Meet Your Rancher: Cassie Lyman

Photo by Hazel Lights Photography

Name and Ranch Name: Cassie Lyman, Lyman Ranches

Where are you located: Gisela and Roosevelt Lake, Arizona

Q. Tell us about yourself, your family and about your ranch:

A. I am a first-generation agriculturalist (in other words, I am the first in my family to be a farmer or rancher). I grew up a city kid even though my family had what most would consider a hobby farm. We raised typical backyard farm animals and participated in 4-H and FFA. I showed rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, sheep, steers, and horses. I have been riding horses since my mom was pregnant with me, so I like to say before I was born. Growing up, I loved competing with my horses in breed association horse shows, 4-H competitions, and high school rodeos. I always wanted to be a real cowgirl and dreamt of one day marrying a real cowboy.

My dream came true just after high school when I married my husband Jared, a sixth-generation cattle rancher. We have been married for 18 years and have four boys: Elias 14, Haskin 11, Tate 8, and Pratt 5. They all love to ride horses and help at the ranch, and we hope they will carry on our family legacy as 7th generation cattle ranchers. Of course, I started out all my boys on horses the same way my mom did (while they were in my belly), then hanging on behind me, and as soon as my kids can reach the stirrup of a kids saddle, they take the reins and ride their horse all by themselves.

Photo by Hazel Lights Photography

A little more about our ranch: We have a cow-calf cattle ranch on the north shore of Roosevelt Lake in Arizona and co-own and operate an additional ranch with my husband’s parents in Gisela, Arizona. Between the two ranches (Hat Ranch and Bar L Bar Ranch), we run just over 300 head of cattle on over 50,000 acres of public land. We raise commercial Angus-cross cattle (Angus breed because that is what the market desires and a touch of Brahman breed because of its adaptability to the Arizona desert environment our cattle forage in). We sell our calves to the commercial market, which means the beef you buy in the grocery store or eat at your favorite fast-food restaurant starts at a ranch like mine. We also direct-sell beef to consumers by the individual cut or by whole, half, and/or quarter beef. With an increase in people wanting to know where their food comes from (how it was raised and making the connection to their food), we too are growing in the number of beef we raise for consumers from start to finish right on our ranch.

Photo by Hazel Lights Photography

Q. What is the best part about ranch life? What are the struggles?

A. I really have a hard time picking favorite things and best parts, so I will narrow it down to my top favorites. Family makes the top. Getting to be with and work alongside my family every day is one of the best parts. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say there are “those days.” There is a saying in the cattle community, “Sorry for what I said, we were working cattle.” So yes, there are days when you may need to go to town for “groceries,” aka “a minute away,” but we all have those days in every profession. It truly is a blessing to get to help each other out every day, to depend on one another, knowing the inside and out of the work stress of your spouse. The opportunity to be a team in your home life and work life, as one and the same, is irreplaceable. The whole family, kids, and parents, working together toward the same goal and learning together along the way is priceless.

Another favorite of ranch life is the opportunity it provides to teach my children to have a strong work ethic. Animals are depending on us, come rain or shine, school activities, or sports to provide for them. My kids know that even when we have a late-night or a holiday, chores still need to be done. They are taught to work and work hard until the job is done no matter what, something our society is missing these days.

Photo by Hazel Lights Photography

Another great thing about ranch life is the time spent outdoors. Our whole family loves the outdoors, and yes, ranch life offers a lot of that. A long day riding my horse under the big blue sky, as large fluffy clouds dance across the horizon, with my four boys horseback following me, while we gather cattle from the mountain range, is sometimes surreal. I often pinch myself to remember I’m not dreaming. I consider myself so very lucky. I love the opportunity we have to be outdoors, caring for the land and for God’s creations. To watch a calf be born and trying to take his first steps, their cute noses, and soft coat. These top my “best part of ranch life” list too.

Though struggles, there are many. The top would be government regulations and consumer misinformation. As time goes on, these two struggles are getting harder and harder and are forcing many production agriculture operations out of business.

Q. In addition to ranch and mom life, in what other things are you involved?

A. I wear many hats, and I am not just an ordinary mom, I guess (even though I really think I am). Not only do I do routine household chores, but also bake from scratch, garden, and do canning or home food preservation. From my ranch Facebook page, many know I am completely involved in the day to day operations of the ranch from fixing fence and helping calve to being horseback gathering cattle and even hauling calves.

