An accomplished business executive and collaborative leader, Rick Cozzitorto takes the helm as Angus Productions Inc. (API) president June 30. He brings decades of experience in livestock marketing, sales and encouraging teams to reach new heights.
Cozzitorto will lead 40 employees at API, the industry-leading communications arm of the American Angus Association in Saint Joseph, Mo. The company operates a multi-faceted media approach to serve quality-minded beef producers nationwide.
“An Angus breeder himself, Rick Cozzitorto understands the great value behind the business breed, and is well suited to provide unrivaled marketing support and opportunities for Association members through API,” says Allen Moczygemba, American Angus Association CEO. “We’re fortunate to benefit from his expertise and look forward to his leadership on the team.”
Over the course of his career, Cozzitorto has been involved in high-level sales and marketing, employee management, livestock publications, and as a young professional, served as an American Angus Association Regional Manager in the West.
Most recently, Cozzitorto served as the executive director for U.S. cattle sales with Merck Animal Health, where he was an effective member of the national leadership team, in charge of recruitment, placement and talent development throughout the organization.
Cozzitorto’s time with Merck Animal Health spanned nearly 12 years, during which he was promoted four times by demonstrating outstanding performance and leadership. He’s led teams to accomplish multi-million dollar sales goals, and has a keen eye for identifying opportunities, establishing partnerships and creating new avenues for business development.
“Building on the experiences I’ve gained so far in my career, the chance to come back to Angus and the breed’s outstanding organization was one I couldn’t pass up,” Cozzitorto says. “The people truly make the business, and some of the best people I know are Angus breeders or are affiliated with the Association.”
Cozzitorto also brings to API significant experience in media sales and livestock publications. His time with the American Angus Association allowed him to see how the organization and API provides brand-building opportunities for Angus breeders.
Also during his career, Cozzitorto was the co-founder and CEO of TC Publishing in Merced, Calif., which produced theCalifornia Cattleman magazine. He was also a former board member of the Livestock Publications Council.
As API president, Cozzitorto will lead a dedicated team of professionals who serve Angus breeders through marketing and advertising services, including sale books, websites, advertising and custom marketing plans. API is also home to Angus Media’s unique range of print, television and digital programs, including the trusted Angus Journal®, the commercial cattleman’s Angus Beef Bulletin, weekly The Angus Report on RFD-TV and the popular documentary series I Am Angus®.
“The Angus breed has given my family so much over the years, and now it’s my time to give back,” Cozzitorto says. “With the incredible team assembled at API, we will be able to offer our members the best marketing options for their operations — and help keep them in business for generations to come.”
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Cozzitorto earned a bachelor’s of science in animal science and industry, with a focus on business and marketing. His passion for Angus cattle has continued through the years, and he and his family have continued to be involved in the American Angus Association on many levels.
His wife, Melissa, is active in the American Angus Auxiliary and the Kansas Angus Auxiliary. Their daughter, Alexandria, is the current Kansas Angus Queen and has gained much experience through the National Junior Angus Association. The Cozzitorto’s manage an Angus herd on their farm near Lawrence, Kan.
For more information from API and the American Angus Association, visit www.angus.org.