I propose multiple hands-on skill workshops with bi-monthly newsletters and skill-building days to increase the knowledge and skills of low-stress handling of livestock with and without stockdogs. Livestock producers can increase their productivity and efficiency by understanding how stock move and think and mastering stockdog handling. Incorporating well-trained stockdogs that are capable of assisting in all areas of stock management requires continual learning, for both the person and the dog. This ongoing journey enables one person to increase the number of livestock managed, decrease the need for extensive infrastructure, and save time required for daily upkeep of stock and equipment. Marginal and hard to access land can be utilized and improved by rotational grazing because stockdogs enable simple, quick movement of livestock through rough terrain or unfenced areas providing many opportunities not before available which limits need for mowing, herbicides, distributes manure and improves soil health.
Workshops provide networking opportunities to exchange management information, support each other and opportunities to sell stock.
Project objectives from proposal:
This project will reduce the cost of multiple continued learning opportunities to enhance low-stress livestock management knowledge and handling skills; with and without stockdogs. Increasing producers understanding of handling techniques and use of herding dogs assisting with stock management enables producers to better utilize their land, improve soils, overcome unique constraints allowing them to expand their operation, save them time, money, and stress while benefiting from the support of a like-minded community of livestock producers. Bimonthly newsletters centered on stockdog training / use and low-stress handling stock will enhance workshops, provide continued learning, address questions, and provide encouragement and support.