Other activities I give a lot of time to include:

  • PTO
  • 4-H project leader
  • Volunteer to help youth with projects including livestock, horse, working ranch horse, cooking, sewing, canning, robotics, photography, public speaking, S.T.E.A.M., shooting sports, leadership and more
  • Cattle community organizations such as my county and state cattle growers’ associations. I’ve served as Gila County Farm Bureau President and served on the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation State board.
  • Volunteer with the Arizona Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom
  • Serve on the Northern Gila County Fair board
  • Young Women’s President of the Tonto Basin Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Q. Why do you commit so many hours to volunteer in your community?

A. I have thought about this question time and time again, and I never feel I have a right answer. I always say, “I don’t know, I just do.” As I have really taken the time to ponder, it is because serving makes me happy! Putting someone else’s needs before my own, helping to make a difference, seeing the joy of others because of the time I was willing to give are the reasons why! As a selfish reason, maybe validation. I absolutely love inspiring youth and advocating for agriculture. The warm fuzzy I get inside when someone says thank you, couldn’t have done this without you, is a fantastic feeling. When someone asks me where I find the time to do what I do, I tell them you make time for the things you love. Investing your time in people is time well spent. And anything worth having takes hard work!

Photo by Hazel Lights Photography

Q. What would you like to share with someone who is not familiar with raising cattle?

A. As cattle ranchers, my family and I truly care for the land and natural resources. John James Audubon once said, “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his father but borrowed from his children.” We want to pass our ranch(es) and our ranching legacy down to future generations, to see our grandchildren and even great-grandchildren and on, productively and sustainably raising cattle on the same land we raised cattle on. We study the land in cooperation with the University of Arizona and the U.S. Forest Service collecting data and analyzing forage trends. We provide water for wildlife. There are significant misconceptions around western cattle ranching and grazing on public lands. It is essential that if people have questions, they ask a real rancher, visit the ranch and get first-hand information. It seems agriculture is always under attack, but don’t fall for the latest headline getting media attention or the product labeling jargon. Know your farmers or ranchers, and you’ll know your food. Stop fighting against agriculture and start making friends in agriculture because without them, who will feed you and your family?

Q. If you could describe in one word the life of a rancher, what would it be?

A. I don’t do good with picking just one, and as I weigh the good days with the stressful days, the words I come up with seem to cross each other out. Things I considered are the beauty of riding under an indescribable Arizona summer sunset and still cattle ranching like the old-time western movies (wide open spaces, riding horseback to gather cattle, working as a family, and homemade meals together at the table). This is then compared to the fall of the cattle market prices, drought-stricken parched land or losing your best mother cow because she was torn to pieces by a reintroduced protected species called a Mexican Gray Wolf (this is reality for many of our ranching family friends Northeast of us). The hard work, blood sweat and tears and, the joy of summer rains, and a good calf crop. The highs are high, but the lows are low, so my one word would be: ineffable!

Photo by Hazel Lights Photography

Q. Lastly and of course, most importantly, what is your favorite cut of beef, and how do you like to prepare it?

A. I am going to pick Lyman Ranches #ranchraisedbeef Rib Steak. Bring steak to room temperature. Heat BBQ grill to high heat, liberally apply (course ground) salt and pepper each side of steak, sear each side, reduce heat to low and cook till internal temp is at least 130⁰ but no more than 145⁰ (needs to be pink still). Garlic butter sauce or melting blue cheese crumble on top to serve! 

This blog post is made possible by the generous support of the Arizona Cattle Industry Research and Education Foundation.

Beef Stroganoff by Brooke Appetit

Phoenix temps dropped below 80 so naturally I pull out all the creamy, cozy, fall recipes I have. Beef Stroganoff is my go to! It’s a dinner that has been around for ages but this traditional dish is perfect for the change in season. Tender strips of beef with a creamy seasoned mushroom sauce, finished off over fluffy egg noodles.  Hands down I could not think of a better November meal than this cozy dish. I LOVE this recipe. Best part? It’s SO easy. It’s my husband’s favorite dish that I make, so you can usually find it on my fall night weekly rotation! Make this soon and enjoy it…..preferably with extra beef and sauce too. Thanks for stopping by!

