The live export trade&nbsp;of feeder cattle between Australia and our nearest neighbour, Indonesia, is fundamental for both countries according to participants of the University of Adelaide’s annual&nbsp;beef study tour. Last month, the group of 16 students spent a week following the beef supply chain from a Northern Territory&nbsp;station and live export yards near Darwin to four Indonesian feedlots, two abattoirs and seeing the beef being sold in the wet markets. They then&nbsp;spent five days in Cambodia&nbsp;helping the&nbsp;rural poor including&nbsp;charity, Cows for Cambodia. University of Adelaide School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences professor Wayne Pitchford,&nbsp;who led the trip with staff Mandi Carr and Michelle Hebart, said while the trip&nbsp;was shortened from three weeks to 12 days the group still had a great learning experience. “They have returned with a greater understanding of Asian people and as passionate supporters of livestock production and trade,” he said. &nbsp;“The confidence they have gained makes Mandi, Michelle and I very proud.” Ausfeed managing director Paul Vogt, who&nbsp;also joined the tour, said&nbsp;he was surprised by the scale of Indonesia’s feedlot industry,&nbsp;with a&nbsp;capacity to feed about 300,000 head. He was&nbsp;impressed how well the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance&nbsp;system was working and how the larger yards were using the National Livestock Identification&nbsp;System to record and track performance of cattle back to specific Australian suppliers. The former owner of Iranda feedlot at Tintinara said the major difference he found was&nbsp;Indonesia’s&nbsp;access to cheap byproducts and much lower labour costs. ‘”In a 10,000 head feedlot where we may have 30 staff in Australia they had about 150 staff with all the feeding in small yards, the feed&nbsp;mixed by hand&nbsp;and delivered to the bunkers in bags,” he said. Mr Vogt also took&nbsp;away a greater understanding of the importance of the trade for Indonesia’s food security. ‘There is a misunderstanding by many Australians around&nbsp;the live export of cattle,” he said. “They are not being exported for processing but to grow out with cheap byproducts to heavier weights and cheapen the cost per kilogram of their beef.” “Visiting the export yards we saw lots of Australian cattle but later we saw&nbsp;how&nbsp;reliant Indonesia is&nbsp;feeding its&nbsp;people with our beef, so to take that away would&nbsp;do great harm to a lot of people.” Mr Vogt said the feedlots they visited were running at about 70 per cent capacity. Third year Animal Science student Mikaela Paech from Tepko says it has also strengthened her desire to advocate for the live export trade to continue with whole communities dependent on feedlots. “It was great to do some real life learning and start thinking differently,” she said. She said&nbsp;Cambodia was a completely different experience. “We heard a lot of stories which were hard to hear but it makes you&nbsp;more grateful for what you have got,” Ms Paech said. “It was good to see the rice runs and the day after&nbsp;money was being donated bags&nbsp;of rice were&nbsp;being given out to families.” The Uni group raised more than $3500 for the charity and Ms Paech&nbsp;said they enjoyed being part of building a pig pen for the charity.