JBS June 1st

Our Brazil trip has been a blast. From the first day we got here to the last day we were here, it has been nothing but pure fun and education. The first part of the trip was about equine. I first only came for the beef part of the trip, but after experiencing the full experience of horses, I have developed a new appreciation and love for horses. When we finally went to the beef farms, it was like something I had never seen before. It ranged from a giant feedlot that held 33,000 bulls to a giant cow/calf ranch that took forever to drive around and see all the Nelore cattle. On our final day here today, we went to a meat packing plant called JBS. The very first thing we did when we got there was eat breakfast. The food was a ham and cheese sandwich and a chocolate cake. After that, we all got our very own shirt and pants to wear, along with a jacket, boots, hardhat, hair net, and a beard net for when we go in the building. The biosecurity at this plant was very nice because it had a boot washing station before you enter the plant and one when you’re leaving to ensure you don’t take anything in or anything out. As we walked in, there was that instant smell that would make a city person’s stomach queasy. Walking around and looking at all the carcasses and the whole assembly line, it was in very good shape and the workers looked like nice people. There were some workers that were looking at us and holding up their knives and giving us the glare of death. As we continued walking around, we finally came to where the live animals are sent in. They are given a captive bolt that goes straight into their brain to stun them completely. Then they are hung up and an incision is made at the neck to drain their blood. They do this to 700 head of cattle per day. We also saw coolers that were used for special niche markets for specific countries, where they had to harvest them in specific ways as well as cutting them up specially as well. After watching the entire procedure from being alive to being boxed up to be sent out, it gave me a better understanding of how the beef is cut and packaged. We didn’t get to stay very long because we had to go to the airport for our flight back to the good ol’ US of A where we will finally be able to communicate with people. This trip has given me much more than just fun and education, but also a group of friends that I hope to stay close with to continue to laugh and share memories together.