Winter morning Ardcairnie, July 2013

Extramural Farm Experience (EFE) Scheme for Murdoch University Veterinary and Animal Science Students


From Jim and Pam: In late 2007, farming friends already in the scheme suggested we might like to participate in the Extramural Farm Experience scheme run by Murdoch University for their Veterinary and Animal Science students.


We enjoy sharing what we do, so signed up for one student for one week during June 2008, when we are calving.  And what a thrill to see her and another of "our" students feature in the Vet School series on ABC television in July / August 2013.


Murdoch students with some of our quiet cattle...Murdoch students with some of our quiet cattle...Just finished feeding out to the cow mob, December 2015Murdoch students with some of our quiet cattle...We very much enjoyed that experience have continued each year to offer our operation for the EFE. To the end of 2018, we’d hosted 43 students. Student 44, here for a week EFE in April, came back in June to help with the 400 day weights of the P heifers; Students 45 and 46 were here for two weeks for EFE and a vet prac with our local vet – Dr Kate Clayton and her team in Kojonup and Katanning are excellent teachers and the students value their experience there.  Student 45 stayed on for another week EFE with us.


A returning vet student, No. 28, returns this weekend for two weeks clinical prac with Dr Kate – it’s always good to catch up with the students later on in their studies.


An approach from two students in the University of Queensland Vet School means we will be hosting them in December for two weeks farm experience.  (We suspect they have friends at Murdoch Vet School.) We don’t usually take two EFE students at the same time, but UQ Vet School regulations state that the students must attend farm experience in pairs.


As farm hosts, Murdoch Vet School invites us to attend the Registration Day each year with the graduating students.  At the 2017 event, we noticed a distinct lack of awards for anything bovine so after a great deal of thought, the Ardcairnie Angus Bovine Award came into being for the 2018 day.  That turned out to be two days as the last six-year course and the first five-year course both completed their studies.  Happy days for us and lovely to meet the two recipients – both young women passionate about cattle.  We have since had letters from both of them, grateful that their hard work had brought an unexpected dividend.


The Ardcairnie Angus Bovine Award continues (at this stage) for 2019 and 2020.


If you are interested in finding out more about the Murdoch Extramural Farm  Experience Scheme, please contact Claire McNaughton at Murdoch University, phone (08) 9360 2653, fax (08) 9310 7495 or email

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