Central Australian research stations provide training opportunities for NTCA programs

Region: Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia | Topic: Livestock
May 2021 | Alison Kain, Pastoral Production Officer

Student moving cattle through the yards

Caption: NTCA Industry Development Program and Real Jobs Program participants learning how to safely and quietly move cattle through the yards (photo from NTCA).

There was a buzz of learning at the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) cattle yards during February 2021 with 18 young adults undertaking practical skills training in rural operations. The participants are part of the Industry Development Program and the Real Jobs Program, both run by the Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association (NTCA), with funding from Northern Territory Government. Participants in both programs are working towards a Certificate II in Rural Operations.

Most of the participants have strong connections with the pastoral industry. However, not all of them have had the opportunity to gain work experience or qualifications. Their focus and willingness to learn was impressive and there is every indication that program graduates will go on to be valuable, contributing members of the pastoral industry about which they are so passionate. Participants came from right across the Northern Territory, including the Katherine, Barkly and Central Australian regions.

Russell Young from Charles Darwin University delivered the training, with hands-on experience at the department’s research stations. Participants developed practical skills in maintaining water points and bores on Old Man Plains Research Station. The cattle handling sessions were at the AZRI yards, using the AZRI Droughtmaster sentinel herd, with a focus on low-stress stock handling techniques.

Trainer Russell Young praised the AZRI cattle, saying, “The students (gained) a lot of confidence within this area. The cattle have an extremely quiet, ideal temperament for this kind of training. They are a huge credit to the research facility.”

Many of the participants had little to no experience of working cattle prior to the training yet they thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of their studies!

Student getting to know the cattle

Caption: Trainers and participants acknowledged that the excellent temperament of the Arid Zone Research Institute cattle made them ideal for training activities (photo from NTCA).

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