Today began the intensive tours of the agriculture industry in Australia. This included everything from city tours to a speaker talking about ID systems in cattle. We started the morning off with a speaker talking to us about the system Australia has adopted to identify all their cattle. This is a fascinating system where all the cattle receive electronic ID tags in their ears. Then, whenever the animal is moved off the property they are scanned. This way the slaughterhouse can trace the animal through its’ entire life. This allows for easy identification, in case of disease outbreak. This was a system that was adopted in 1999 and the state of Victoria is leading the way.
The next activity for the day was a city tour of Melbourne. Here we had the opportunity to visit the Shrine of Remembrance, which is a monument to honor World War I. This was a special part of Australia’s history and was very informative. The bus driver, Ritchie, has a great sense of humor and knows his Melbourne facts VERY well.
The next stop we had was the brewery. They are capable of making 2 million liters of beer in a 24 hour time period. That is a lot of beer! There were several large vats where the beer is malted, etc. The bottling line was the most impressive part of the brewery. The bottles move SO fast. It reminded me of Laverne and Shirley (I think they worked in a beer factory) only these bottles moved 10 times faster. The tour was followed by sampling of the different types of beer produced in the factory. I discovered beer is an acquired taste and I have definitely not acquired it.
To conclude the evening we went to a buffet in the heart of a shopping mall. (Keep in mind this mall or building, really had stores like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex, get the picture?) When told I was going to a buffet I was expecting something similar to the Golden Corral or Ryan’s. However, this was the nicest buffet I have ever been to! I didn’t think that the food here would be that different from the food back home, but so far it has been substantially different. (Or at least different than what I am used to eating.) While at the buffet I was stopped by two men wondering why there was a mass of people wearing shirts about something called “Kansas State.” As soon as I spoke, he asked if I was from the states. (I think they bet on whether we were) I guess this means Americans do have an accent…