-XOXO, Brooke Appetit

Ingredients

½ lb white mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
2 pounds sirloin steak (sliced in strips ¼  to ½ inch thick)
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup sherry
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can beef consommé
¾ cup sour cream

Method

  • Sauté mushrooms, onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter on medium – high heat for 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent, remove from skillet.
  • Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to skillet and brown meat. (Don’t overcrowd your pan) While meat is browning season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion salt and paprika.
  • Sprinkle flour, cook for 30 seconds
  • Add tomato paste, cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add sherry, let simmer until reduced by half then add beef consommé.
  • Simmer for 1 ¼ hours or until the beef is tender.
  • Add sour cream and combine, add sautéed onions, mushrooms and garlic.
  • Serve hot over egg noodles and garnish with parsley!

A YouTube campaign promoting beef’s great taste and thoughtful animal care generated 1,480,876 video views among Arizona consumers this spring and summer. Meanwhile, the campaign’s Google Search Advertising component generated nearly 8,000 clicks at a click-through rate that was much higher than average.

The checkoff-funded campaign was conducted by the Arizona Beef Council through a grant provided by the Iowa Beef Industry Council. ABC worked with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) team to help plan, execute and monitor the digital campaign, allowing it to utilize the full amount of the grant to reach target consumers, rather than paying advertising agency fees. NCBA, a beef checkoff contractor, provides this service free-of-charge to state beef councils.

Not only did the campaign successfully reach numerous Arizona consumers in the targeted 18-44 age range, but it did so at an exceptionally low cost. The YouTube cost per video view (CPV) was $.02, significantly below the industry average of $.04-.05 per view. The video view rate was 42 percent, which was much higher than the industry average of 30-35 percent.

The Google Search campaign Cost per Click was $.40, with a Clickthrough Rate (CTR) of 7.42 percent. The industry average CTR rate for similar ads is 3-4 percent.

“We were thrilled with both the reach and the cost effectiveness of this campaign,” said Mary Jo Rideout, ABC chair. “Beef messages were regularly touching Arizona consumers during this five-month effort.”

The video campaign on YouTube included bumper ads with a “Hungry for Beef” theme that were 6-seconds long and ran uninterrupted. These videos were viewed about 880,000 times at a cost per view of about 4/10ths of a penny each. These short ads help drive brand awareness and extend reach. Longer 15 and 30 second ads with the “Nicely Done” theme were viewed more than 300,000 times.

Ads with a Rethink the Ranch theme had nearly 300,000 views at an average CPV of $.02. The Google Search campaign generated an average search position of 1.9, meaning that on average Arizona campaign ads were showing up in either the first or second spot in Google search results.

“This campaign demonstrates that using YouTube and Google to reach today’s millennial consumer makes sense,” said Janine Moore, Iowa Beef Industry Council Chairmen. “We appreciated the chance to work with the Arizona Beef Council to deliver beef messages to a huge number of consumers in a high population area.”

For more information visit the Arizona Beef Council website at www.arizonabeef.org.

HIIT for Heart

This post was written by Celia Dubauskas. Celia is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University, studying Nutrition Communication. This spring, she has been an intern for Arizona Beef Council, creating written and social content for our platforms. Celia is an experienced fitness professional and is certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Her passion for fitness has fueled her interest in nutrition and learning more about health and diet culture.

Did you know the American Heart Association certifies eight cuts of beef as part of a heart-healthy diet? Give Celia’s HIIT for Heart workout a try and then refuel with some delicious and nutritious beef to get that strong, healthy heart you’ve always wanted (and need!).

There is no doubt that exercise is good for both our physical health and mental well-being.  Consistent exercise routines create habit and intention, increasing our cardiovascular health and ensuring proper dopamine levels. We set goals, and when we achieve them, we grow in confidence and strength.  Exercise makes us happy! 

So why don’t we do more?

One of the biggest challenges we face today is time.  Never have Americans been so busy.  We all get 24 hours in a day, but how we choose to spend that time varies person to person.  To many, it seems impossible to reach their fitness goals because there is no time to get to the gym or squeeze in a workout.  Some do not have the financial means to have a gym membership or invest in equipment. 

What if all you needed was to move your body for 20 minutes?  Can you make the time?  Sure you can!

Surely, it cannot be that easy.  But yes, it can! Interval training is the latest and greatest fitness trend.  By rapidly increasing your heart rate with a quick rest in between each exercise, you can burn more calories than a traditional weight and cardio session combined.  HIIT training has been proven to blast fat and improve heart health.

All you need is 20 minutes.

