Innovative Training for Sustainable Shepherds (ERASMUS+)
Innovative Training for sustainable Shepherds
Shepherds are key players and basis of extensive livestock farming, and they perform countless functions in rural, disadvantaged and sparsely populated areas, but it is increasingly difficult to find well-trained herders having the knowledge and experience to deal with all aspects of extensive livestock grazing. Herders are an aging social group, the younger ones lack adequate training, education and experience and today there is no motivation to become a herder due to low social status and the lack of a specific vocational training offer.
Although they are an important element in rural societies, shepherds lack social recognition and often do not have access to well-structured, methodical and validated training for sustainable management of extensive farms.
Based on this, the EU4SHEPHERDS project seeks to improve and update the training offer for extensive livestock keepers taking into account current (mainly administrative) and future barriers (new climate scenario and its consequences) as well as opportunities (organic production trends, agro-tourism, etc...) to ensure a sustainable maintenance of extensive livestock farms (economic, social and environmental) by giving them tools to be resilient.
To this end, the project will adapt training methods (both for trainers and trainees) for work-based learning taking into account the current barriers and logistical problems of extensive herders (many of them are distributed in isolated rural areas) in order to ensure the sustainability of the profession and of extensive livestock farms. Additionally, a training platform will be provided for extensive herders (not used to complicated interfaces or texts) and promote using digital tools for training.
ERASMUS+, sheep, shepherding, education, international cooperation
Bundesministerium für Landwirtschaft, Regionen und Tourismus
The future of such livestock exploitation models, currently under threat due to the effects of climate change and administrative barriers (droughts, animal health problems, increase in parasites, administrative limitations for transhumance, etc...) depends on the availability and capacity of extensive Shepherds. But the problem is that it is increasingly difficult to find well trained shepherds that have the knowledge and experience to face all the aspects involved in extensive livestock shepherding. Shepherds are an ageing social group, the younger ones lack proper training, education and experience and nowadays there is no motivation to become a shepherd due to the low social standing and lack of a specific professional training offer and The shepherds – key actors and basis for extensive livestock – carry out innumerable functions in rural, disadvantaged and under populated areas.