Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thursday, May 12

We started out the day by loading the bus at 8:30 and taking a 20 minute drive to Meat Livestock Australia (MLA). MLA is a producer-owned, not for profit, organization that delivers research, development and marketing services to Australia’s red meat industry. Once there, we got to meet 6 individuals who work in different areas of the company such as marketing, research, and development. We learned about their EID system that they developed and recently implemented. Each animal has to have a tag, orange or white, or rumen device that helps identify where they have been and who they have been in contact with among many other things. Their individual tagging number can be pulled up on the internet and everything can be seen such as when they were last vaccinated and what sale barns they have been in – the white tags represent cattle that were born and raised on your ranch and the orange tags represent the cattle that have been born elsewhere. We also learned about how MLA improves profitability, sustainability, and global competitiveness. The majority of livestock is exported to other countries (75% cattle, 95% mutton and 65% lamb). The United States is the number one importer followed by the Middle East and India.

View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge – the largest single arch bridge in the world

MLA also markets red meat in Australia and informs the public about the importance of red meat in their diet. After we left MLA, we took a short bus ride to the Sydney Harbour where we boarded the Captain Cook Cruise. On the cruise we got the opportunity to eat a plethora of fresh seafood, buffet style, and then got to tour the Sydney Harbour. After we got off of the ship, we had an hour to walk around the Harbour and shop for unique souvenirs as well as walk through the Botanical Gardens. Later, we took a tour of the Sydney Opera House.

Students on Sydney Harbour Cruise – in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge

Aboriginal dancing
During the Opera House tour, we got to walk through each of the theatres and learn about the different acoustics, lighting, and stages each theatre had and what purpose these differences serve during performances. Also, while touring the last theatre, we got the opportunity to sit down and watch a professional ballet dancer practice for their upcoming show. We got to learn the history behind the Sydney Opera house, which was first designed in 1956. It took 14 years to build because of political issues and other road blocks in Sydney. Lastly, a large majority of our group chose to eat dinner at an Italian restaurant, Olivo’s, on the Darling Harbour where both the scenery and the food is impeccable. Everyone seems to be handling jet lag quite well, although, due the busy day that we had today, we all decided to turn in early to finally get a good night’s rest and prepare ourselves for tomorrow, where we will be touring the fruit market, the blue mountains, and one of Sydney’s wildlife centers.

Sydney Opera House

Students having some fun!

Macey and Bayley

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