Here is a quick 20 minute HIIT workout you can do in the comfort of your own home or outside in the sun.  These five exercises will be performed for 30 seconds followed by a 30 second rest.  Repeat 4 times and there is your 20-minute fat-blasting workout.

Jumping Squats

Butt Kickers

Jumping Lunges

Push Ups

Mountain Climbers

30 Second Exercise

30 Second Rest

5 Exercises

Repeat 4x

Nourish your body with movement, and respect it for all that it allows you to do!  HIIT for happiness and HIIT for heart!

By Celia Dubauskas

It’s lunch time at Pinal Feeding Co, and outside of an office window you can hear the quick patter of feet rush towards the door.  “Dad, I found an ear tag!”  These are the feet of the Aja children, as they race towards the door to proudly show off their discovery.  Bass Aja, the manager of Pinal Feeding Co, picks up Andy, 5, and Perry, 3, to see the ear tag they found in the feed yard.  Anna Aja follows close behind, with a smile on her face, bearing lunch for her kids. 

Perry (left) and Andy (right) bring friend to visit the feed yard. Photo by Celia Dubauskas.

I took a trip to Pinal Feeding Co to meet with Bass and Anna about the feed yard, yes, but also to immerse myself into an agricultural environment.  I grew up in an urban-suburban environment, and I wanted to get a better understanding of what it means to grow up in agriculture and the values it instills in kids.

I began my visit with a personal tour by Bass, himself, across the feed yard.  I was amazed by how vast the yard was.  Thousands of cows were divided by age, size, and health into different pens with room to eat, play, and grow.  Bass explained to me the process of raising and selling cattle and how hard each employee at the yard works to ensure optimal health and proper care of each animal.  We finished our tour at the mill, where corn is steamed and blended with the grass, alfalfa, and other nutrients that make up the feed distributed to the cattle.  “Is it weird to say that it smells good?”  I asked Bass as we passed through the mill.

Freshly steamed and ground corn.  Photo by Celia Dubauskas.

We headed back to the office, where Anna and the kids had just arrived.  Bass took the kids out to see the cattle, while Anna and I headed inside to discuss life in agriculture and family values.  I wanted to know what it means to grow up in agriculture and what core values Bass and Anna hope to instill in their children, through exposure to the yard. 

Anna and Bass Aja with kids Andy, 5, and Perry, 3.  Not pictured is their oldest son Bass Jr., 7. Photo by Celia Dubauskas.

“People in agriculture are salt of the earth people.  They are the best kind of people to grow up around:  hardworking and humble.”  I certainly found this to be true.  The people I had met at Pinal were not only humble, but they were proud about the work that they do.  They care for the animals, and they care about putting nutrient-rich food on families’ plates. 

Anna grew up on a ranch and explained to me that she grew up understanding what went on her plate and what contributed to a healthy diet.  “We were raising our own food, so I knew where it came from.  As a kid, did I eat Pop Tarts once in a while?  Sure.  But I grew up understanding that food is about much more than just taste.  It is about life.”  One of the major values that Anna hopes to instill in her kids is value of the life cycle.  “That is one advantage that kids in agriculture have: a greater understanding of life and death.  My kids understand that things die.  Understanding the life cycle has given them a greater respect for life at such a young age. “

When Bass returned with the kids, he added that he hopes to teach his kids integrity through the work that he does.  “The kids need to see the respect I have for my team.  It is so important to follow through with your word and mean what you say.  We are a family here.”

Bass and Anna both agree that hard work is a value they both learned from agriculture.  “There is a major difference between physical hard work and mental hard work,” explained Bass.  “You can experience exhaustion from both.  There is value in understanding both.” 

Bass and Anna were raised in different agricultural settings, but the couple agrees that raising kids in agriculture teaches hard work, integrity, and humility. “It keeps them grounded.”

Family is a core value for the Aja couple.  Photo by Celia Dubauskas.

This post was written by Celia Dubauskas. Celia is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University, studying Nutrition Communication. This spring, she has been an intern for Arizona Beef Council, creating written and social content for our platforms. Celia is an experienced fitness professional and is certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Her passion for fitness has fueled her interest in nutrition and learning more about health and diet culture. Keep on eye out for upcoming posts!

Over the past decade, there has been a nationwide focal shift towards health and wellness.  Never has there been such a demand for fitness and nutrition services in the Phoenix valley and state of Arizona.  There are hundreds of health and fitness professionals across the state, but today I talked to Monique Machiz about her journey as a fitness professional and how she came to be voted the 2019 Best Trainer by Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of Our Valley” contest.

