When you think about the end product of beef production, what do comes to mind? A tender, juicy steak —preferably seasoned with no more than salt and pepper and grilled to medium or medium rare?

But there’s a lot more to a finished steer (or heifer, or cull cow) than just the middle meats. There’s ground beef, roasts, brisket — even non-branded items like organs, glands and intestines — being served on dinner tables all over the world tonight.

We can’t talk about this journey through the beef production chain without also pausing to take a look at those non-beef items that come from our herds.

They are the less-thought-about, the byproducts we use every day without even thinking about how they might have started out on our very ranches and feedlots.

Just a few examples are:

• Air filters

• Anti-aging cream

• Boots

• Candles

• Cement

• Chewing gum

• Cosmetics

• Deodorant

• Detergent

• Fertilizer

• Handbags

• Imitation eggs

• Medications

• Pasta

• Paint

• Plastics

• Rubber

• Shampoo and conditioner

• Textiles

That calf you see grazing on wheat pasture right now? He might not only grow up to produce cuts for the Certified Angus Beef® brand, he might also show up in the drugstore or department store!

Beef’s a Trip Archives:

Day 1: Starting at day one

Day 2: Who are these people?

Day 3: Stockholders

Day 4: The cowherd’s purpose

Day 5: Deciding to care

Day 6: Quality focus doesn’t have to skip the middleman

Day 7: Stocking for quality

Day 8: SOLD!

Day 9: What have you done today?

Day 10: Working together to make ‘em better

Day 11: Keep on truckin’

Day 12: Packers want quality

Day 13: The target

Day 14: Packers up close & personal

Day 15: It’s not all about the beef

Day 16: Further processors

Day 17: From here to there–and a lot more

Day 18: He’s on your team

Day 19: Beyond prices, grocery stores uncovered

Day 20: Getting quality in the carts

PS—Holly Spangler is in New York, but her “30 days on a Prairie Farm” series goes on, and so does everybody else’s. Check out the full list on her blog.