In this picture, there are Nelore cattle, which is the most used beef cattle in Brazil. These specific cattle are being used in a research project that is testing for feed efficiency based on their food and water intake. Anytime they eat or drink, the tag on their ears alerts the feed/water bunker that they are eating/drinking, and it takes a weight of how much was eaten/drank. This trial is using some of the best Nelore in the country, using a feed that was specially designed for them in order to test how they can have the most feed efficient cattle.

My internship here in Brazil has shown me a wide variety of operations that go into beef cattle management. So far in my time here, I have been able to take apart in this research trial, helping with feed additive research trials, to helping with animal reproduction collection/breeding, to looking at cattle conformation, to looking at their genetics and family trees, to the day-to-day practices of keeping cattle, including tagging and branding calves, and moving cattle to different pastures. I have not been here for too long, so I’m sure by the end of my time here I will be able to extend my list of opportunities I have had.

While being here, I have learned so much about the language and the culture of management of beef cattle. Obviously my language skills have been improving through learning the specific words and jargon of beef cattle in Portuguese, but I have learned so much about the culture surrounding beef cattle and its management practices. There are so many moving parts in managing beef cattle. Especially, because the state of Brazil that I am in is the beef cattle capital of Brazil. Overall, my experience has been an unforgettable and life changing experience.