Monique is a personal trainer for Tytin Fitness in Tempe, Arizona.  She works out of the wellness center she and her fiancé, Ty Mealey, opened in 2018: Arizona Aesthetics & Wellness.  Their personal training business was originally planted in a small Scottsdale studio, under the name Tytin Fitness in 2016.  The business grew so fast in just two years that the couple wanted to open a bigger second location for their personal training and other health and fitness services to call home.

 “We wanted to open a one-stop-shop for health and fitness.  AZA&W hosts Tytin Fitness personal training, as well as various medical and athletic recovery services.  Clients can come for a training session, followed by an adjustment with Dr. Cory Baker, our chiropractor, or increase the intensity of their training with Wesley Kress’s Breakthrough Performance & Rehab.  Those are just a few of our services.  In the future we would like to house physical therapists, aestheticians, and so many more!”

With the success that Monique has had over the last few years, I wanted to learn more about her professional journey and what got her into the fitness industry.  Monique had played sports her entire life.  She played basketball all the way into college.  After suffering an injury, she was forced to learn different ways to work out.  She began to do a lot of research about exercise and nutrition, and she even put together women’s workout groups at her school to teach her friends how to workout, as well.

After graduating from Whittier College with a B.S. in Kinesiology, Monique obtained her Personal Training Certification because, like many recent graduates, she was not sure exactly what she wanted to do: “I just knew I wanted to help people.”  She began personal training at a corporate gym and instantly fell in love.  She was able to teach people about health and fitness and pursue her passion at the same time.

With seven years of certified personal training, I was excited to hear a bit about Monique’s training and nutrition philosophy. 

“When it comes to nutrition, people tend to under eat.  There are so many preconceived notions that carbohydrates are the enemy and that you should eat low fat.  Food is 80% of the results we make in the gym.  Food is our friend.  Finding that overall balanced lifestyle is so important for my clients.  I try to stress an 80/20 approach.  It is important to be eating clean, whole foods most of the time, but food is also meant to be enjoyed.”

For her own personal diet, Monique likes to follow a higher fat approach.  “I have an endomorphic body type, so I perform well on a higher fat diet.  Beef is one of the predominant meats that I eat.  I have an easier time building muscle when I incorporate red meat into my diet.”  Not only does Monique train for overall health, she also competes in figure competitions.  She stressed to me the importance of nutrient timing and why she loves red meat for workout recovery.  “When it comes to making a meal plan, I love putting red meat post-workout.  Red meat is slower digesting, and because of the micronutrients and high creatine content, red meat can be awesome for recovery and for rebuilding the muscle.” While old-school bodybuilders tend to stress lean meats and fish, Monique believes red meat is a great food to incorporate in the diet without having to take a bunch of supplements.

Monique loves the bodybuilding style of training, as it is one of her hobbies, amidst her busy schedule.  But she understands most people are interested in fitness to lead a healthy lifestyle.  For many of her clients, she incorporates bodybuilding movements with a functional style of training. “I mix a little bit of both styles into my training. We need to make sure the body is moving well and functional for the client’s lifestyle.” 

To wrap up our interview, I asked Monique what she thinks the general public should know when navigating health and fitness: “Find what works for you.  It’s all about trial and error.  Try something and give it a month.  Don’t be afraid to mix things up, and don’t be afraid to research what you’re putting into your body.  Just because someone says something is healthy doesn’t mean it is.  Fitness is not a one-size-its-all.” 

To learn more about Monique Machiz, you can visit her social media and the Arizona Aesthetics & Wellness website.

Arizona Aesthetics & Wellness

Instagram: Monique Machiz


This post was written by Celia Dubauskas. Celia is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University, studying Nutrition Communication. This spring, she has been an intern for Arizona Beef Council, creating written and social content for our platforms. Celia is an experienced fitness professional and is certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Her passion for fitness has fueled her interest in nutrition and learning more about health and diet culture. Keep on eye out for upcoming posts!

For Arizona’s ranching families, the land is not just where they raise cattle; it’s also where they raise their families. They have a personal stake in the quality of their environment – so they are always looking for new ways to improve the air, water and land on and near their property. 


Families and ranching go hand in hand. 98% of farms and ranches in the United States are family owned and operated and many of those are passed from generation to generation. The land isn’t just where ranchers raise cattle, but where they raise their families, provide open space and create wildlife habitat.

