Two Animal Sciences students of UGM have joined an apprenticeship programme from April-June 2016 in Top End North Australia, which is Indonesia Australia Pastoral Program 2016, organised by Northern Territory Cattlemen Association (NTCA) in cooperation with Association of Indonesian Animal Sciences Graduates (ISPI).
The two students, Ofiaendama Nafiida and RA Sekarini Kusumawati, class of 2013, along with other 18 Indonesian students from 14 universities were selected nationally from as many as 120 students.
“(We’re) proud and happy to be able to represent Indonesia in this programme,” said Ofi.
Ofi said in the programme they learned firsthand on how to run a big scale cattle farming in Australia. The apprentices learn basic knowledge of handling cattle, riding a horse and motorcycle for cattle herding, etc.
“For two weeks we were given training in cattle herding at Charles Darwin University,” said Ofi who was contacted via email on Monday (9/5).
They are all assigned to cattle stations in Katherine area for six weeks, engaging with eight cattle companies and two family-run companies. They would work there normally as other Australian cattlemen.
“Currently, we are already stationed here. We will do big scale herding (mustering) with thousands of cows using horses and motorcycle and so on,” said Ofi from Newcastle Waters Station.
Ofi explained there are differences in terms of system between Indonesian and Autralian. In Indonesia the model is intensive farming in a cage. In Australia it is extensive, namely mustering. There are also differences in terms of feeds and mating system. “The different farming model, atmosphere, environment, and culture, all become new experiences for me,” she said.