Through the years, there have been many creative methods implemented to talk about the great beef which is raised in Arizona. One of those ways, in the 1950s, was to create a mascot for Arizona beef. Reg Manning, a famous artist best known for his cartooned saguaro cactus with the prominent nose, created a character who fit the bill perfectly for this job. This cartoon character was named Lil’ Dudette, and she had a hearty message to share with everyone: “To keep yourself trim – Eat Beef – Keep Slim!”
In 1955, after using a mannequin version of Lil’ Dudette in shop windows to promote beef, it was decided a live version was needed to help spread the word at larger events like the Arizona State Fair. The Arizona State Cowbelles, a strong organization of women who share information about beef, were on a mission to find the perfect Lil’ Dudette and when a Cowbelle is on a mission (now and then) you better not stand in her way. It sounds like it was an easy decision as Connie Cook from Willcox fit the description wonderfully. The Cowbelles are even quoted as saying, “Connie looks exactly like Reg Manning’s famous character, Lil’ Dudette ‘ought to look.” Connie’s family was also deeply rooted in Arizona ranch history having been in the cattle business in Willcox since 1893. It was a perfect fit.
Lil’ Dudette, aka Connie, was a hit! She made appearances at the Arizona State Fair that year and drew a crowd. It is reported in the November 1955 issue of the Arizona Cattlelog that 10,000 “7 Ways for 7 Days” beef-recipe folders were given away and nearly 30,000 people entered into a drawing to win 25o pounds of choice beef donated by the Beef Council. In the next year, it was reported that there was a film was produced entitled, “Lil’ Dudette,” which was entered in the Beef Promotion Contest at the American National Cattlemen’s convention and it won first prize!
We can’t say Lil’ Dudette was too far off when she sang out her slogan about eating beef to keep slim. Significant research shows that people looking to lose or maintain a healthy weight, support a healthy metabolism and/or age more vibrantly may benefit from consuming a balanced amount of high-quality protein, within calorie goals. Luckily for us, we have a few more tools than Lil’ Dudette did to help people achieve these goals. One of those tools being the 30 Day Protein Challenge which is a fun, step-by-step way to help you get an optimal amount of protein throughout your day. Significant research shows that some people can lose and/or maintain a healthy weight, support a healthy metabolism, and age more vibrantly when they consume more high-quality protein, within calorie goals. Interested? Check it out here.
You’re going to be meeting a lot of people coming up so we’d thought we’d start off with the staff of the Arizona Beef Council.
We, Lauren Scheller, Tiffany Selchow, and Bas Aja, execute the plans put into place each year by the Council’s board of cattlemen and women, cattle feeders and dairymen. Our goal is to let people know how great beef is and we do that by sharing the facts and bringing a little sparkle to the table (really there isn’t much you have to add to table if it’s already set with steaks).
Lauren is a beef-loving, car racing enthusiast, who enjoys making things pretty with calligraphy and bows. She was raised on her family’s beef cattle ranch in California and has adapted to and embraced all things Arizona ranging from hiking Camelback Mountain to enjoying delicious tacos across the state. On behalf of Arizona’s ranchers, Lauren works with chefs, retailers (aka where you can buy beef in the meat case), and the media to communicate about all things beef.
I, Tiffany, am a recently married, somewhat typical millennial, who can cook a mean steak but is working to increase her efficiency in the kitchen. Finding a new recipe on Pinterest
and trying it out on my husband, who is patient and eats whatever is put in front of him, is a newly found interest. My favorite project here at the Beef Council is exploring our state, one school and ranch at a time. Some of my time is spent in culinary and agriculture classrooms doing fun things like beef cooking demos, while a lot of time is spent online, sharing yummy info about beef.
We are all here as a resource to YOU! When you have a question about beef pop up, we want you ask us. See that link in the top right hand corner? It’s your direct connection to us. Give us a shout whenever a beefy question pops into your mind!
Oh look, another blog for you to read on the interwebs! So the question begs to be asked, why take more of your time to cruise through our blog? Because this is where the story of Arizona beef and the ranchers and farmers who make it possible is told. It is a place to learn about a new cut of beef which may have looked intimidating at the meat case, but after reading our blog post will leave you feeling confident and ready to tackle something new. The list could go on and on!
So I’ll try to keep this from reading like your 2nd-grade current events report, but it only makes sense to give you the background of the Arizona Beef Council before we head off on our journey through Arizona and the great beef it has to offer.
The jury is out on when the Arizona Beef Council was officially founded (we have conflicting reports which point to 1955 and shortly after to 1956), but one thing is certain: the goal of this organization was and is to promote and educate about the incredible beef product Arizona ranchers work so hard to produce.
This sounds like an easy task, but once you start to break it down, one realizes there are many ways to accomplish this goal and vast amount of beef things to talk about. Some of the fun projects through the years have included TV and radio commercials which were aired during numerous notable shows including Bob Crosby, Edgar Bergen, Bing Crosby and Danny Thomas back in 1959. Another great project which is still functioning currently is providing money to culinary instructors to purchase and use beef in their classrooms. If you are currently an agriculture or culinary teacher and would like more info about this program and how you can get involved, check out our website. Lil’ Dudette (pictured) was another source of promotion. Her obvious appeal to the masses and tag line “To keep yourself trim, Eat beef, Keep slim” earned a large audience of receptive beef eaters. She hung out (in mannequin form) in stores and the state fair.
Check back soon. We will have an exclusive on the folks behind the scenes and then we’ll really get into the meat of this blog. Pun intended!