In fact, today’s cattlemen are significantly more environmentally sustainable than they were 30 years ago. A study by Washington State University in 2007 found that today’s farmers and ranchers raise 13% more beef from 30% fewer cattle. When compared with beef production in 1977, each pound of beef produced today:

  • Produces 16% less carbon emissions
  • Takes 33% less land
  • Requires 12% less water

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to beef sustainability. Rather, farmers and ranchers balance the resources they have available to meet the goals of their operation: responsibly raise cattle, take care of the land, provide for their families, and produce food for others. Rainfall amounts, temperatures, soil conditions, and vegetation are just a few of the regional geographic variables that affect how beef farmers and ranchers sustainably manage their operations.

Arizonans rely on farming and ranching families to manage and maintain more than 26 million acres of land in Arizona. A healthy aspect of sustainable beef production involves grazing cattle on U.S. rangelands, about 85 percent of which are unsuitable for crops. Raising cattle on this land contributes to the ecosystems by converting forages humans cannot eat into a nutrient-rich food humans can eat — beef.

Leaning Towards Leaner

It is not a surprise to hear that dietary preferences are changing towards leaner meats. With more and more information available regarding health and nutrition, consumers have become more concerned with their health and what they consume. While it is easy to recognize changes in product development with labels shouting “fat free,” “zero-sugar added,” and “low calorie food,” we do not usually think about how farming and ranching techniques have changed over time to meet demands for “healthier” options. How are ranchers and growers keeping up with the demand?

Leaning Out

The 1980’s saw a shift in focus towards nutrition and diet in America. In 1977, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs recommended a reduction in consumption of high fat foods and animal fat. In 1980, the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans was published, sparking many changes in the consumer marketplace. The National Consumer Retail Beef Study was funded by members of the beef community in 1986 to address consumer issues with beef. The study established that the change in consumer preference towards leaner cuts was driven by dietary recommendations and increased nutritional knowledge.

In 1988, the Beef Checkoff Program was created. This program collects $1 per head on the sale of live cattle, then the Beef Checkoff funds research and education. The first major research design funded by the National Beef Checkoff Program was the National Beef Market Basket Survey. This study brought industry leaders to the realization that most animal fat was being removed at the processing level, due to consumer demand. For this reason, efforts were made to reduce fat produced to reduce overall waste while maintaining high quality, taste and tenderness. The Value-Based Marketing Task Force then initiated a “War on Fat” campaign to reduce excess fat produced.

Production Changes

To reduce the production of fat while maintaining high quality beef, farmers and ranchers worked to produce leaner animals. Leaner beef results primarily from a change in breeding and feeding practices. Cattle are bred to enhance desirable traits, such as leaner animals. Feeding practices have improved due to research on ration and nutrition to optimize cattle health. While much of lean beef relies on specific genetics and raising of cattle, farmers and ranchers commit to and care for their land, stewardship practices that ensure sustainability for the land, and their cattle.

Photo by Roxanne Knight

Leaner beef results primarily from a change in breeding and feeding practices.

Lean Beef Options

A 3.5 ounce serving of beef qualifies as “lean” by the USDA, if it contains:

  • 4.5 grams of less of saturated fat
  • 10 grams or less of total fat
  • less than 95 mg of cholesterol

There are many cuts of beef that qualify as lean, including 17 of the 25 most popular cuts of beef, like Top Sirloin, Skirt Steak, and the Tenderloin.

Many lean cuts of beef are the most popular like the Top Sirloin, Skirt Steak, and the Tenderloin.

Naturally nutrient-rich, beef is an optimal choice for protein because it contains all nine essential amino-acids. Because the human body cannot make these building blocks, they must be obtained from another source: protein. Registered Dietitian Caitlin Mondellli says, “Beef is a healthy protein source that can fit into an everyday diet. We tend to think of beef in a high calorie context, but more than 60% of retail cuts are considered lean.” Cailtin adds cuts of beef into her diet weekly. Suggesting that consumers balance their plates with grains and vegetables, “I select leaner cuts, so I can add cheese or other fat sources to my plate. All cuts of meat can fit, you just have to create that balance.” With so many lean beef options, consumers do not have to sacrifice delicious to live a leaner life.


