BR update 2020
SIGHTS SET AHEAD page 4
BRAND UPDATE 2020
Managing Editor: Nicole Erceg
Senior Editor: Steve Suther
Art Director: David Barry
Designer: Tina Melicant
Circulation Manager: Beth Barner
Contributing Writers: Kylee Kohls, Crystal Meier,
Courtney Middleton, Bryan Schaaf
President: John F. Stika, Ph.D.
Senior Executive Vice Presidents: Brent Eichar,
Executive Vice Presidents: Bruce Cobb,
2020-21 Board of Directors:
Jonathan Perry, Chairman, Fayetteville, Tennessee
Chuck Grove*, Forest, Virginia
Dave Hinman, Malta, Montana
Mike McCravy, Bowden, Georgia
Barry Pollard*, Enid, Oklahoma
Mick Varilek*, Geddes, South Dakota
Dwight “Kip” Palmer, Rochester, New York
Mark McCully, Vice Chairman,
CEO American Angus Association ® ,
St. Joseph, Missouri
John Stika, President, Certified Angus
Beef LLC, Wooster, Ohio
Brent Eichar, Secretary Treasurer, Certified Angus
Beef LLC, Wooster, Ohio
* New board member
Board Members through
John Grimes, Chairman, Hillsboro, Ohio
James W. Henderson, Childress, Texas
American Angus Association ®
c/o Certified Angus Beef LLC
206 Riffel Road
Wooster, OH 44691-8588 USA
The Certified Angus Beef ® brand name
and marks are service/trademarks of
Certified Angus Beef LLC.
© 2020 Volume 24, Issue 1,
published annually. All rights reserved.
The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is the original Angus brand,
founded in 1978 by Angus cattlemen. Our mission has
remained the same since day one: To increase demand
for registered Angus cattle through a specification-based
branded beef program to identify consistent, high quality
beef with superior taste.
It might come as a surprise that I write this year’s letter
filled with optimism. There’s no ignoring the challenges
presented by the global pandemic, but this year is filled
with opportunity too.
The steer in our logo faces forward for a reason. It’s
a subtle reminder of our goal to build a better beef
community for everyone from gate to plate, like the
vision of the ranchers who started this brand. Our vision
is focused on changing and evolving to continue to excel
in the future.
We’re building on a truly remarkable history. Looking back,
this brand has grown through a number of challenges
including the BSE outbreak that crashed cattle markets and
the 2008 economic recession. In fact, we were born inside a
marketplace that thought lean beef was best. Overcoming
challenge is part of our DNA. I’m confident that the
learnings from this year give us better insights to build an
even stronger, more innovative brand to serve you better.
Every day I chat with people who have a stake in our
success including; beef business leaders, retailers,
packers, foodservice professionals, team members,
community leaders and Angus ranchers. These
conversations are the best part of my days. The
feedback I hear is one way to affirm that we’ve made
a lot of progress in growing the brand. This year, the
conversations have had a different tone, one filled with
tenacity, some pain, but an overwhelming commitment
to get the job done no matter what was thrown our way.
Consumers continue to demand high-quality beef and their
expectations for how that’s delivered are expanding. We
have more work to do and are making changes to support
the recovery of foodservice, serve a consumer that’s become
more reliant on retail and create deeper connections with
each person in our value chain around the world. We are
focused on operational excellence, driving that momentum
through every corner of our business.
We also continue to focus on our culture. It’s how
we put our vision and values — the bedrock of our
company, into practice. And that’s how we will achieve
our goals. In order for Certified Angus Beef LLC to fulfill
our vision of helping our customers succeed, it takes
each team member living our values every day.
It’s the people across this community who make me
excited for what’s ahead. What we saw across our
licensee base this year was nothing short of incredible. It
was people, helping people. I’m humbled and grateful to
call you partners.
This brand remains strongly positioned to support your
success, ready to assist in new ways and we look forward
to serving you in the year ahead.
President John F. Stika, Ph.D.
It’s been a year that asked for a lot.
Trust. Patience. Creativity.
The beef business reaches far beyond the barn. My
fellow cattlemen and I appreciate those of you who
market, serve and sell our steaks. We are grateful for the
trust you place in our families as we strive to continue
providing a quality product for your business and family.
To know the people and the story behind the Certified
Angus Beef ® brand logo is something we cattlemen
take pride in. It stems from the hard work done at the
farm, ranch, feedyard and processing facilities, and
the dedication of those marketing our beef around the
world; to the knowledge behind the meat counter and
the passion put on plates (or in takeout containers) at
restaurants — each play a vital role on the team.
This year, we’ve all had our eyes opened to how fragile
the food supply chain can be. It’s admirable to witness
the creative changes you made when faced with
challenges. To know that you keep coming back to
our beef means a lot to my fellow Angus breeders and
I. Your drive, dedication and communication with the
brand helps make us better. We use your feedback
to make more informed decisions on the ranch when
selecting genetics and managing our herds.
Working together, we continue to build trust. As
cattlemen, we are tasked with creating a nimble Angus
breed resulting in great-tasting beef. As a brand, we
have to stay on the forefront of demand and meet the
needs of our customers, retailers and the foodservice
businesses. Thank you for trusting our team through
change and challenges this year.
With eyes set on the future, we each have a hand in
protecting the tradition and driving progress forward.
From genetic decisions on the ranch to everything that
determines the final eating experience, quality control is
critical in each step.
Cattlemen focus on stewarding resources in our care
— land and livestock alike — for a more sustainable
future the next generation can trust and look forward to.
I am honored to be a part of your team and our shared
commitment to quality, working together to preserve
and grow the Certified Angus Beef ® brand.
Certified Angus Beef ® Board Chairman 2020
Maplecrest Farms – Hillsboro, Ohio
Certified Angus Beef ® brand closes
Fiscal Year 2020 impacted by
pandemic, but momentum strong
It was the year no one expected. For every bump in the road,
new avenues for leading business emerged — opportunity
born of adversity.
For the first time in 16 years, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand
finished the year down in year over year comparisons, but 2020
remains one for the history books. For the fifth consecutive
year the brand marketed more than 1 billion pounds across
51 countries. Global sales totaled 1.175 billion pounds, down
about 6% or almost 75 million pounds.
“We’re prepared and positioned today to support our
partners’ business recovery and growth as we move
forward,” John Stika, Certified Angus Beef ® president, says.
“We’re fortunate to be in good shape because of the
combined effort across our community.”
Managing through widespread crisis is not unprecedented
for the beef brand. In 2004, when BSE disrupted the beef
industry, brand sales declined 80 million pounds, a fairly
similar volume decrease for 2020.
pound loss in business that we experienced then translated into
a 13.5% decline in both tonnage and resources compared to
the 6% we’ll manage through this year,” Stika says.
The brand remains stable with a steady supply, and Stika
looks to the future with expectations for business growth.
Reaching for Records
The brand began the fiscal year in October 2019 working
through lingering disruption from the packing plant fire
in Kansas. That time period challenged the international
business and the ability to secure retail feature activity,
especially moving into the holidays.
Foodservice, on the other hand, was on record pace.
With a combination of manageable prices and availability in
January and February, sales across all segments strengthened.
