Not only is raising beef cattle one of Arizona’s largest agriculture commodities, but it is also the largest area of all American agriculture. And Arizona Beef ranks top when it comes to quality and taste. Of course, this has progressed over the years and our beef producers continue to be ever-vigilant in producing quality beef. 

Beef in Arizona also ranks in the top one or two spots on our agriculture commodity list. Only the dairy industry will rotate in that top spot with beef. Every county in Arizona – all 15 – host cattle ranching in the mix of represented agriculture.

Arizona Farm Bureau works alongside Arizona Beef Council and the Arizona Cattle Growers to ensure a robust beef industry in our state. But the ones that really make is happen are our ranchers, our beef producers.


Our Favorite Facts about cattle and beef are numerous!

  1. Arizona cattle ranches produce enough beef to feed more than 8 million Americans every year. 
  2. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef is an excellent source of protein, supplying more than half of the protein most people need each day.
  3. Beef is a complete, high-quality protein, which means it supplies all the essential amino acids or building blocks of protein, the body needs to build, maintain, and repair body tissue.
  4. To get the same amount of protein found in a 3 oz. serving of lean beef at 150 calories, you would need to eat 236 calories of raw soy tofu cubes, 374 calories of black beans, or 670 calories of peanut butter.
  5. Beef is a nutritional powerhouse. It would take 8 ounces of chicken breast to get the same amount of iron as 3 ounces of beef, and it would take close to 7 times the amount of chicken to get the same amount of zinc as a serving of beef.
  6. A large number of beef cuts meet government guidelines for being lean. 
  7. Regarding Hamburger meat, one steer would equal 720 quarter-pound hamburgers, enough to feed a family of 4 every day for 6 months.
  8. There is more fat marbling in USDA Prime beef, which makes it the most flavorful and tender. It also means that it is higher in fat content. Most of the beef sold in supermarkets is graded USDA Select or USDA Choice.
  9. Regardless of grade, the mineral, protein, and vitamin content are similar.
  10. The U.S. provides 25 percent of the world’s beef, but only has 10 percent of the world’s cattle.
  11. A steer of around 1,150 pounds provides approximately 500 pounds of beef. Most of the remaining weight is salvaged as by-products, enabling us to use around 99% of the animal. 
  12. And speaking of by-products, more than 100 medicines used by humans come from beef cattle. 
  13. There are at least 50 breeds of beef cattle, but fewer than 10 make up most cattle produced. Some major breeds are Angus, Hereford, and Brahman.
  14. One cowhide can produce enough leather to make 20 footballs, 18 soccer balls, 18 volleyballs, or 12 basketballs.
  15. Ruminant animals, cattle have a stomach with four compartments, which allows them to eat feeds like grass and hay which humans cannot eat.
  16. Cattle consume less than 2/10ths of 1% of all water used in the United States.


These facts come from the Arizona Beef Council and our Arizona ranchers. Go to Fill Your Plate to discover those beef producers that will sell you Arizona beef directly. Also check out some great beef recipes from our friends at Arizona Beef Council.