Developing efficient and affordable power systems to manage any farm or woodlot system requires thoughtful planning. The use of draft animals as the center-point of farm power is experiencing a surge in popularity. Farmers are coupling draft animal power with specialized hand tools and electric-powered farm conveyances to create a mixed power system that may prove to be both economically viable and resilient by design. During this immersive course, participants focus on two aspects of draft horse management: (1) completing the Beginning Teamster Program currently in operation at Sterling College and (2) designing a complete power system for any particular horse operation.
For 9 days, we will collectively experience the daily rhythm of working on the farm. Rising early for morning chores, students will attend to the needs of the horses and stable, as well as prepare equipment for the day’s work. Following breakfast, students participate in daily workshops designed to learn techniques and hone teamster skills while building confidence between the horse and handler. After lunch, classroom lecture topics represent a crash course in the role of the horse in human history; beginning with the rise of the drawn horse to the expanding role of horses in today’s agriculture. Following supper and evening chores, hands-on skill sessions in blacksmithing, hand tool use and maintenance, hand mowing, screening a few interesting films or fireside activities such as whittling spoons completes the day. Following the course, student will have a strong understanding of the opportunities and constraints horses bring to a farming or logging enterprise.
Dates August 15 – August 26, 2016
Tuition & Fees The tuition for this course is $2000. This covers the cost of instruction, field trips, and most materials. All students will be charged a meal fee of $250 and are invited to enjoy all of their meals with us for the duration of the program. On-campus housing is available for an additional fee of $150 / week. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic, dormitory-style housing that is clean and safe but not luxurious. Availability is limited.
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.