Sunday, May 31, 2009


SuperAgro (sort of comparable to a county fair back home, minus the rides and carney-food) is here once again in Belo Horizonte, and so we got to spend the day amongst farm animals and all the hay and manure that entails. We went last year and really enjoyed the familiar environment and were excited to take Gabriela this year to her first livestock show.

I grew up showing sheep and beef heifers. I never had much interest in dairy cattle.

But this year I swear I felt some sort of connection with the cows . . .

I felt right at home amongst my bovine sisters. And I was really sympathizing with this poor gal below on the left.

Please tell me someone is going to milk that poor thing soon . . . she had this funny-looking wide-legged waddle going on she was so engorged!

And then there was this gal. They had her hooked up to the pump, milking her. And there was a gaggle of folks gathering around with empty 2-liter coke bottles anxiously waiting. Talk about pressure to produce! Several of the farms were giving away the milk to anyone who wanted it, so there was an abundance of people hanging out anytime they were actively milking.

It made me nervous. This self-professed milk cow couldn't compete with those girls. And I told Gabriela to advert her eyes and not get any ideas and also that there'd be no feeding her until we got back home. I couldn't handle that kind of pressure. But that's enough about that. ;)

Moving on:

Pretty much all of the beef cattle have some Brahman heritage. There were lots of humps to be found, including this really impressive one which was gigantic (the bull itself was pretty darn big too; he was taller than Eric, which is why my husband and child were keeping themselves a safe distance for the photo.)

Have I ever mentioned that hump is a popular cut of meat here? It's called cupim. It is usually offered at all the churrascarias (Brasilian Steakhouses). And during our first month or so here, I couldn't, for the life of me, remember that cupim = hump. So every time we would go out to a churrascaria (which was a lot in those early days when we were living in the hotel), a waiter would come around offering cupim and every time I would accept it. It was only after they would start carving a piece off that I would realize what it was. Today, I never eat hump. (In case you were wondering, it's not that good.)

We were able to catch a bit of the dairy cattle competition. It was mostly just adults showing, but this one little guy (who must have only been around 7 years old) was too cute and did a really great job - even if he did have to try to drag her along a couple of times!

The Gabster came out of her stroller a few times to get a better look at everything and pose for some pictures.

I was sort of smitten with this itty bitty calf and it's itty bitty hump.

And in all my time around the bovine species, I have never seen one lay with it's front legs straight out like this. I've also never seen a cow smile (look closely, she's showing off a toothy grin!) Eric wanted to stick around and see how she would stand up from this position!


Bob said...

Just like a day at the Iowa State Fair, eh Eric???

Rogério Penna said...

this indian cattle (called Zebu in portuguese) was brought on the 20th century to Brazil because it adapted better to warmer climates like those of Mato Grosso, Goiás, etc.

in the south of the country, where the climate is colder, regular european cattle rules.