The agriculture industry has always been concerned about waste. I think it boils down to the fact that as farmers, we are efficiency-minded and economically oriented. We reuse parts of machinery and always have a stash of parts that may or may not have any future value, but we have them if we ever need them. The use of our livestock is the same way. The industry uses as much of the animal as possible. There are many by-products that are just as important to your daily living as the hamburger, steaks, or roasts that you get from the cows farmers raise.  From the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night you have most likely used a by-product from cattle. It could be the deodorant put on in the morning, the hairbrush used to get ready or in the makeup used. It could be in the tires you drove to work on or the antifreeze that keeps your car running smoothly. It could be in the fertilizer you put on your lawn.  Every part of cattle than can be is used! The hide can be made into leather products, the hide trimmings can be used to make fertilizer and glues, and the hide fat can be used to make soaps, candles and animal foods. The inner layer of the skin is used to make cosmetics and collagen products, the tail and inner-ear hair is used to make paint brushes, and the body hair is used for felting. Bone carbon may be used to make ball bearings, and gelatin used to make gummy worms and Jell-O.

By utilizing all the parts of livestock, the industry is cost conscience and resourceful. We provide a steady stream of inputs for the manufacturing process. It is a win-win for the processing plants that gain additional revenue, the manufacturers that have a steady supply of inputs and the farmers who know that their livestock is making life better for consumer – with very little waste.

We are using everything but the moo!

Paula Peterson visits with Pure Nebraska about the importance of beef by-products.