This landed both months among the top 10 sales months in
Certified Angus Beef ® history.
March made the record books’ top 10, too.
While the month saw foodservice and international business
decline by 40% due to the onset of COVID-19, consumers
transitioned their buying patterns. Retail business spiked, all
but offsetting the decline experienced in other areas.
At the peak of the pandemic in April and May, foodservice
and international sales were down 72% and 64% respectively.
Retail business was up almost 44%.
June brought continuity reestablishing itself in the supply
chain and moved into fall with two months of 100 million
pounds or more.
Supply Set to Meet Demand
The Angus family farmers and ranchers who own and supply
the Certified Angus Beef ® brand remain focused on raising
cattle that meet brand standards. In 2020, a record 35.9% of
all Angus-influenced cattle managed to meet the brand’s 10
quality specifications. Their efforts enable licensed processors,
distributors, restaurateurs and retailers to consistently meet
consumer demand — that remains strong in a rollercoaster year.
Stika says the brand’s focus is helping meet that demand,
though how diverse segments serve consumers may look
different moving forward. Closing the books on 2020, he’s
grateful and optimistic.
“For as much as we have enjoyed the past, our focus is not on
saving the past,” he says. “Rather our focus will be on changing,
evolving and being more flexible so that we can really excel for
our partners in the future regardless of what it looks like.”
Consumers continue to crave beef.
That one thing remains predictable.
Total sales: 1.175 billion lbs. (6% decrease)
602 MILLION LBS.
324 MILLION LBS.
161 MILLION LBS.
88 MILLION LBS.
FISCAL 2020 SALES BY DIVISION
*cannot be assigned to a specific division
717 MILLION LBS.
251 MILLION LBS.
207 MILLION LBS.
8.6 % 31 MILLION LBS. 7.5 %
FISCAL 2020 SALES BY
“In 2004, total sales of Certified Angus Beef ® were roughly
43% of what they are today, and as a result, that 80 million
Putting all 12 months together, retail had a record year
increasing by 12% while foodservice and international sales
are down roughly 23%.
28.9 29.7 32.5 35.0 35.9
% % % % %
CAB ACCEPTANCE RATE
3.9M 4.5M 5.2M 5.7M 5.5M
5th consecutive year over 1 billion lbs.
More than 19,000 business partners worldwide.
When crisis strikes, Certified Angus Beef ®
partners show up to help.
It was the third Sunday of March. Chef Vinnie Cimino was prepping
for the sixth day of service at his brand new Cleveland restaurant,
Summer House. He didn’t know it yet but the doors would not open
again for months.
“As far as restaurant openings go, we crushed it,” said Cimino, whose
culinary resume includes famous eateries and James Beard Award
winners. “We were busy, just six days in and getting a lot of positive
feedback. I’ve never seen an opening go so well.”
Later that Sunday, the word went out. Restaurants across Ohio would
close in the early ripples of a tidal wave of COVID-19 ordinances that
spread across the country. The brunt of those decisions fell on chefs and
restaurateurs everywhere — no business in the foodservice supply chain
would go unscathed.
The year of such promise and vision had taken a very sudden turn for
“This has certainly been the most challenging thing I’ve ever faced,” said
Greg Janssen, Vice President at Del Monte Meats, a San Francisco
resource for chefs since 1926. “Even the guys who’ve been in my network
much longer say there’s never been anything like it.”
But the food industry, from waitstaff all the way up the chain to farmers
and ranchers, is built on resilient people. Cimino, Janssen and colleagues
everywhere rose to the challenge.
Chef Cimino and crew of Cleveland Family Meal.
Chefs Keep Cooking
In what would have been his second week open,
Cimino launched Cleveland Family Meal behind
those doors, where he and his kitchen crew teamed
up with other prominent chefs, including Certified
Angus Beef ® brand partners Matt Spinner and Dave
Kocab from Ushabu, to provide both cooked and
raw foods for other restaurant workers who were
suddenly unemployed. The project began with food in
the pantry, but donations from purveyors and friends
quickly rolled in to where it became a movement.
operation didn’t fit the to-go order model,” said the
Omaha Hospitality Hall of Famer. “I knew I had food I
needed to use, and once we took care of staff, I decided
to put it out on social media that I would provide meals
for out-of-school children who needed help and any
elderly whose health might be compromised.”
Intended as a on-time solution to ensure the food
went to good use, donations of both product and
their talents kept the initiative alive.
“We acquired a lot of proteins and other products
from other chefs who didn’t want their food to go
to waste,” Wheeler said. “So we started cooking and
serving the homeless and out-of-work restaurant
folks and, quite frankly, anybody who was in need of
a meal in these times. I had Dan Watts from Sysco
Lincoln smoking slabs of ribs, Blaine Hunter from
Porky Butts BBQ smoked pork shoulders and Jacobson
Fish donated 30 pounds of yellowfin tuna that I
transformed into tuna sandwiches. A lot of really great
people were involved.”
In Miami, Fla., Chef Peter Vauthy from RED, The
Steakhouse, Carla DiLorenzo from Los Tanitos
and the crew at Okeechobee Steakhouse kept their
kitchens running in part by cooking for first responders
and healthcare workers.
In Houston, Taste of Texas, Republic Grille and Sysco
Houston all went to great lengths to feed hospital
staff, police and fire personnel working round the
clock. Texas icons Tom and Lisa Perini from Perini
Ranch in Buffalo Gap donated thousands of dollars in
steaks to their local food pantry to help with an evergrowing
Foodservice Fights for
Restaurants closing or adapting to lower-volume
alternatives left foodservice distributors in a difficult
place, much of their customer base diminished or
gone without warning.
Many could sell inventories to retailers facing heavy
demand, but then the distributors looked for ways to
keep their staff employed.
Buckhead and its parent company Sysco helped
restaurants across the country transform into “pop-up
shops,” or corner stores with all the foodstuffs and
paper products that quarantined people might need.
North of the border, Gordon Food Services Canada
launched a website in partnership with Restaurant
Canada as a one-stop resource for restaurants trying
to shift their business models and stay afloat.
Independently owned meat shops also worked with
restaurant customers to help their businesses during
the transition to carryout and catering options.
“Once it started hitting the fan, we needed to figure
out how we were going to react,” said Edward Hall of
Lone Star Meats in Austin. “We found some homes
for product at retail, and then we figured out which of
our restaurant partners were staying open. A lot of our
restaurants have very loyal followings, so we started
making pre-made care packages at different price levels
for them to sell on.”
Lone Star joined in the growing trend of creating directto-consumer
websites that helped stabilize revenues and
kept people on the payroll.
“Fortunately, we jumped on pretty quick, got some
systems in place and got everyone going,” said Addam
Evans of Evans Meats in Birmingham, Ala., and
donated a percentage of all direct-to-consumer revenue
to independent restaurant partners affected by COVID-
19. “There are a lot of people out there scrapping, and it
kept some revenue coming in.”
Evans initially started a curbside program for pickup
at his company’s warehouse; as it evolved, he sent five
trucks around the city to set up as more accessible,
mobile curbside units.
“Hospitality is what defines our industry, so
that’s what we did,” said Cimino. “Be hospitable,
show hospitality and cook. This has been what I
do to occupy my time, and to focus on the good
rather than dwelling on the bad. We’ll keep
feeding people until we can’t anymore.”
