Over the weekend I visited Wooster, Ohio, home of, among other things, Ohio State University's Agricultural Technical Institute, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and Certified Angus Beef. Yes, the world's most recognized premium beef brand is headquartered in the middle of Ohio's "Amish Country," less than two hours North of Columbus and amid some of the best farm ground in the Eastern Corn Belt.
I made the trek to Wooster to serve as a judge for the National Beef Ambassador competition, one of over a dozen professionals who evaluated 18 senior contestants ages 17-21, and 11 junior contestants ages 13-16. Suffice it to say that the young people were outstanding, and I'll have more to say about the National Beef Ambassador Program later.
My visit to Wooster presented the opportunity to visit with CAB President John Stika. The third President of CAB, Stika was appointed to the post in November, 2006. Originally from Linconville, Kansas, he earned a doctorate in meat science from the University of Kentucky in 2006, following a bachelor's and master's in animal science and meat science at Kansas State University.
We discussed the current state of consumer demand for beef, and in particular the role the current state of the economy is playing in consumer buying decisions for premium-branded food products like CAB’s. The conversation was enlightening and enjoyable. Listen to the interview using the player below.