USU specialist shares knowledge with Indonesia

LOGAN, UT – Dale Zobell, Utah State University Extension beef specialist and professor in USU’s animal, dairy and veterinary sciences department, is making a difference in Indonesian university animal science programs. He has traveled to the country three times in the last two years to assist farmers and researchers with animal product issues. Two of his trips were part of the U.S. State Department Fulbright Senior Specialist’s Program. Zobell learned about the program through a colleague and world-renowned water buffalo specialist at the University of Mataram in Lombok, Indonesia, who came to USU on the program to learn the latest technology and updates in animal science. Zobell applied for and was accepted into the Fulbright Program, and it has been of huge benefit to his colleagues and subsequently farmers in Indonesia as he traveled there and helped faculty members design animal science curriculum and improve their research techniques. “Everyone wants to come to America and be like America,” Zobell said. “But it’s better if they can develop their own countries and make them as strong as they possibly can.” Zobell worked at Andales University and Gadjah Mada University but spent most of his time at the University of Mataram. He set up collaborative research projects and lectured and consulted on obtaining funding, writing research manuscripts and curriculum development. He also worked to develop Extension programs in Indonesia in animal science, most specifically with water buffalo and cattle. “These are different animals there, they are a draft animal,” he said. “They pull plows. The common farmers don’t have tractors. Either they do it with a shovel or they use buffalo to pull a one-furrow plow. Buffalo are very important to them. They provide milk and meat and are primarily a work animal. They don’t look like American bison.” Zobell has been involved with another collaborative project helping Indonesians use the residue from rice to feed their cattle. “We are working on efficiency so less is wasted and the cattle get the maximum benefit,” he said. Zobell said many Indonesians are very poor. They live on $1 to $2 a day, so it is important that they raise food. Chickens, goats and cows are common on a tiny plot of land. “We’re not necessarily trying to sell them tractors or make them use tractors, but good animal production is certainly an issue, and we are helping them in that regard,” he said. “We have also been working with various provincial agencies to improve animal practices and health.” Zobell said the United States has a lot to offer the world as far as knowledge and information. “We have it very good here,” he said. “You don’t realize how good you’ve got it till you go somewhere else and see how little they have. We are hoping to help make the Indonesian peoples’ lives easier by sharing our knowledge and programs with them.”

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