The Certified Angus Beef Program was formed in 1978 to provide assurances of beef quality and flavor to consumers, who during the 1970s were largely dissatisfied with beef quality. It was a venture that strengthened relationships between the American Angus Association, the world's largest beef cattle registry, and beef producers, packers and distributors.
Today, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) functions as a not-for-profit division of the American Angus Association. The Association is comprised of nearly 30,000 rancher members who are dedicated to producing high quality beef, superior in taste and tenderness. The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is the industry's oldest and most successful brand.
John Stika is the third president to lead Certified Angus Beef LLC. He was appointed in November 2006.
Stika came to CAB in February 1999 as assistant director of what was then its feeder-packer relations division. He soon became division director, and moved on to become director of the packing and supply development divisions. Most recently, as vice president for business development, he led program growth through the company’s sales divisions: retail, foodservice, international and value-added products.
"I enjoy working with our licensees, producers and staff along the same successful path that has maximized Certified Angus Beef ® product quality and integrity since 1978," Stika said. "The demand for Certified Angus Beef® product will continue to grow. We need to keep building on the value the brand brings to the producer membership and licensee base so they remain focused on incorporating the brand in their futures."
A native of Lincolnville, Kan., Stika grew up on a diversified livestock and crop farm. He earned a doctorate in meat science from the University of Kentucky, following bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal and meat science from Kansas State University.
Jim Riemann’s motto is, "You can choose the kind of day you’re going to have." It is a mantra that continues to resonate in the minds and daily activities of CAB staff. Riemann retired in November 2006, after eight years of service to the Certified Angus Beef ® brand and the Angus producers who make it a success.
"I feel very good about the things our team has accomplished in the eight years I have been privileged to be a part of the program," he said. "The Certified Angus Beef ® brand has grown to be a highly respected brand throughout all segments of the industry."
Riemann is renowned as one of the industry's leading authorities on steam pasteurization of beef carcasses. Additional beef industry experience stems from the Food Technology & Science Department at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he was an associate professor, and through a partnership in a livestock and grain farm in New Buffalo, Michigan.
Riemann graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor's degree in agricultural education, master's degree in animal science, and Ph.D. in food science. He is a former director of beef research and development for Excel Corporation in Wichita, Kan.
Mick Colvin, a native of south-central Pennsylvania, began working at the American Angus Association in 1968. A graduate of Penn State University, Colvin excelled on the livestock judging team and worked at the university's beef center. Before accepting a position as regional manager for the Association, he managed purebred Angus operations in Connecticut and South Carolina.
Colvin was working for the Association when members began considering the attributes of a branded beef program. They knew that for such a program to succeed, retailers and foodservice operators must be willing to pay a premium for higher-quality beef products. Colvin assured them it was possible.
With Colvin holding the reins, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand hit the marketplace in October, 1978. The first pound of Certified Angus Beef ® product was purchased at Renzetti's IGA in Columbus, Ohio.
Colvin retired as CAB executive director in October 1999, but he left behind a legacy that continues to prosper. About 2.2 million pounds are sold daily, generating an estimated $4 billion in consumer sales annually.