Charleston, S.C., Pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo
from Swig & Swine committed thousands of dollars
in local grocery-store gift cards to his out-of-work
employees, while his business shifted to takeout
only. Across the state, his friend Joe Urban, who
oversees Nutrition Services at Greenville County
Schools, continued to push out 25,000 meals per
day for students in his school district, even though
in-person classes had been suspended.
In Omaha, local restaurant icon Glenn Wheeler of
Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops found himself with
a walk-in cooler filled with perishables. With the
help of friends and other chefs in the city, Wheeler
put together a robust plan to address growing needs
in the community.
“The order came down that Omaha restaurants had
to be closed to no more than 10 people, and our
“For many of the 77,000 students in our district,
the meals they receive during school are the only
substantive nutrition,” Urban said. It helped many
families, not having to pay for meals when money is
tight; for others, just knowing they could get food at
all was life preserving.
“We all know there is poverty in our communities, but
most have no clue as to how severe that actually is for
some families,” Urban said.
Grocery stores and employees were deemed essential
to the public well-being, a mixed blessing that soon
inundated the sector with panic-driven demand from
consumers making long-term plans.
Pushed to work round the clock just to try keeping their
shelves stocked, retail food employees were on the front
lines as much as any emergency personnel.
Meijer stores across several Midwestern states expanded
its efforts to give back and support local communities.
The retail giant’s signature Simply Give program, which
generated more than $50 million since 2008 for local
food pantries, donated an additional $2.2 million in
Price Chopper stores in Kansas City took a creative
approach to maintaining stocked shelves, such as
working “across the aisle” with those who typically source
products for foodservice customers. The chain also
returned $250,000 to its community through a donation
to Harvesters Community Food Network, helping those
most affected by the pandemic.
It’s not every day that a major Hollywood filmmaker and
actor picks up the tab for groceries. But for a group of
seniors and high-risk shoppers at 29 Louisiana Winn-
Dixie stores, that’s exactly what happened when Tyler
Perry decided to spread some kindness.
Inspired by his example, Winn-Dixie’s parent company,
Southeastern Grocers, elected to pay it forward by
paying for the groceries of thousands of healthcare
professionals and first responders shopping in stores
across seven states.
“As a community, we are stronger together and will
win together with kindness,” said Anthony Hucker,
president and CEO. “Southeastern Grocers is
dedicated to being there for the community when they
need us the most, and we believe there is no better
time than now.”
In Oklahoma, Reasor’s hosted a Spring for Meals
Fund and Food Drive, as a benefit for the Community
Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and its network of
350 partner organizations, while St. Louis bastion
Schnucks donated more than $500,000 to support
those in the region affected by the pandemic. It also
launched a Round Up at the Register campaign,
inviting shoppers to pay it forward through their
donations to the local United Way.
There may be no greater testament to the goodness
of humanity, in a year that could be measured
against history for all the wrong reasons, than
the seemingly endless examples of people helping
people. The Certified Angus Beef ® brand salutes these
and the countless others who have made this world
a better place in extremely challenging times.
This year asked us to do a lot of
The brand expanded communication with
partners, got creative with advertising efforts
and created resources to use from anywhere.
Brand Bites email newsletters were sent
with added frequency and more tools
crafted for folks in distribution, retail,
foodservice and restaurant businesses to
use. The team also started Brand Bites on
Demand, a monthly video deep-dive into
trends and tools for distributors.
“Great info — fantastic way of reaching
out to everyone, keeping us informed
and abreast of what is happening in this
changing environment,” as Juan Lopez of
Sysco Atlanta put it. “I’m looking forward
to the next episode!”
Digital chef chats on social media and
Zoom calls, along with online marketing
and carryout resources increased outreach
“It was hard to know how we could help our
restaurant partners enough through these
challenging times. We were here
and standing ready with resources when
they needed us,” says Deanna Walenciak,
vice president of brand marketing.
The 30-second “Rare Moments Done Well” TV
commercial was reimagined as “Rare Moments
Done Differently” when the global pandemic
made at-home activities the new normal.
Numbers drive decisions. This year’s
advertising campaigns followed the data
and placed ads where people engaged most
with media. In Milwaukee, audio spots
found placement on Pandora’s streaming
service, while in Green Bay they played on the
radio. Consumer behavior insights like that
determine strategic media spends around the
country, connecting with customers in the
best place at the right time.
The father of the
Industrywide change requires people with a special kind
It takes data and drive.
To launch the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, Bobby “Dr.
Bob” VanStavern was one such man.
brand, the meat scientist had the answers they were
“I kept my research data in my bottom drawer,” he
recalled in 2019. “So I hauled out this packet of carcass
research data that tended to say what the specifications
Bob believed it did,” says John Stika, the brand’s
president. “He believed that it did, and was persistent
in communicating it.”
He continued sharing the science for 25 years as a
consultant to the brand and his push for better beef
became the new watchword.
As a meat scientist in Extension outreach at The Ohio
State University, VanStavern consulted food business
leaders. He heard their calls for consistent, superior
beef, yet “lean” was the watchword of the late 1970s.
VanStavern didn’t buy it. His research showed why
consumers enjoy eating beef: taste.
When Mick Colvin and Fred Johnson approached him
on behalf of cattlemen forming the original Angus beef
Modest or higher marbling. Limits for maturity, yield,
marbling texture and lean color. The same specifications
the brand, its partners and consumers worldwide rely on
today for the best beef.
With VanStavern guiding its meat science, the first
Angus beef brand became the benchmark for quality.
“He presented the specifications for different audiences
and was told it didn’t hold the kind of credibility Dr.
Dr. Bob passed away in February 2020, leaving behind
his beloved family and a vast community of brand friends
who believe in the quality framework he established.
“You see Dr. Bob’s fingerprints every time we give the
Science Behind the Sizzle presentation and in every great
steak,” Stika says. “Our product quality and consistency
is a reflection of his career, of his impact on this brand
and across the industry.”
Dr. Bob VanStavern
Father of the specifications
His legacy lives on in the meat scientists
who continue to communicate the
science today and support partners who
bring the brand to market.
“He set the foundation and pointed
us in the best direction,” says Diana
Clark, meat scientist for the brand.
“We have the best beef out there. We
continue honoring him by challenging
ourselves to always make it better.”
Lessons he shared still ring true, even
in tough times. His persistence urged
the brand’s founders and partners
forward: never say it can’t be done.
Quality matters. Believe the data.
Share your beliefs with conviction,
helping others along the way. Dr. Bob
Listen to the Meat Speak podcast episode,
and read more about Dr. Bob and the
mentorship established in his honor with
the American Meat Science Association.
“Things he advocated for seem
commonplace today, because 40
years later, others are touting
quality in the marketplace.
Because of Dr. Bob’s solid
opinion and willingness to
defend it, there’s an entire
industry today that gets it.”
— John Stika, Certified Angus Beef ® President
Impressions Across Social Platforms
SOCIAL CHANNEL 2020
Building common ground on social media.
From ranch pastures to home kitchens, social media connects beef eaters
around the world. Trending digital isn’t new, but increased dramatically
as stay-at-home orders meant added screen time.
