Arizona Team Beef: Cami Cheatham Schlappy

Arizona Team Beef member Cami Schlappy is a mom, rancher, equestrienne, and fifth generation Arizonan. Meet Cami:

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Arizona Beef: What are your favorite ways to live a healthy, active lifestyle?

Cami: Having a toddler at home means I rarely sit down. My daughter, Celine, and I are always on the move. We are outside a lot to explore nature, spend time with our animals, and enjoy the country life.

My way of exercising is riding my horses. Keeping them in shape requires riding them at a walk, trot, and lope to keep their muscles toned. In doing so, I’m toning my muscles and building my endurance and fitness level. This is really great for my core and postural muscles and it really works out my legs. I’ve gone back to team roping with my dad, Foster Cheatham. This month I started back barrel racing. I enjoy competing and it helps motivate me to continue my fitness journey. If I’m in better condition, I can ride at a higher level and my horses will perform better. More importantly, if I’m healthier, I can spend more quality time with my family and be a better example for my daughter.

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How does beef help fuel your active lifestyle?

Lean cuts of beef, using marinades, slow cooking methods like crockpots, and soups have really helped me shed excess weight. I can still eat the beef I enjoy while loading up on vegetables by eating meals like beef and broccoli, fajitas, albondigas (meatball and veggie soup), loaded beef stew, and steak strips over salad. The beef gives me energy and the essential nutrients, including protein, I need to build muscles.

Did Team Beef inspire you to get active/healthy again?

Thanks to Arizona Team Beef and Million Mile Month a year ago April, I lost all my pregnancy weight and then some. I’m down six pant sizes and have more energy than before. The April 2016 Million Mile Month and Team Beef motivated me to get moving and to log my exercise. That led me to buy a FitBit and continuing to exercise after the Million Mile Month promotion was over. I started riding my horses more and returned to team roping and barrel racing. I now try and ride at least five days a week and be active every day. My goal is to increase my muscle and physical fitness level and continue to shed excess weight. I use portion control and lean meats to maintain my diet.

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Team roping, a sport included in rodeo, is fashioned after a real-life practice on ranches. For example – sometimes you need to catch cattle to provide doctoring to an animal when corrals are not near.

What is your tie to the Arizona beef community?

My maiden name is Cheatham and my family helped settle the Phoenix area beginning in 1919. We had a five-generation dairy on 51st Avenue and Baseline in Laveen. We milked a registered herd of Holstein cows and grew alfalfa, cotton, and some produce. My family has always been active in the agricultural community: United Dairymen of Arizona, Salt River Project4-H, Arizona State Cowbelles, Project CENTRL, Arizona National Livestock Show, Arizona State Fair, and Maricopa County Fair, to name a few.

I attended the University of Arizona majoring in Animal Science. My Master’s degree focused on the effect of anabolic implants on the live performance, carcass characteristics, and gene expression in long-fed Holstein steers.

Currently, I reside in Santa Cruz county and am active in my local and state Cowbelle organizations. I help in outreach and educational events such as the yearly Ranch and Rodeo Day at our local elementary school, serving steaks to returning troops stationed at Fort Huachuca, getting beef and ranching information out to schools, and volunteering at local events. I enjoy educating the public about the values and benefits of ranching and beef.

My favorite beef meal or cut of beef?

Prime Rib! Prime Rib has been a lifelong favorite. I make it for holidays and special occasions. Other beef favorites? There are so many! A few of my other favorites are grilled rib steaks, my dad’s beef tacos, albondigas (Mexican meatball soup), biscuits and gravy, and slow cooked ribs.

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