While I was cleaning out my files and trying to scan some of them for safe-keeping, I ran into this wonderful brochure entitled a A Steer’s Not All Steak, which was written by the Beef Industry Council of the National Live Stock and Meat Board decades ago. I am not sure when this brochure was first prepared, but I do remember seeing it in the 1970s.
Why this brochure means so much to me is that I always teach about this concept in ANSC 307 when I talk about the value of by-products so I am constantly reminded about it. Secondly, over the years, I have received many phone calls, letters, and now email requests from people who have this simple question: “I purchased a steer at the local county show, it weighed 1,200 pounds, and when I weighed the retail cuts I received from the processor on the bathroom scales, they weighed 400 pounds. Where is the rest of the steer I bought?” Now I would think that over the years, this concept would be easy to understand that there is more to a steer than simply T-bone steaks, but as the years go by, people who know this are passing on and being replaced with people who do not know this.
Educational workshops such as Beef 101 and Beef 706 have been instrumental in helping those audiences better understand this concept with hands-on demonstrations of the conversion of live cattle to carcasses and cuts. We now use more cut-out value exercises in courses such as ANSC 307 and ANSC 437 to help students know more about this concept. Nevertheless, cattle producers will still walk by the retail counter and complain about how high T-bone steaks are compared to the calves they just sold at the auction barn. Do I have a great brochure for them to read!