The mantra “we can do better” began a legacy for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand in 1978. A group of family ranchers set out to create the world’s first premium brand of beef.

Forty years later, the brand has paved the way for many people and businesses to do better. It has accrued a championship culture of cattle producers, distributor-marketers, restaurateurs and retailers of the brand. Each has a unique story, and one of the shining stars is Ron Rurak, whose journey in the meat business began as a 16-year-old “cleanup kid.”

From wiping barrels clean and polishing the floor, he slowly worked his way up the ladder to where he was paid a dollar for every 1,000 pounds of beef he unloaded. He eventually became a part-time salesman for B&B Market, the first East Coast licensed retailer in the Certified Angus Beef ® program.

Rurak stood behind the brand, and rose through the ranks at a faster clip, learning and seeing things he never thought possible, thanks to opportunities that came with being a part of something bigger and growing.

“Certified Angus Beef made me more than a beef salesman,” Rurak says. “It gave me a purpose. It made my family proud of what I did for a living, because I sold nothing but the best.”

Rurak, now vice president of the first licensed distributor, Oxford Trading Company in Boston, takes pride in the fact that the brand keeps one thing first—the people. With beef raised by ranchers for families across the globe, each sale is a “local transaction” in his mind.

One of his mentors told him, “When you sell the best, it’s never going to come back and haunt you. It’s a one-way trip to the customer.”

A high school education in his hip pocket, a will to work and a love for people, Rurak is now one of the longest-acting representatives of the brand.

“It has given me a future and a working history that I never thought I would have,” he says.