“Everyone was eager for a connection and social media was the place
people turned,” says Margaret Coleman, the brand’s director of
digital platforms. “It’s our job to figure out how we can entertain,
educate and engage.”
Simply great beef, fun recipes and friendly faces filled the brand
channels, teaching how to cook with a pandemic pantry. Really fresh
faces and locations appeared in videos as chefs recruited their kids to
help film from home kitchens, creating meals and relatable moments the
whole family could enjoy.
Positive and inspiring content made kitchen mastery within easy reach,
home tables a bit fuller. A few taps on a phone screen and there was a
chef, ready to collaborate on solutions — or a rancher providing a tour
of the family farm.
It sparked conversations.
Questions about how cattle are raised and new ideas for dinner were
delivered. CertifiedAngusBeef.com visits increased 40% year over year,
with recipes the most-wanted content. More than 380,000 people
virtually visited a ranch by watching on Facebook Live.
The team waiting just a tap away made online interactions feel familiar.
There’s always someone behind the logo on the screen, ready to share in
home-cooking triumphs and answer all beef-related inquiries.
“Our direct messages feel like you are texting with a friend,” says Paige
Clayton, digital marketing specialist.
Each day, the team thoughtfully responds to every comment, question
and string of emojis posted across the brand’s social channels,
connecting around the globe.
Making the world feel smaller, one click, tap or page scroll
at a time.
Web (2020 page views - recipes & kitchen)
Saying hello to global connectivity
through new media.
Where the Certified Angus Beef ® brand
family gathers, authentic and creative
flavors collide. The brand’s international
team empowers partners to bring a global
perspective to the table.
“While we aren’t able to physically sit at the same
table together, connecting and engaging resilient
partners is part of the team’s strategy for success,” says
Gebran Charbine, vice president of brand marketing,
international and multicultural.
It’s a recipe worth repeating.
“We want to make something from scratch and build
something together that’s infused with the best of
everyone,” says Charbine. “That’s how we enhance our
multicultural marketing message.”
The brand serves 51 countries outside of the
United States. Canada leads the way in sales
followed by Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong,
Mexico and Taiwan, respectively.
As the world diversifies and cultures collide, the team
looks for new ways to connect on a more personal level
with partners. Almost 50% of the brand’s Instagram and
over 10% of the Facebook following are Spanish speakers.
“We were looking at a way to be able to connect with
consumers, especially our Latin or Spanish-speaking
consumers, both outside and inside the United
States,” says Charbine. “We have partners in 12 Latin
American or Spanish-speaking countries and a great
opportunity to reach domestic Spanish-speaking
The team launched CertifiedAngusBeef.lat in
September as a 100% Spanish resource, to empower
and engage consumers and partners looking to
connect with the brand.
“It’s about being an experience,” shares Charbine.
“Whether it’s a Latin or a Japanese experience, we
want to be a part of it to help elevate the experience
with flavor, tenderness and juiciness.”
Recipes that are region specific, tools to learn beef
cuts and cooking methods, where to buy beef and
educational materials are resources that land on the
Translation + Creation
Transcreation is changing text to make its meaning
culturally appropriate for a target market.
The bulk of the international beef tonnage goes
to Asia, Canada or Mexico. Today, the Certified
Angus Beef ® brand logo has been transcreated
from English to French for the Quebec province in
Canada, Japanese with phonetic translation, and
Simplified Mandarin for mainland China.
“Transcreating our brand name and logo allows us
to connect with consumers,” Charbine says. “Not
one shoe size fits all and we have to be open to not
only translating but creating a logo and marketing
that fits their lifestyle.”
It was 6 a.m. in Ohio but 7 p.m. in Japan.
Instagram was live with a chef partner, Fumio
Yonezawa and influencer Kumkio Obinata took
to the social channel to draw local customers to
purchase Certified Angus Beef ® and cook with them
This wasn’t the only social interaction across the
ocean. Partners in Taiwan, Asia, the Middle East and
Latin America all took to Instagram to connect with
their customers and the brand.
“Our Latin America partners elevated the
social connections through the pandemic,”
A highlight for him was the first Spanish Instagram
live with Alejandro Guiterrez, president of Sociedad
Mexicana De Parrilleros. The virtual field trip went
to a local HEB to pick out Certified Angus Beef ®
product with the help of meat scientists from the
brand to help answer questions.
“We’ve seen a great shift into buying online with
people being quarantined around the globe and
countries shutting down,” shares Charbine. “The
only thing that kept consumers connected was the
web. Their shopping habits moved there too. This
was an opportunity for the brand and our team to
come and look at it holistically and say, ‘How can
we elevate our digital approach?’”
Adversity shines through challenging times.
International partners embrace the business shift
with open minds and creative hands.
“It’s not about the pounds. It’s about seeing how
our partners responded,” says Cody Jones, vice
president of international for the brand. “The
challenges we faced reminded us we work with the
best global partners.”
With a bit of tenacity and ingenuity, international
partners embraced ecommerce and direct delivery
to consumers, meal kits and connecting virtually.
“It seemed as though the tougher things got, the
more determined our partners became,” says Jones.
Today, the wheels are turning again. The virtual
world provides extra opportunities for partners
around the world to interact with the brand.
“While we can’t wait until we can hop on a plane
and visit each other, virtual trainings have given
our partners an opportunity to experience the
brand without a 15-24 hour plane ride,” shares
Jones. “It’s been extremely powerful.”
Thanks to translators and Zoom features, the
virtual experience can be made extra special with
the instant translation that can happen for any
partner, regardless of the language.
With a little tenacity, it’s possible to thrive and
connect. All it takes is a bit of ingenuity.
You don’t have to look far to find Certified Angus Beef ®
loyalists around the globe. Their enthusiasm deserves
That’s why the Steakholder Rewards brand loyalty
program launched in February to connect consumers
and their beef purchases, rewarding social media
engagement and feedback to the brand. Its points for
extras beyond great-tasting beef that can be redeemed
for branded merchandise like steak knives and grilling
tools or sweepstakes for unique culinary experiences.
“This is a way for us to engage on a deeper level with
our consumer, and learn more about our biggest brand
fans,” says Christy Johnson, vice president of branding.
THE BEST REWARDS FOR
THE BEST ANGUS BRAND.
More than 1,500 members joined the rewards
program in the eight months since it began. Currently
it’s available in the U.S. and Canada, the latter
accounting for 6% of membership.
Advertising for the program began in August 2020,
spurring exponential growth in the final months of the
“We are excited to see where this program goes and
grows,” Johnson says.
Many independent retailers took notice, promoting the
loyalty program as if it was their own.
“Steakholder Rewards is an avenue for a special
connection and positive experience with our brand,”
says Megan Besancon, associate manager of consumer
loyalty and advertising. “It gives consumers another
reason for our beef to be a part of their lifestyle and
Monthly communications with Steakholders include
new recipes, the story behind the beef and tips for
cooking to perfection.
Uploading a receipt is the fastest and easiest way to
earn points. Members also earn points for completing
activities in the Roast Perfect app, like using the timer
or completing the Roasting Quiz.
Engagement generates value, too. Members who
complete a survey including their favorite cut and
degree of doneness earn extra.
