Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) has hired Justin Sexten to lead its Supply Development team as director of that division. The Ohio native brings to his new post a broad expertise in beef production, research and education.
“As the cattle cycle enters its expansion phase, Justin’s 11 years of academic research and teaching in Illinois and Missouri make him a fitting match for this role at CAB,” said Mark McCully, vice president of production for the branded beef company.
Sexten’s career focus on replacement heifers and weaned calf management provides an ideal background for leading CAB’s producer outreach team, he added.
“We’ve observed an investment in quality in the cowherd, after the extensive culling brought on by the drought of 2012,” Sexten said.
Data suggests most of the herd replacements were Angus influenced, paving the way for higher beef quality than ever before, especially in light of other survey data that notes 70% of producers turned out Angus bulls in the last year.
With a “cowherd built for quality,” Sexten says a rancher’s priority now lies in what to do after the genetics are in place.
“Emphasis on how we manage those genetics, when it comes to nutrition and health is important,” he said. “We’ve made an initial investment. Let’s make sure we see that through to the end for the consumer’s sake.”
Prior to accepting the position at CAB, Sexten served as University of Missouri Extension beef specialist. There he coordinated the nutrition, reproduction, genetic and health management of 200 commercial Angus-based cows, as well as a 600-head feedyard. “On a broader scale, this transition allows me to continue to interact with farmers and ranchers on how we can manage and feed cattle, to early calf feeding and management that will ultimately increase the CAB acceptance rate of those cattle after the feeding period.”
Raised on a diversified livestock and row-crop farm near Washington Court House, Ohio, Sexten earned his animal science degree from the University of Kentucky in 1998. He followed that with a Master’s and Doctorate in ruminant nutrition from the University of Illinois in 2001 and 2004, respectively. Along with his wife Julie, the Sextens are moving to the Wooster, Ohio, area with their three daughters, Macie, Morgan and Millie.
As a CAB director, Sexten will work closely with the supply development and industry information teams. Externally, his focus will be cattle producers, academia, research groups and allied industry partners to communicate the value of quality beef production.