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Introduction to Teamster Skills: Working Horses and Cattle

16 Sterling Drive
Craftsbury Common, VT

Developing efficient and affordable power systems to manage any farm or woodlot system requires thoughtful planning and technical skills. The use of draft animals as the centerpoint of farm power is experiencing a surge in popularity; farmers and loggers are using draft animal power to create economically viable and resilient-by-design power systems. During this five-day immersion course, participants collectively experience the daily rhythm of working on a draft animal powered farm. Rising early for morning chores, students attend to the needs of the stable and prepare equipment for the day’s work. Following breakfast, students participate in hands-on instruction designed to learn and practice basic principles and techniques to hone their developing teamster skills. After lunch, students continue skills-based instruction by doing meaningful work in the gardens and woodlot. Evening chores and supper, then skills sessions in blacksmithing, hand tool use and maintenance, hand mowing, screening films, or fireside activities such as spoon carving, complete the day. Following the course, students will have a strong understanding of the opportunities and constraints working cattle and horses bring to a modern farming or logging enterprise.