Let’s just say our loyalists love a ribeye, medium rare.
A new era of regenerative thinking
makes the Certified Angus Beef ® brand
The way the water flows through the pasture is strategically designed.
Tight, barbed-wire fences are precisely kept. Bee boxes feel as ordinary as
the pine trees, home for insects that pollinate the ranch. A hawk leaves
the sky landing gently on its perch, placed there decisively, long before he
thought to rest his wings.
Nothing is done without specific purpose at Wilson Cattle Company.
Each generation adds their mark, compounding to make what began as
a homestead, better.
It’s a philosophy: one plus one should always equal more than two.
Cattle, of course, are a critical part of the equation, but people, they are
He looks a little more East Coast than his western
cowboy genes. The sixth generation to manage
the land, Zach Wilson is a modern cattleman. As
comfortable behind a computer screen as in the
pasture, he leads a natural resource-first ranch,
using science as his guide. Like his ancestors,
he’s on a mission to amplify his resources and
make things better.
“If it’s good for the little bugs in the soil, or the
migratory birds or larger mammals like elk or deer,
even rodents, it’s going to be good for the cattle,”
It’s a high road that takes discipline.
“Our job is to work with Mother Nature,” he says.
“She knows best. We try to figure out the best
incentives for what is going to help her be her
most productive self.”
Riparian barriers, waterfowl habitat and soil
microbiology aren’t just feel-good projects.
They are strategic investments to raise better beef,
He points to an elevated bird box, “Some goose
pair has probably been coming here for 15 years,
raising their goslings and then moving on.”
Their droppings fertilize the soil. He sees each
detail as a part of the greater system and the right
investment can have compounding benefits. His
job is steward of it all.
“It means a lot to me to take care of the land. Six
generations on this land means a lot of people
have put a lot of sweat equity into it and I want
to make sure that I’m treating it the way it should
be treated,” says Wilson. “Feeding the world with
what we do, I take that to heart.”
This philosophy extends to Beef Northwest where
the cattle that leave his ranch are fed.
The two entities are halves of the same family business.
Wilson’s cattle harvest the grass in Baker Valley,
Oregon, while Beef Northwest, started by the fifth
generation of the Wilson family, expands the enterprise
feeding cattle throughout the Pacific Northwest.
It’s a symbiotic relationship, both dependent on
Eastern Oregon isn’t known for cattle feeding. Far
from the cornbelt and Midwestern plains, feeding
cattle here allows them to harness the resource the
landscape does offer: potatoes.
“We’re trying to make high-quality beef that’s
wholesome,” says Pete Szasz, feedyard manager.
“You don’t do that without quality ingredients, no
matter how hard you try.”
The feedyard sits just down the freeway from french
fry factories. The highly nutritious carbohydrate
is palatable and provides energy, so leftover tater
tots, fries and jojos become an ingredient in highquality
“If we weren’t here to utilize the potatoes, they would
end up in a landfill,” Szasz explains. “That’s where they
were going prior to us being in the area.”
It’s a business that’s less transactional, more relational
built on motivating people to do the right thing.
“I believe the quality of the beef that comes out
of Beef Northwest is directly related to the quality
of the people,” says Wes Killion, chief operating
officer. “It’s a window into the company that goes
with every aspect, be it environmental stewardship,
animal health, animal performance or consumer
Riders trot with purpose through the cattle on
horseback, communicating via mailboxes at the
end of the pen rows. Their path is mapped
using GPS and drone technology for precise
nutrient management and a responsible water
run-off strategy. Each animal they check has
electronic identification in its ear, the feed
quality control tested.
Growing and equipping leaders through their
internship program is key to sustaining the culture
of cowboys and cutting-edge technology — a
commitment to excellence in every chore.
This dedication earned the sister organizations
the first-ever Certified Angus Beef ® Sustainability
Commitment to Excellence Award.
“The more we can take care of the environment,
the better opportunity there is for a better outcome
for the cattle, be it health or performance as well
as quality,” Killion says.
Like most Angus ranches, Beef Northwest was
focused on sustainability way before it was cool.
“Anytime you cut into a steak, that animal took
something from this ground and is now nourishing
you, but it also put a lot back into the ground
while it was here,” says Wilson. “Everything’s
connected, it’s all a system.”
The new award is one piece of the brand’s bigger
commitment to sustainability. As an active
member of the U.S. and Canadian Roundtables
for Sustainable Beef, the brand works to continue
progress. While cattlemen do their part on the
ranch and feedyard, the brand invests in action
across the industry supporting a better beef system.
Because sustainability isn’t just about the end product,
the ranch or the feedyard — it’s everyone in between.
INVESTING IN OTHERS
Hurricanes, floods, fires and blizzards.
Working with Mother Nature is a chore in
the best of times. For farmers and ranchers
who find themselves in the aftermath of
a natural disaster, the devastation of a
lifetime’s work is overwhelming.
Lee Crock, Angus cattleman from
Mechanicsville, Iowa, experienced that
after a derecho storm (land hurricane)
“I got a call from my daughter and she said,
‘Dad you need to come home… there’s
been a lot of damage to our farm.’ I pulled
in and hardly recognized the place,”
In 10 minutes, their farm suffered nearly a
million dollars in damage.
When wildfire season hit, ranchers across
the West felt his pain too.
In Washington, Dale Smith raises Angus
cattle on the same ground his family has
ranched for more than a century. Wildfires
this year took all his pasture, hay and 300
of his cows.
He didn’t lose faith.
“We’re cattlemen, we raise cows,” Smith
said. “It’s what we do and what we will
The tenacity of ranchers like these inspired
the Certified Angus Beef ® Rural Relief Fund.
Launched in 2019, the fund helps producers
recover and rebuild after natural disasters.
Donations and sales of Sheltering Generations
— The American Barn coffee table book
produced by the brand raised $20,000.
Funds were used to support farming and
ranching families affected by these two
extreme weather events and build resources to
help others in the future.
To purchase the book or donate visit:
A NEW LEVEL
The hustle and bustle of restaurant kitchens ceased.
Some for a moment. Some are silent still.
Prime Cincinnati Steakhouse
In an instant, the nature of foodservice changed
forever. The effects of the pandemic brought rapid
evolution to every aspect of business.
Nimble restaurants quickly turned to takeout and
delivery only, eventually to limited dine-in. Following
a record February, boxes of beef sat idle. Distributors
acted quickly to adapt.
“Foodservice has never worked so hard to sell such
little product,” says Sara Scott, Certified Angus Beef ® vice
president of foodservice. “Like any time when adversity
strikes, the most creative businesses are the ones that
will endure. It’s going to be a slow grind back, but I
can’t think of any group more innovative and driven
than our partners.”
Signs of innovation, resiliency and hope pull the
The lights are on and diners seated again. The iconic
Prime Cincinnati steakhouse draws people in for Prime
and dry-aged steaks.
“Our Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime steaks continue
to be the most popular items,” said Nelson Castillo,
managing partner of Prime Cincinnati and Street City Pub.
“We have the filet, New York strip and dry-aged on our
dine-in menu. Our Jack Burger has actually been really
popular because we’ve moved it to our appetizer menu.”
After switching overnight to online only in March, nearly all
business is dine-in today, still at 50% capacity since May.
