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Holistic Livestock Husbandry
Farmers who approach livestock management from a humane, systems-thinking approach focus on healthy, contented farm animals. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering the course “Holistic Livestock Husbandry” with experts Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Hubert Karreman, VMD for those interested in exploring both tried and true livestock management techniques, as well as new directions for managing a small, diversified livestock farm.
This five-day course, held June 19–23, 2017, will have students examining the entire farm infrastructure, including how feeding regimens, animal handling, and management decisions impact the health of the entire system—livestock, landscape, people, markets, and community.
The class will feature a single day master class with Dr. Temple Grandin, animal scientist, researcher, and award-winning author. Grandin will apply her groundbreaking approach to decoding animal behavior to small farms, identifying and addressing the special needs and challenges of these livestock operations. Grandin, the author of the recently released Temple Grandin’s Guide to Working with Farm Animals: Safe, Humane Livestock Handling Practices for the Small Farm, will bring her explanations of how herd animals think and methods for analyzing their behavior.
The class will be led by instructor Gwyneth Harris. She says, “A holistic approach to animal husbandry revolves around a deep understanding of the needs of animals and the land, and using that understanding to develop synergisms that benefit the whole farm ecosystem.”
Harris is the Farm Manager at Sterling College. She has been farming for over 25 years at a wide variety of farms, and has coordinated several agricultural outreach programs, including the Vermont Pasture Program. She also ran the MOFGA Certification Program for Organic Dairies.
Dr. Hubert Karreman, VMD will be a guest instructor for two days of the course. Karreman is a dairy veterinarian and an independent educator of organic veterinary medicine. He is an internationally recognized expert in the non-antibiotic treatment of infectious disease and non-hormonal treatment of infertility. He is the first certified CowSignals® trainer in the United States and enjoys sharing insights into reading cows and understanding what they are telling us.
The class is being offered at Sterling College as part of the School of the New American Farmstead, its continuing education program that provides a variety of classes and workshops for aspiring agrarians, artisan food enthusiasts, and environmental stewards. These hands-on short courses in
small-scale food production and sustainable farming offer one-on-one mentorship, inspiration, skills, and new perspectives that will feed the body,
the mind, and the spirit.
This is the second year of the visionary School of the New American Farmstead, the creation of President Matthew Derr. Under President Derr’s leadership, the College has launched the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems; made substantial progress on renewable energy; transformed its agricultural facilities; and set records for enrollment and fundraising.
The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is generously underwritten by two great Vermont businesses: Chelsea Green Publishing, the preeminent publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living, and Vermont Creamery, an award winning creamery offering fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter, and créme fraîche that combine the European tradition of cheesemaking with Vermont's terroir. Both Chelsea Green and Vermont Creamery are partner businesses that share a deep commitment to the environmental stewardship mission of Sterling College.
Online registration is now open, but spaces are limited. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Academic credit is available for all courses. For more information this course and to register, visit www.sterlingcollege.edu/husbandry.
Featured image courtesy of Shelburne Orchards.