News Update
Oct. 10, 2006

CAB President Riemann Retires

Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) President M. James “Jim” Riemann recently announced his intentions to retire. Riemann has served as president of CAB since 1999.

At Riemann’s suggestion, the CAB Board of Directors appointed Senior Vice President Brent Eichar as interim President, effective Oct. 9. Riemann will remain through Nov. 15, focusing on transition and retirement activities.

“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 ® (CAB®) brand has grown to be a highly respected brand throughout all segments of the industry.”

“The board is grateful for Jim’s dedication and loyalty to CAB and for his commitment to the mission, which is to increase demand for registered Angus cattle,” said CAB Board Chairman Bob Norton of Saint Joseph, Mo.

While retirement had been on the horizon for Riemann, he cited pending changes in the brand’s product specifications as a contributing factor in the timing. In a move to improve product consistency, the CAB board of directors voted this fall to adopt new requirements for ribeye size, carcass weight and trim not previously addressed by the yield grade standard.

“Changes in the overall beef industry in the many years since creation of the brand simply called for this logical response to better serve our customers,” Norton said. “The commitment to ensuring the highest-quality, best-tasting Angus beef remains unchanged.”

Riemann is only the second president in the company’s 28-year history. He was appointed when CAB founder Louis M. “Mick” Colvin retired.

Under Riemann’s leadership, the world’s first branded beef company extended its product line to include CAB brand Prime and Natural, expanded value-added products and established a regional customer service structure.

This year, the company achieved the highest carcass utilization in the program’s history, and the third-highest level of product sales.

Before joining the company in 1998, Riemann was director of beef research and development for Excel Corp., Wichita, Kan. His duties at Excel included development of prepared and fresh beef products. He also worked extensively with food safety technologies and is one of the industry’s leading authorities on beef steam pasteurization.

Riemann’s varied experiences include 15 years of meat science teaching and research in the Food Technology and Science Department at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. A native of Kansas, he is a Kansas State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education, master’s in animal science and doctorate in food science.

Riemann said he and his wife, Nancy, plan to “start living our retirement dream of traveling in our motor home to see more of this beautiful country, and we plan to eventually return to Kansas to be closer to our children.”

The CAB brand is the world’s leading brand of fresh beef. Since 1995, packers have paid producers more than $200 million in value-based grid premiums for cattle accepted for the brand. For more information on CAB products and programs, visit

— release provided by CAB

CSU Study Shows Evidence That Chronic Wasting Disease Spreads Through Saliva, Blood

New Colorado State University (CSU)-led research shows for the first time that chronic wasting disease may spread through saliva and blood of infected deer, which poses new possibilities that the disease may spread by blood-sucking insects or social contact between animals. The study also reinforces that no tissue from an infected animal can be considered free of prions, the disease-causing agent.

The study suggests that chronic wasting disease, also called CWD, may spread by social contact such as grooming among deer in nature and environmental contact. The study, led by Edward A. Hoover, a CSU distinguished professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, also was spearheaded by CSU researcher Candace Mathiason.

The research, released in the Oct. 6 edition of the journal Science, tested the blood, saliva, feces and urine of deer infected with CWD to determine ways the disease may be transmitted from animal to animal, which has remained a mystery to scientists.

“This study shows for the first time that CWD can be passed to deer that come into contact with the blood and saliva of infected deer,” Hoover said.

“Although no instance of CWD transmission to humans has been detected, these results prompt caution regarding exposure to body fluids in prion infections such as CWD. This study also causes us to reconsider a potential role for blood-feeding insects such as mosquitoes and ticks in the transmission of CWD or other prion infections.”

While this 18-month study focused on deer, CWD also affects elk and moose.

“Interactions among deer and elk, especially in high-density situations, intensifies cross-contact among animals,” Hoover said. “This contact includes salivary exchange, which provides potential for CWD transmission. Such things as grooming, licking and nuzzling are important in the social interactions of deer.”

CWD was first discovered in deer in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming by CSU scientists in the 1960s. Related diseases belong to the family of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and include scrapie, which affects sheep, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Scrapie has existed in sheep populations for centuries.

Many mysteries continue to surround how TSEs spread from animal to animal, or animal to human. CWD now has been detected in deer in 14 states and two Canadian provinces. CWD is contagious to a higher degree among deer, elk and moose than other TSEs.

Researchers biopsied tonsils to detect infectious CWD prions, showing that CWD infection could be detected as early as three months after exposure to saliva or blood from an infected deer — a surprising and important finding, Hoover said.

A seven-year, $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease supported the research.

The study represented a collaboration between scientists from several agencies and universities. Additional researchers within the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were Gary Mason, Sheila Hays, Jeanette Hayes-Klug and Davis Seelig, and Terry Spraker, a scientist at the Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Other collaborators were David Osborn, Karl Miller and Robert Warren from the University of Georgia; Sallies Dahmes of WASCO Inc.; Michael Miller and Lisa Wolfe at the Colorado Division of Wildlife; Jennifer Powers and Margaret Wild of the U.S. National Park Service; Glenn Telling at the University of Kentucky; and Christina Sigurdson at the University of Zurich.

— release provided by CSU

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