For returning restaurant goers, taste and food quality
remain the top priority according to Brandwatch
Consumer Trends 2020 and the Simon-Kucher
Restaurant Survey, ranking above restaurant
cleanliness in today’s marketplace.
“When service and experience change so drastically,
quality becomes an even bigger factor in customer
satisfaction,” says Scott. “Now is not the time to find
cost savings by cutting quality.”
Consumers also sought the brand’s Prime and
dry-aged cuts for restaurant experiences at home.
Progressive distributors and restaurants looked beyond
middle meats to elevate quality and reached consumers
through new channels.
For decades, Miami Purveyors resisted direct-toconsumer
sales. Now, there was no time to waste.
Restaurants embraced ecommerce, too.
“We had a tenured and committed team to protect,”
says Taly Rosenberg, vice president of finance and
administration. “Our consumers are overwhelmed by
the restaurant-quality products we are delivering so
this has been a valuable expansion for us.”
At the same time, Miami Purveyors adjusted to
restaurateurs’ new in-house pantry sales, fresh meat
sales, meal kits and private chef offerings. When
outdoor dining and 50% capacity opened for dine-in,
consumers wasted no time visiting their favorite spots.
“We are now balancing our direct-to-consumer
business while continuing service to our foodservice
customers as their volume returns to pre-pandemic
levels,” says Rosenberg. “We are very prepared to do
both exceptionally well.”
Both avenues allow distributors to diversify sales,
as specialty meat and broadline companies help
restaurateurs maximize takeout and entice consumers
Inventive solutions guide restaurant recovery,
according to Adrienne Moncrief, director of
foodservice council for Cleveland Research, who
spoke during Annual Conference.
items, like the burgers and cheesesteaks at Wing N
Burger Factory across Georgia.
“The one ingredient is beef. That’s all we need to
say,” according to Robert Bales, vice president and
COO of the PK Restaurant Group. The Philly meat
also offers a higher yield for better portion size and
Serving one cut in multiple applications also adds
efficiency for chefs.
The City Square Steakhouse, Wooster, Ohio,
serves the sirloin for a main entrée, kid’s steak,
entrée salad, steak and fries, and occasional pasta
dish. Oak Steakhouses, from Atlanta to D.C.,
merchandise the entire tenderloin as center-cut
filet, on the mixed grill plate, smaller bistro steaks,
steak frites, steak tartare, carpaccio, Bolognese
and burger grinds.
“Restaurateurs and distributors are working hard
to outpace recovery, and are doing it with the
best beef,” Scott says. “Foodservice people are
committed to a love for food, feeding people and
bringing them together.”
Eating out is a part of American culture that hasn’t
changed. It’s just delivered differently.
“They want simplicity in execution, operations, service
speed and efficiency, and a good way of doing that is
value-added products,” Moncrief says.
For dine-in, takeout and delivery, value-added
smoked brisket, fajita meat, cooked pot roast,
cooked short ribs and shaved steak save time and
labor, so restaurateurs can focus on profit centers,
signature dishes and guest experience.
A new cost calculator in the Brand Builder app
aligns dollars and sense with choosing the most
profitable items, whether fresh or value-added.
Restaurants also build their concepts around the
YOU’RE ON MUTE
Virtual experiences for marketing
It’s personal. Adapting, engaging and intuitive, it’s gone digital. Handson
experiences and handshakes evolved into live Q&A and the wave of
hands across Zoom screens from home offices.
Relationships deepen, communication expands to reach more, more
frequently. Turnkey resources for an evolving marketplace in motion.
Networks of like-minded individuals, sounding boards of experts and
trusted professionals collaborate to spark creativity and ingenuity when
Meeting people where they are with what they need — that’s modern
marketing for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand.
Hosting groups in the brand’s Culinary Center is nothing new. The
tangible knowledge folks walk out with after their time in the Meat Lab
and kitchen are more than bright and shiny — it’s an experience unlike
Bringing together partners from around the globe, the brand hosted 58
events in the first six months of the fiscal year, prior to changes brought
on by COVID-19.
“This is a great moment of virtual
engagement. I’m impressed, but not
surprised. You and your team always
do a great job in these trainings.
Shouldn’t be surprised you guys
would nail it in the virtual world.”
— Joel Walker, USFS Denver Launch
Virtually Best in Class
Many things can’t be delivered through a computer
screen. It’s impossible to replace the touch, taste and
feel of a brand event in person. But you don’t know
how close you can come if you never try.
Creating a virtual Culinary Center experience has been
an idea for some time. The current situation made it a
The online format means new experiences for those
who’ve never made the trek to Wooster, Ohio’s beef
hub. Online trainings, “Live from the Culinary Center”
and large-scale events are all part of how the brand
learned to connect through a screen.
What was planned as a 10-day affair in Wooster
evolved into a “Live from the Culinary Center” event
for more than 400 Giant Eagle retail staff in just a few
hours one afternoon in September.
Meat scientists Daniel and Diana Clark fabricated beef
in front of the camera. Mandy and Aaron Atterholt
gave a pasture tour on their farm with live Q&A, while
the account manager helped moderate, standing by
for account-specific questions.
It’s an experience replicated for groups large and small.
“There are positives to find in the change around us,”
says brand president John Stika. “And I believe the
‘Live from the Culinary Center’ trainings will be an
incredible asset for all of us moving forward.”
The brand also hosted Annual Conference virtually for
the first time, with a record attendance of more than
1,100 active online for the two-day event.
“This virtual training was
praised by our field leadership for
succinctly covering key aspects
while still bringing the same level
of excitement and passion to our
associates that we would expect
from a face-to-face event.”
— Crystal Ackerman, Senior Director, Meat
& Seafood, Southeastern Grocers, Inc.
Turnkey training modules were created as part of the
virtual resource hub. The team launched “Certified
Angus Beef ® brand University: Retail” in August to help
those at the meat counter answer questions about
the brand and the beef in their case. The goal is to be
engaging, authentic and real without the background
noise and mute button hiccups.
“We aren’t just another Zoom call,” says Deanna
Walenciak, vice president of brand marketing. “We
invested in new equipment and technology to better
serve our partners and meet their needs, virtually.”
They’ve yet to discover how to deliver the flavors via
a screen, but in the meantime partners can expect a
virtual experience just as high quality.
With consumer attention on
the meat case, retailers elevate
What’s for dinner tonight?
The daily query prompted fresh answers this year. As
options waned, grocery stores stepped up to deliver.
People craved beef. Since this spring, they came to enjoy
it more and more in their own home-cooked meals.
That led to 602 million pounds of Certified Angus
Beef ® cuts sold at meat counters this year, a 12%
annual increase. Favored steaks when dining
out — ribeye, strip, tenderloin and top sirloin —
increased 14%, closely matched in rising popularity
by ground beef.
Signs of innovation, resiliency and hope pull the
Flavor still reigns supreme, carving out opportunity
for luxury beef. Weis Markets introduced Certified
Angus Beef ® brand Prime for summer grilling in 200
“More customers want high-end, restaurant-quality beef
than ever before,” said Weis Markets Director of Meat,
Doug Becker. “We patiently waited for the right time and
it has been very well received.”
