Integrated Farming Practicum 2018
Faculty: Gwyneth Harris; Dr Hubert Karreman VMD
Holistic Livestock Husbandry highlights tried and true management techniques and explores new directions for managing the small diversified livestock farm for healthy, contented livestock. The course looks at how farm infrastructure, feeding regimens, animal handling, and management decisions impact the health of the whole system—livestock, landscape, people, markets, and community. We will study different types of animals and observe how they interact with the landscape and facilities, using the Sterling Farm and livestock systems as a case study. Faculty will walk students through hands-on exercises, observations, and discussions, toward an in-depth understanding of how to build an effective and caring livestock health management system. There will be a special focus in this class on grass-based livestock production, with the goal of simultaneously healing landscapes, sequestering carbon in our soils, creating ecologically sound, humane farming systems, and feeding ourselves quality food. Students learn to farm resiliently and develop efficient on-farm grazing systems by mimicking natural patterns, measuring and maintaining biodiversity, and setting appropriate animal numbers for the landscape and season.
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Gwyneth Harris: Gwyneth is the Farm Manager at Sterling College. She has been gardening for as long as she can remember, and got her first livestock (a goat named “Creamy”) at the age of five. 35 years later, she still finds limitless opportunity for creativity in farming, and is honored to be able to work in a place where she can learn as she shares her knowledge and love of all things agricultural and food related—whether with her students at Sterling, with other farmers, or with her boisterously enthusiastic boys, who already keep horses, ducks, chickens, and homing pigeons. At home, Gwyneth and her family keep a small herd of dairy cows, five Percheron horses, and other miscellaneous livestock. They raise a variety of meats, sell raw milk, and work the woods and fields with horses. Gwyneth has worked since high school 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. Gwyneth holds a Bachelors of Science in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Vermont.
Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves. Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice. Some aspects of course content may be weather-dependent.