Monday, May 28, 2012

the load out chutes in the morning fog

Cattle marketing was the biggest emphasis of our 6th day in Australia. We started our day at the Wagga Wagga sale barn, which in my opinion, was pretty dang cool or bang on as the Aussies say. Their ability to sort cattle and keep the sale moving is amazing. It is a sale barn that runs 3000 head of cattle through on a Monday, and 30,000 head of sheep on a Thursday. They do not have the auctioneer chant that we have in the states. Then a short drive across the street we saw our second abattoir, a Cargill joint venture with the Teys brothers, which was a pretty American way of doing things.  Stopped for dinner in Temora, and then continued to the Jindalee feedlot which is owned by the Cargill joint venture with the Teys  brothers as well. it was nice to see that they use HGP and feed grain because most ofnourbtrip we have heard about a lot of grass fed beef. Unfortunately since all the animal welfare controversy we couldn't snap many shots of the plant and feedlot, but still some of e coolest stops especially the sale yard, hard to describe how cool that was. We are getting ready for a night out in Wagga Wagga I ll let you know about that one tomorrow. So...... Good Morning America Pake

First timers

merino wool
The Rock
Today started with some first experiences for Lot of us. we visited the Trigger Vale Genetics sheep farm. Their flock consists of 2500 head of merino and white faced suffolks. It was the first time most of us if not all of us had seen a merino flock and you can just the quality of wool sitting on their on back. Even tho sheep isnt my forte it is interesting to see where the sheep industry stands and where it sis going. We have always talked about this merinos breed and their wool in class but it was a little cool to actually see it I person. One of the most interesting stops so far has been the emu farm. I have seen emus at the zoo but to actually see them in a production setting was pretty cool.  I will put a picture below but the view from this emu farm was amazing and is the namesake for the town close by. We rounded out the day at Spry Shorthorns. We looked at their stock, and they had a BBQ for us too. It was interesting to see their herd mainly because is purebred operation but they produce for the commercial producer. In the US we have the appendix program so it is all just a little different.  We made it to the hotel in Wagga Wagga hit the bed hard  and it was ummmmm only 8:30, but free WIFI so I will put some pics up when I get some time. Happy Sunday America

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Polar opposites

Sheep shearing barn
Polar opposites is what we encountered today. We started the day off at Lawson Angus which is heavily influenced by Gardiner Angus. as we were listening to Harry I realized how much they try to follow us and how much thef US influences their genetics and production, but all in all they are a lot like us and production programs.  In the afternoon e visited Lima Park which is a 500 head Hereford and 3000 sheep operation where Mr. mcMillian strives for a stress free, hormone free, and grass fed operation. I ve never been around that operation but the main reason he does it is to sell to the EU and that's the kind of beef they want in Europe. I may not completely agree with they way he raises cattle but it is his point of view that is interesting to hear. From high end production system to a passive way of growing beef is they many different things we have seen here. So good morning America we will talk to you tomorrow. Pake

Friday, May 25, 2012

Farm to fork

From farm to the fork was the emphasis of our trip today. we started the day at the JBS abattoir where it was pretty interesting to see their processing procedures and in all reality it did not differ too much from ours.  It was still a very tour we got the chance to have. The afternoon has been the highlight of the trip so far. We visited Webb Black Simmental Ranch. Phillip Webb, the owner was the nicest guy you will meet. They would taken us through more of the farm, but unfortunately there is unusual rain fall here this time here. It was cool to see how much we have influenced their operation, and their ultimate goal is to sell cattle to us in the US. They were very enthusiastic in marketing their cattle and making connections with us. The Webbs are some just fun laid-back people who have a real passion for the Simmental breed. I wish them the best of luck and they are fun to party with. Good Morning I'll talk to you all tomorrow Pake
WWI memorial

Day 2 of our trip in Australia was pretty fun. We started out the morning at the department of Industries, which is where we learned about the livestock industry and how the fight diseases and keeps track of cattle and sheep from the time they are born to the abattoir.  The seminar this morning really made me think how Australia is so similar in their food safety as the US. When it comes to animal identification Australia requires more of the producers and processors. The afternoon turned out to be pretty fun. we stopped at the WWI memorial which is the largest granite building the world. visiting that memorial made me realize show important that is to Australia like all the way memorials in D.C. Is to us. We also stopped at the St. Michaels church,largest church in the southern hemisphere. It is hard to explain the beauty of it. We finished at the brewery which is pretty similar to America. It was very cool to see the Aussies take on beer. Right now we are having our free night in Melbourne. So good morning Manhattan, talk to you tomorrow. Pake

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Well 21 hours of flying and making it through Australia's customs ended up being pretty successful for this guy's first flying experience ever. Everyone was asking me if I was nervous and really to be honest I was just at nervous about my bag being over 50 pounds, and worried if I had forgotten something. Good news was I did not freak out and the flight attendant gave me my first set of wings thanks to Dr. Schaake letting the whole plane know I was a first timer.Believe it or not thy flying took up two days by the time we crossed the date line, but we did some interesting and saw some interesting things the first day. I really didn't feel that I was in Australia for the first hour. It didn't hit me until we got into the city. Driving through the city was a little scary all because they drive on the left side and you live in constant fear you will hit someone, but good news the McDonald's here is just as good as the one back home.We continued our drive through the city to the wildlife sanctuary and as we did it really did hit me that I am in foreign country taking advantage of a once and lifetime deal. So far the thing I love about this country and maybe I am naive but the people here are so laid-back and courteous.We saw many interesting animals at the sanctuary then we made back to our nice hotel where then we went out for a welcome meal, and we all had our eyes opened to Australia's idea of good food. Main thing is the prepare so much different, but still had to be some of the best lamb I've had but that is not saying much. We got lot planned for tomorrow such as a brewery tour, and then a free night in Melbourne and hopefully we will find some fun stuff to write. Otherwise good morning America and I'll talk to you tomorrow. Pake

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Room 111 Adventures

Since the beginning of the semester my travel mates and I have been attending class once a week to present on different subjects about Australia. We did this so we can get a background on the country and not look such tourists while we are touring the country.

Sydney AustraliaFirst off we learned about the geography of Australia and to have an idea where we will be in the country. Australia is made up of six states and 2 territories, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Canberra is the capital of all of Australia. Sydney is the largest city, and we will be there for a day. We covered information on the government where learned the current prime minister is Julia Gillard. Australia is still under the government of Great Britain.

We had a presentation on the economy and what money is worth over there. This tends to be important.  Another class we covered rainforests we will see and the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world and it can be seen from outer space.

Beef and Sheep are their top two species they raise for slaughter. The beef herd is 27.9 million head. They are the second largest beef exporter in the world, where a lot of their beef goes into the Asian Market. Queensland produces the most beef inside Australia.

Sheep is dominant in Australia where the herd population exceeds 70 million. People in Australia consume 40 pounds of lamb a year. Sheep farming accounts for 25% of all agriculture production in Australia. 8% of the worlds sheep supply comes from Australia.

Besides all that we also learned about the Cargill plant we will visit Livestock sales where they are pretty similar to our marketing here. Then we covered Angus, Simmental, Shorthorn cattle. We covered several other sheep breeds such as Suffolks and Merinos, and even emus.  This was a quick look back at our semester and now we only have 20 days until this guy flies for the first time. That is one thing I am looking forward to the most, but besides that I am really interested in how the run their beef operations and I have to admit I am excited to see the Great Barrier even though I have never fully understood the concept and procedure of swimming. I added a link below to the Webb Black Simmentals webiste, which is one of the ranches we will get to visit.