He anticipates Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime
demand growing in the coming months, right into
“Customers know the product is special as soon as they
walk in the store and arrive at the meat case,” said David
O’Diam, Certified Angus Beef ® vice president of retail.
Marinated steaks, case-ready burgers, heat-and-serve
entrées and corned beef offer variety and convenience
for home-cooked meals. QFC stores, based in Seattle,
added case-ready ground chuck and sirloin Giant
Eagle, based in Pittsburgh, offered beef bacon. Weis
Markets also captured customer interest in simple
meals with shaved steak from Bertolino Foods.
“We knew that would be another opportunity to sell
customers a superior product,” Becker said. “Any time
we can expand our offerings to shout the Certified
Angus Beef ® brand, we take advantage of it. It’s a
great item in our fresh beef offerings.”
Ground beef, the largest retail beef category, gives
shoppers more quality and versatility. Case-ready
ground beef, patties, bricks and steaks reduce shrink
and out-of-stocks. They help retailers manage labor
and keep the case stocked late in the day, while
offering leak-resistant and freezer-ready packages.
Consumers also leaned into comfort foods more this
year and learned about roasting and slow cooking
from the brand’s Roast Perfect app.
Convenient Ways to Learn
“Retailers offering the brand have an edge,”
O’Diam said. “If you can’t dine out for a great
meal, you can have it at home.”
The necessity of DIY fine-dining meant consumers
searched for online tools to develop new skills.
Recipes, social videos and digital tools helped
them conquer the kitchen to create and serve
restaurant-quality, beefy meals.
Similar resources are essential as retailers finetuned
their ecommerce sites for curbside pickup
and delivery. Consumer confidence in online meat
purchases continues to grow.
“What we now have is a consumer that is very
comfortable and a lot more confident in the
kitchen, and this is a great way to engage them,”
said IRI’s senior vice president of protein, Chris
Dubois, during Annual Conference. “The more you
can talk about quality, share ideas and integrate
with the shopping, experience will continue to drive
sales and keep beef at the top of the list.”
Shoppers often seek tips and advice from meat staff.
The ability to offer solutions and engaging experiences
sets businesses apart, in store and online.
The brand new Retail Certified Angus Beef ®
University, launched in September, offers easy tips
for meat staff to gain confidence for talking about
beef quality, nutrition and beef preparation.
The 20-minute training can be included in a
retailer’s training platform for added ease, including a
short video for all store associates.
Training proved insightful for Southeastern Grocers,
which launched the brand across 421 Winn Dixie,
Harvey’s and Fresco y Mas stores from October 2019
into summer. Winn Dixie leaders and store managers
attended on-farm training in October, helping them
understand the brand’s quality mission and the family
farmers and ranchers it supports.
Known in the market as “the experts in beef since
1925,” Winn Dixie trainings continued throughout the
year into spring. That’s when online sessions reached
more than 650 associates, in English and Spanish,
helping them introduce the brand’s fresh and Prime
cuts, marinated meats, corned beef and other caseready
items to customers.
In fall 2019 more than 100 Giant Eagle meat
managers attended a two-day training at the brand’s
Culinary Center. Hands-on fabrication and cooking
prepared them for an experience to discuss with
customers at the meat case. The group followed up
with online education this September. A Culinary
Center Live session focused on deepening beef
knowledge, including a virtual pasture walk at
“The feedback that I have received was outstanding,”
shared Joe Seibel, Giant Eagle’s meat merchandising
manager. “They were amazed that the time went by
so quickly and were glued to their computer screens.
With continued follow-up and in-store training, I am
confident we will grow the brand together.”
Retailers continue to transform, creating an experience
both in person and online that feels personal.
We know what will happen the next time someone
asks, “What’s for dinner?” brand retailers will readily
answer with the right tools to make it easy, and the
best beef to make it memorable.
Certified Angus Beef ® chefs imagine beef
like never before with their favorite 2020
It may be hard to believe now, but there was a time when the Certified
Angus Beef ® brand didn’t employ chefs.
These kitchen magicians always held the keys to consumer delights
and many worked closely with the brand, but until 2006 they cooked
and created exclusively as partners in restaurants around the world.
Then some of the creative fire started burning in Wooster, Ohio.
Today, the collective culinary talents of six chefs please the palates of
those lucky enough to feast on their brand creations. Their innovation
with lesser known cuts and sessions with partner chefs have added
untold value to the beef carcass.
In a year that required creativity, chefs at the Certified Angus Beef ®
brand brought to fire and plate many concepts that previously
lived only in their minds.
CHEF TONY BIGGS
CHEF MICHAEL OLLIER
Chef Tony’s culinary experience spans the globe,
from a singing waiter in Upstate New York to
Japan’s famed Tokyo American Club, to Imelda
Marcos’ kitchen and cooking for royalty in the
Middle East. Those stops feature prominently in
some of Chef Tony’s preferred dishes. His burger
sushi — “Burgushi” — and Korean meatloaf blend
two cultures that have weighed heavily into Biggs’
resume: Asian and old-school Americana. Burgushi
is a play on the cheeseburger, with ground beef
and sushi rice wrapped inside crispy potato strings
and topped with mustard, ketchup and mayo. The
Korean version of an American staple is smoked
and constructed with Certified Angus Beef ® brand
Prime grinds, the dish is laden with gochujang and
accompanied by kohlrabi crepes, curly potatoes
and leek sushi.
Ollier has the longest tenure with the chef team.
The French-trained chef has a penchant for
creating dishes both pleasing and approachable
to home cooks everywhere, while stepping out
of the box from time to time. Chef Michael kept
one foot in the trends while staying relevant
to home cooks with two of his favorite dishes
from 2020. The chef paid homage to Canadian
bacon, dry-roasting lean eye of round as a
bacon substitute to live on a sandwich or next
to Eggs Benedict. Ollier used top round sliced
with the grain and kissed with soy sauce,
Worcestershire, red and black pepper, garlic
and brown sugar to make classic beef jerky.
CHEF ASHLEY BRENEMAN
CHEF PETER ROSENBERG
Chef Ashley cut her teeth in one of the most
famous kitchens in Los Angeles alongside
culinary icon Nancy Silverton, and now runs the
kitchen at the brand’s Culinary Center. An eye
for precision with a Millennial edge, Breneman
keeps tabs on what’s hip and trendy in the food
world and marries it with unique cuts of beef
for her guests. Chef Ashley went out of the box
with her classic steak tartare, using traditional
Certified Angus Beef ® tenderloin for the raw beef
content, placing it atop a sous vide leek, and
finishing it with crème fraiche and fresh fish roe.
Breneman made pasta from kohlrabi stuffed
with short rib and saffron cream sauce, topped
with a toasted bread crumble.
A native of what is now Zimbabwe, Chef Peter
Rosenberg’s journey has taken him through some
of the best-known dining rooms in Memphis
and Dallas. Rosenberg’s time in Texas is everpresent
in his food, which often includes highend
interpretations of barbecue and smoked
meats. Chef Peter is a huge fan of the coulotte,
which he utilized in the form of a traditional
California tri-tip barbecue: Santa Maria-rubbed,
lightly smoked, roasted and served next to crispy
tobacco onions with scored mango garnish, and
finished with his sassy habanero mango sauce.