This post was written by Celia Dubauskas. Celia is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University, studying Nutrition Communication. This spring, she has been an intern for Arizona Beef Council, creating written and social content for our platforms. Celia is an experienced fitness professional and is certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Her passion for fitness has fueled her interest in nutrition and learning more about health and diet culture. Keep on eye out for upcoming posts!

Green beer and corned beef day is just around the corner! While you don’t need a recipe for the beer, we can help with the directions on the corned beef. Plus ideas for breakfast and lunch the next day! Bonus: A perfect beef-y brunch drink is included in our recipe round up!

Slow-Cooked Corned Beef in Beer with Red Currant-Mustard Sauce

Let your slow cooker do all the work for this complete meal of beer-braised Corned Beef with fresh cabbage and red potatoes. It’s a great dish for your next celebration.

Dijon-Glazed Corned Beef with Savory Cabbage and Red Potatoes

While Corned Beef braises in the oven, cabbage wedges and potatoes are roasted for a full meal. A bonus recipe for the leftovers is included too!

Corned Beef Brisket with Roasted Vegetables and Lemon-Mustard Sauce

Cook once, dine twice. Enjoy Corned Beef Brisket with roasted carrots, parsnips, cabbage and a lemony sauce tonight, then spin the leftovers into a savory salad tomorrow.

Bloody Bull

Try this brunch favorite with a depth of flavor only beef can provide. Roasted Beef Stock is the secret ingredient to this one of a kind Bloody Mary. Garnish with a beef slider, beef meatball, or whatever you can dream up.

Corned Beef Hash

Tied with the Reuben for the ultimate expression of Corned Beef. Here it’s diced, skillet-cooked with cubed potatoes and thinly sliced leeks, and ideally topped with an egg.

Classic Beef Reuben Sandwich

Try this deli classic for lunch or dinner today. Thinly sliced deli Corned Beef or Pastrami is sandwiched between rye bread with sauerkraut and a tangy home-made dressing.

All photos courtesy of BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

What do footballs, lipstick, charcoal, paint, and wallpaper have in common? They are all important items we use in our lives and they all come from cattle.

These guys, they are more than just beef! Photo by Dan Bell.

Wait, what? Yup, you heard us! Those items all contain an ingredient from cattle which we call a by-product. The main reason we raise cattle is for the delicious beef they produce. What is left over is called a byproduct. While the word byproduct might sound like something that isn’t useful, don’t let the word deceive you. These items are extremely important to many of the everyday items you use at home.

You can think of it as a recipe. Just like you have a recipe to make, let’s say, meatloaf, there is a recipe to make lipstick, or footballs, or paint. The recipe provides you the ingredient list and the steps to get you to the end product. The byproducts from beef are one of those ingredients on the list.

Just like this Summertime Meat Loaf has a recipe so do other products!
Photo and recipe courtesy of BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

When we harvest a beef animal, about 60% of that animal becomes beef. The remaining 40% includes things like skin, fat, bones, tendons, organs, etc. Here is where byproducts become especially important. We can’t waste half an animal! But we can use those items in inventive and innovative ways to help make our lives easier.

An obvious byproduct is leather. It comes from the cow’s hide. Cowhides are an important part of most of America’s popular sports. One cowhide can make 12 basketballs OR 144 baseballs OR 20 footballs OR 18 volleyballs OR 18 soccer balls OR 12 baseball gloves.

Gelatin is another great example of a beef byproduct. It comes from connective tissue and is a staple ingredient in anything that jiggles or has that well known springy consistency. Hello Jello and gummy bears! Marshmallows and gum are two other products which contain gelatin.

Photo from BBC News.

It’s not just yummy products which contain cattle byproducts. Many important medical items also contain these useful items. Ointments for burns and first aid creams use byproducts as an ingredient along with extremely important antirejection drugs, which are used when someone has a heart, liver, or other organ transplants. The sticky part on bandages can be made from the fatty acid.

Photo by Cattle Empire‘s blog on cattle byproducts.

Other items which contain beef byproducts are insulin, dog food, rawhide bones, laundry pre-treatment, bone china, toilet paper (to make it soft), glue, dish soap, candles, film, crayons, paintbrushes, printing ink, nail polish remover, deodorants, antifreeze, hydraulic brake fluid, car wax, highways, tires, and so much more!

Add this to the list of reasons why cattle are amazing animals. They take sunlight which was used by plants we cannot eat and turn it into delicious and nutritious beef and all of these things we use to help make life easier. Thank goodness for cows!

Graphic by Cattle Tales.