STOCKSCH 268, 3 credits
Instructor: Nicole Burton firstname.lastname@example.org (413) 429-6544
This course is a farmer’s perspective on the sustainable management of cows, sheep and goats on a small farm. It provides students with a clear understanding of how to think through the planning and management of cows, sheep and goats for meat production. All aspects from purchasing and nutrition to marketing and finances will be addressed. This course also brings awareness to our meat industry and supports becoming an educated consumer and producer. Students will get the opportunity to focus on the animal(s) of their interest through assignments, but will be educated on cow, sheep and goats through the material presented. Students will walk away with a rudimentary plan on how to incorporate ruminants into their small farm plan.
Learning Objectives/ Course Goals:
Students will gain the knowledge related to the planning and management of a diversified livestock farm for meat production. Specifically, students will adopt the following practices
- Identify and utilize sustainable management practices for livestock
- Develop critical thinking skills on designing and implementing systems on a small farm
- Understand the rules and regulations of running a livestock farm business
- Comprehension of the complete life cycle management of ruminants for meat production
|Week 1||· Class Overview
· Who we all are
|Week 2||· Selecting & Purchasing Breeds||Assignment #1
|Week 3||· Housing
· Predator Control
|Week 4||· Grass farming
· Rotational grazing
· Multi-species grazing
|Week 5||· Health and Nutrition||Reading #5|
|Week 7||· Birthing
· Raising young ruminants
|Week 8||· Illness and Disease
· Parasite Control
|Week 9||· Integration of ruminants into farming systems||Assignment#5
|Week 10||· Slaughter
|Week 11||· Record Keeping
|Final Project outline Due|
|Week 12||· Marketing||Assignment #8
|Week 13||· Farm Finances and Structures||Reading #12
Farm visit Assignment Due
|Week 14||· Recap on class
· Presentations & Reviews
|Final Project Due
Meat Consumption Reflection Due
All written assignments will be focusing on the animal(s) of your choice (cow, sheep or goat) and all material is to be submitted on Blackboard. If they are not submitted by the due date then there will be 2 points deducted for each day thereafter.
Each week you will have an article or document to read and you will be responsible to write up a quick reflection. This reflection can be your personal reaction, your like or dislike of the article or the important information that you have taken from the material presented. A paragraph will suffice.
Most weeks we will have a discussion forum on a specific topic. This will be our opportunity to learn from each other and hopefully answer some questions that have come up during the week’s material.
Meat Consumption Reflection and Entries:
Throughout the semester I am asking each of you to observe and document your personal consumption of meat. At the end of the semester you will write a reflection on your observations on your own consumption over the semester and state any changes or appreciations you have on your diet.
This is your opportunity to get out into your community and explore farms of your interest. After your farm visit you will be responsible to recap the highlights on the systems used at that particular farm. This must be in the form of a 2 page reflection then reformatted into a condensed blog post. The blog post must include pictures and should be sent to my email. These blog posts will be uploaded onto the Small Farm Husbandry blog site before the last day of class so please make sure that they have appropriate content for a UMass website. If no farms are available, we may discuss other options.
Since the majority of the assignments are focused on building a farm plan, this will be your opportunity to share your dream. Using your individual assignments to support this assignment you will present your farm to the class. This presentation must have visuals, so PowerPoint, google slides, etc will be mandatory. You will be graded on clarity, presentation of farm and use of time. You will also have a short paper to summarize the material that you will present. Details on this project will be given by mid-semester.
Text Books (None required)
*The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat, by Recca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop, 2015, Cost $29.95
*The Art and Science of Grazing: How Grass Farmers Can Create Sustainable Systems for Healthy Animals and Farm Ecosystems, by Sarah Flack, $33.95
Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle, 3rd Edition:Health, Handling & Breeding,
by Heather Smith Thomas, Storey Publishing 2009, Cost $15.25
Grass-Fed Cattle: How to produce and Market Natural Beef, by Julius Ruechel
Storey Publishing, 2006, Cost $24.95
Storey’s Guide to Raising Meat Goats, 2nd Edition:Managing, Breeding, Marketing,
by Maggie Sayer, Storey Publishing 2010, Cost $16.50
This class is part of the Sustainable Food and Farming Online Certificate Program and will count toward the Associate of Science degree as well as the Online B.S. degree. Online classes cost $482/credit.
To begin planning for the future, see….
NOTE: The UMass Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate has been declared eligible for Veterans Educational Benefits. For instructions see: Veterans Benefits.
If you are not interested in earning college credit, there are many non-credited workshops and short courses you can take outside of the university. For a list see: non-university workshops and courses.