Rosenberg notches up old-school corn chowder
with braised short rib and thinly sliced blue corn
tortillas with a lime crema.
CHEF BRAD PARKER
CHEF GAVIN PINTO
Inspired by his grandmother and trained under
the late Certified Master Chef Peter Timmins,
Chef Brad Parker is a jack of all trades in the
kitchen. The East Coast native relies on his
artistic intuition and appreciation for quality
ingredients to create dishes that are a feast
for all the senses. Chef Brad did his Asian
interpretation of a French staple with his beef
bouillabaisse, reimagining a traditional fish dish
with lotus root and an Asian mirepoix, finished
with spicy lap chong and ginger with soy sauce
meatballs. He also went with a modern touch
on his miso beef bites, made from teres major
and accompanied by an avocado smash and
By day, Chef Pinto oversees the brand’s Test
Kitchen, developing recipes and sharing cooking
tips with consumers and home cooks. When
he’s not crafting new ways to consume beef
from the Instant Pot or creating minimalist
ingredient recipes, he’s bending the minds of
coworkers with his fondness for molds and
molecular gastronomy. Chef Gavin went classic
and elegant with his traditional Beef Wellington,
made with tenderloin and mushroom duxelle,
but adorned with a pastry latticework for an
extra layer of crisp and beauty. Another favorite
creation this year was the twist he gave to steak
and eggs on toast: reverse seared teres major
sits on a base of toasted artisinal sourdough
with clotted cream and red trout roe, topped
Goal-getters and difference makers, innovators and
change curators — today’s students are tomorrow’s
leaders. Supporting these creative and intelligent young
people, the 2020 Colvin Scholarship Fund awarded
$42,000 to 10 who are pursuing degrees in animal and
meat sciences across the country.
Honoring the Certified Angus Beef ® brand co-founder
and executive director of 22 years, Louis “Mick”
Colvin, the Fund supported 86 recipients and awarded
$200,000 to date. Since 1999, the scholarship has
carried on Colvin’s legacy of making dreams a reality
and inspiring others to do their best.
Conner McKinzie, a senior at Texas Tech University
studying animal sciences, says he’s humbled and
grateful to be a 2020 award recipient. Passionate
about food waste and food insecurity, he plans to
pursue a graduate degree in meat science, while also
serving as a coach for the school’s meat judging team.
Embodying a service mindset, his goal is “To make our
world a more efficient and food-secure place to live.”
Applicants were asked to outline a proposal to
distinguish the Certified Angus Beef ® brand from the 90
other USDA-certified programs that use “Angus” labels
McKinzie proposed a “relatable” approach to
differentiate: deploy unique packaging to help tell the
story of who the brand’s producers are and how their
“Never before has there been a generation more in
touch with their emotions and socially ‘awakened’
than there is today,” he wrote. “People want to know
what they’re buying, where they’re buying it from, who
raised it and what was it given in its lifetime.”
The Certified Angus Beef ® Colvin Golf Classic and
auction funds the scholarship program, with
Certified Angus Beef ® partners raising more than
$91,000 just last year, supporting the future of
students pursuing lifelong careers in agriculture.
“This year’s recipients demonstrated a level of
engagement, understanding and leadership in the
industry rare among many young people who have
already entered the industry,” says John Stika, Certified
Angus Beef ® president. “Their list of activities and plans
for the future instilled a great deal of confidence that
they will make a positive impact on the beef business
2020 Colvin Scholarship Fund Recipient
Texas Tech University, Stephenville, Texas
Dishing Out Opportunities
Investments in the next generation of culinary
creatives supports students pursuing careers focused
on the plate.
Each year, the brand hosts endowed and expandable
scholarships with both The Culinary Institute of America
(CIA) and Johnson & Wales University. The pledges are
reserved for culinary students and each school allocates
the variable sum based on financial need.
To qualify, students write essays showcasing their
need for assistance, interest in culinary arts and
beef. Each told a story connecting their personal
experiences to their passion for creating special
moments around food.
“Beef has been the centerpiece to many of my childhood
memories,” shared recipient Madison Giacherio.
Matthew Blankenship, another scholarship recipient
shared in his essay, “There are many reasons why
Chef Peter and Tony cook with Culinary
Institute of America students.
I have so much respect for this company — their
commitment to family and their commitment
to quality. It’s why we use their steaks on my
grandparent’s 50th anniversary and their beef in my
mother’s stew on a cold winter day. This company is
always bettering itself, and I will always do the same.”
Beef education extends to the classroom where brand
team members collaborate with teachers on meat
science and butchery curriculum.
Connecting with students for beef education adds
another layer of mentorship. Brand chefs Tony Biggs
and Peter Rosenberg returned to their alma mater, CIA
— Hyde Park, to cook for 800 incoming students. More
than serving great beef, the chefs prepped the meal with
six rookies, teaching them their own technique.
“The chef of tomorrow needs to learn so much more
than I ever did,” says Rosenberg. “Investing in these
students today, especially in sharing the importance of
proteins, is going to give us the leaders of tomorrow.”
FEEL GOOD FOOD
Niche markets and natural products make
a divine combination.
Brothers Marketplace meet it’s customers’
demands: fresh, whole foods with
superior quality and consistency. The
Certified Angus Beef ® brand Natural
products are a perfect fit for their
The Boston-area stores focus on creating
a strong visual presence and shopping
experience for their customers. Unique
in-store marketing and sharing their beef’s
background aligns with the mission of the
Consistent carcass utilization provides
a steady supply to offer their customers
with a wide variety of natural beef cut
options. From shoulder cuts to tenderloin,
they have it all.
While Certified Angus Beef ® brand Natural
product sales were down 20%, in some
markets, they are the ideal. The Roche
Brothers. branch saw a 136% increase this
year in pounds of product sold.
“For the team at Brothers Marketplace
and Roche Brothers, it’s about the
relationships, with their customers and
their partners, and the quality products
they provide in their stores,” says Jeff
Vinacco, Certified Angus Beef ® executive
Consistent relationships serving
a captivated clientele. It just feels natural.
LET’S TALK BEEF
The first season of MeatSpeak,
the Certified Angus Beef ® podcast,
launched in 2019 with beefy content:
30 episodes, 22 guests, and 60% of
the season’s top downloads being
from the 14 meat science episodes.
Meat geeks, farmers and ranchers,
culinary personalities and those in
the restaurant business listen in for
captivating conversations led by
Certified Angus Beef ® team members
Listeners leaned in to the science and
butchery, making meat science a topic
of priority for season 2. The next set of
episodes launched on September 30
with the new co-host: meat scientist
Diana Clark. She joins Bryan Schaaf
and Chef Tony Biggs on the podcast’s
“Chef Tony brings his culinary
knowledge, Bryan shines as a
storyteller and Diana’s passions for
meat science and education make
this a podcast you don’t want to
miss,” says Paige Clayton, digital
They take a deep dive into the what,
why and how about all things beef
on your favorite podcast platform.
Scan the QR code
The Certified Angus Beef ® brand name and marks are
service/trademarks of Certified Angus Beef LLC.
© 2020, Volume 24 Issue 1, published annually.
All rights reserved. 10/20-21170-2700