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Holistic Livestock Husbandry

June 19, 2017 @ 8:00 am - June 23, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

Faculty:   Dr. Temple Grandin; Dr. Hubert Karreman, VMD; and Gwyneth Harris

Holistic Livestock Husbandry both highlights tried and true management techniques and exploring 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.  For two days, 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.  During another two of our days together, we will be joined by renowned holistic vet, Dr. Hubert Karreman, who 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.

The class will also feature a single-day Master Class with Dr. Temple Grandin, animal scientist, researcher, and author, of several award-winning books on animal behavior and management, including the recently released, Temple Grandin’s Guide to Working with Farm Animals: Safe, Humane Livestock Handling Practices for the Small Farm. 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’s fascinating explanations of how herd animals think—describing their senses, fears, instincts, and memories— and methods for analyzing their behavior will help you handle your livestock more safely and effectively.

This course offers an opportunity to learn from some of the most acclaimed figures in humane livestock management in an applied manner and small farm setting.

Level:  Beginner

Prerequisites:  This course is intended for beginning livestock farmers, farmers interested in transitioning to more ecological methods, and others interested in understanding holistic techniques for livestock health, feeding, and facilities management.

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!

Faculty Bio:

Hue Karreman:  Dr. Hubert Karreman is a 1995 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a dairy veterinarian and independent educator of organic veterinary medicine based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His practice is limited to internal medicine. He is an internationally recognized expert in the non-antibiotic treatment of infectious disease and non-hormonal treatment of infertility. He completed a five-year term on the USDA National Organic Standards Board (2005-2010), serving three years as Chair of the NOSB Livestock Committee. From 1999-2000, Dr. Karreman was on the AVMA Taskforce for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM), which wrote the current AVMA Guidelines on CAVM. His passion is being among animals, working directly with them in a hands-on way, and teaching ecological and natural methods of preventing and treating illness. 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. Dr. Karreman believes that we can more fully enjoy the living world around us by blending straightforward factual information with heart-based perception and insight.

Temple Grandin:  An expert on animal behavior, Dr. Temple Grandin has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the US, and consults with the meat industry to develop animal welfare guidelines. As PETA wrote when awarding her a 2004 Proggy: “Dr. Grandin’s improvements to animal-handling systems found in slaughterhouses have decreased the amount of fear and pain that animals experience in their final hours, and she is widely considered the world’s leading expert on the welfare of cattle and pigs.” In 2010, Time Magazine listed her as one of its most Important People of the Year. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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.



June 19, 2017 @ 8:00 am
June 23, 2017 @ 5:00 pm


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