Draft Animal Power Systems
Sterling College is one of the rare places where you can get hands-on draft animal experience, working daily with these heavy animals.
As a Draft Animal Power Systems minor you will learn single and team-hitching techniques, working with the animals to harrow, plow, log, till, and sugar. You will also acquire equipment maintenance skills and, in the winter, you can even learn to drive a sleigh. The minor is comprised of 15 credits of progressive, connected coursework.
All Draft Animal Minor students participate in instructional chores as part of each course, caring for the animals and stables. Through classes and chores, students get a holistic experience with our draft animal team; students learn care, control, harnessing, and driving principles and also the deep commitment and obligations involved with animal-powered farming and logging.
Says Rick Thomas, Draft Animal Educator and faculty member in Sustainable Agriculture, “I want students to understand that working animals across today’s agricultural landscape is a viable power option; that animals simply become the power head to move a variety of implements to do agriculture and woodlot work in a way that is tightly connected to ecological and natural farming practices.”
1st Sterling College was the first college in the country to offer an undergraduate minor in Draft Animal Power Systems.
Why choose a minor in Draft Animal Power Systems?
At Sterling College, our approach to Sustainable Agriculture means looking at the entire landscape. You’ll learn how to match the right power system to today’s working farm, and that includes working with draft animals.
See Sterling’s draft horses in action!
The draft horses at Sterling College are members of our community. They are heavily involved in life at Sterling, helping with everything from the Sterling Farm and woodlot to producing the college’s maple sugar.