch experiences with others who don’t know why or how we raise cattle to produce safe, healthy, great tasting beef. I encourage you to remain open-minded, be a good listener and have the courage to share the positive story of beef production with others. And, as I said, eat more beef! WR Jr Thanks Mr. Stika, I really learned a lot from this interview! CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF LLC “I would encourage you to be proud to be involved in agriculture and hope that you share your excitement and individual farm and ranch experiences with others who don’t know why or how we raise cattle to produce safe, healthy, great tasting beef.” SUMMER 2016 I WORKING RANCH JUNIOR I 25


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