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Grazing and Soil Building

June 26, 2017 @ 8:00 am - June 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

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Faculty: Gwyneth Harris & Jenn Colby; featuring Sarah Flack & Judith D. Schwartz

Livestock, humans, and grasslands have co-evolved for more than 10,000 years. Modern farming techniques can capitalize on this relationship to feed our livestock, heal our landscapes, sequester carbon in our soils, and create ecologically sound, humane farming systems. Join Sterling Farm Manager Gwyneth Harris and the Vermont Pasture Network’s Jen Colby to explore grazing systems and techniques. Together, we will look at the ecology of grasslands, savannahs, and woodlands, and the place of livestock animals in their development and maintenance. Next, we will look at how farms can mimic natural patterns to develop effective on-farm grazing systems. To this end, the class includes a master class session, Developing the Graziers Toolbox, with independent grazing consultant and author Sarah Flack. We will focus on measuring and maintaining biodiversity in your pastures; matching animal numbers and types to grazed and browsed landscapes; varying grazing impact to match the needs of the season and your herd/flock; and discuss non-ruminant livestock on the grazing landscape. We will also take a wide-angle look at the role that grazing systems can play in positive global environmental change with Judith Schwartz.

Level:  Beginner

Prerequisites:  This course is targeted toward beginning graziers, and folks who want to brush up on their technical skills or adapt their grazing system to a more regenerative model. We will cover forage plant ID, types of grasses and how they grow, incorporating different types of livestock, and grazing planning and rationing tools.  

Tuition & Fees: $1250 covers the cost of the instruction, field trips, most course materials, three meals per day from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen, and ground transportation between class locations. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these.

Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is available for an additional fee of $60 per night with a private bathroom and $50 per night with shared bathroom access. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic, dormitory-style housing that is clean and safe but not luxurious. Availability is limited and room requests are filled on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis.  Please visit our accommodations page for more options.


Need more details before you can register?  Let us know!


June 26, 2017 @ 8:00 am
June 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm


Sterling College
16 Sterling Dr
Craftsbury Commons, VT 05827 United States