Serving His Passion

Missouri cattleman completes his term as Certified Angus Beef chairman after a year invested in the future of the beef industry. 

by Maddy Rohr, 2023 producer communications intern

October 1, 2023

With a love for the Angus cow and Angus family, the opportunity to serve as 2023 Chairman of the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) Board of Directors is the result of years devoted to the breed. For Jim Brinkley, the definition of success is doing what you love.  

“I love watching the Angus breed excel,” Brinkley says. “Meeting incredible people and serving other Angus producers has been the greatest experience.” 

With the purchase of his first registered Angus heifer in 1997, Brinkley sparked a passion and Brinkley Angus Ranch was launched in Milan, Mo. After running cows with his father-in-law and learning the ropes, he bought 20 cows from Summitcrest Farms and pursued his dreams. What started small would grow to a 350-head operation of registered cows.  

Brinkley hosted his first bull sale in 2002 and has continued the annual sale each spring. With an interest in studying genetics, data and cattle, Brinkley is focused on raising quality cattle that will meet the high standards of the Angus industry.  

“Of all the boards I’ve ever served on, this is by far the most professional, forward-thinking group of members,” Brinkley says. “You have to separate yourself from your competition and Certified Angus Beef has done that with a quality and consist product produced by progressive cattlemen and women.” 

While producers face challenges daily, Brinkley says the cost of production has impacted Angus ranchers greatly this year. CAB gives cattlemen a target to get more value for their cattle, even when times are tough. Having a brand supporting and promoting Angus producers every day only feeds Brinkley’s passion to serve.  

“What the brand does for the breed and for the beef industry, always promoting the quality of our product and our stewardship of the land and livestock, makes a big difference between competitors,” Brinkley says.

As a rancher, Brinkley knew little about retail beyond the basics of shopping at a grocery store. Serving as the CAB board chairman, he learned about what happens to beef when it leaves the packer and enters the consumer—retail and foodservice— side of the business.  

Hearing the passion that end-users have to sell and serve the Certified Angus Beef ® brand gave Brinkley a new perspective.  

“Every person involved in beef – from cattlemen to chefs and everything in between – we are all one team supplying the best beef to consumers,” Brinkley says. 

A visit to The Culinary Center and CAB offices in Wooster, Ohio, gave Brinkley a more in-depth look at the size and scope of the brand. 

“The educational opportunities available to the beef industry, foodservice and consumers is exceptional,” Brinkley says. “What’s behind the brand is so impressive— all the working parts to make Certified Angus Beef what it is and the commitment to being the best is incomparable.” 

In the future, Brinkley foresees growth of Certified Angus Beef ® Prime as higher quality product becomes more available. As a rancher who interacts with commercial bull customers daily, he knows the importance of data to raise the best beef. Selecting genetic matings to target the brand is one way he does that.  

“The database the Angus breed has to support Angus breeders and their commercial customers is why Angus is the business breed and will only continue to grow and evolve as demand for quality beef increases,” Brinkley adds. 

Working with bull customers and other Angus breeders as chairman has formed relationships that Brinkley is humbled to serve.  

Brinkley noted that his tenure as Chairman helped his own thoughts and leadership skills evolve as discussion topics brought new ideas to life in the board room. Learning about the innovative strategies and future goals the board has is important for producers to continue being successful.  

“My perspective changed as we discussed new ideas and something different being implemented,” Brinkley says. “The board and staff do a tremendous job of gathering information to help make informative decisions.” 

As Brinkley concludes his year as chairman, he says the future is bright for the breed. With demand for the best beef continually increasing and consumers becoming more aware of the families who supply the brand, Brinkley is looking forward to continuing his dream of raising Angus cattle. 

When asked what motivates him, he says “when you love something, your passionate about it – I love the Angus breed and people in it.” 

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