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The Art & Science of Shepherding


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Would Anyone Read a Book about the Art and Science of Shepherding in France Part I. Shepherds in France: A Know-How to be Revalorized 1. The Rangelands of Southern France: Two Centuries of Radical Change 2. Shepherding in France Today: An Overview Part II. Herding Practices by Shepherds: Scientific Explorations 3. Shepherding on a Farm with Diverse Pastures: A First Insight 4. Taking Advantage of an Experienced Herder's Knowledge to Design Summer Range Management Tools 5. Origins and Diversity of Flock Patterns in Summer Range Shepherding 6. Herding Sheep on the Windy Steppe of Crau Part III. Amazing Appetite of Herded Animals 7. How to Stimulate Animals' Appetites: Shepherd and Goatherder Discussion 8. Menu Model: The Herder as a Restaurant Chef Part IV. Shepherds and Nature Conservation 9. Grazing with Herders on Natural Area Conservancy Lands 10. When a Shepherd and Natural Area Manager Work Together 11. Shepherding Practices in the Alps Convulsed by the Return of Wolves as a Protected Species Part V. Herding Schools 12. Herding Schools: Upgrading Herding as a Skilled Occupation 13. The Pyrenees Mountain Transhumant Sheep/Cow Herder Training Program Part VI. Herding Occupation as Seen from Inside 14. On Being a Hired Herder in the Alps 15. An Evening Spent Discussing Our Profession

About the Author

Michel Meuret obtained degrees in agronomy and ecology from Brussels University in 1983. The French National Institute for Agricultural Research, INRA, was interested in his innovative scientific approach and methodological developments for measuring food intake on forested rangeland and proposed that he join a research staff in southern France that was studying the use of livestock grazing to prevent wildfires in Mediterranean forests and scrublands. Michel got his PhD in animal ecology sciences in 1989 and was immediately recruited by INRA as permanent researcher to study grazing practices and animal nutrition on rangelands. He has since led several interdisciplinary research projects on the implementation of European policies, in particular the value of livestock grazing for improving wildlife habitat and biodiversity conservation. In 2012 he joined Sup Agro agronomy school at Montpellier as consultant professor. From the beginning, Michel's research has been conducted in communities with family farmers and herders. Working also with social scientists, he focused on the experiential know-how and practices that positively impact feeding motivation in domestic herbivores on rangeland. Michel is regularly asked by farmers, herders, and nature conservationists to teach and promote debates on herding techniques. On several occasions, Michel has been invited to present his experience in the United States and other countries that are intrigued by the unique French experiences of nature-friendly shepherding. Michel now serves as a director of research at INRA. Fred Provenza is from Colorado, where he worked on a ranch near Salida while earning a bachelor of science in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. Upon receiving his degree in 1973, he became ranch manager. He and his wife Sue left the ranch in 1975 so he could work as a research assistant and technician at Utah State University, where he earned MS and PhD degrees. He was a professor in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University from 1982 to 2009. He is now professor emeritus, and he and his wife are living once again in the mountains of Colorado. For the past forty years, his group's work has inspired researchers and managers in disciplines including nutrition and foraging behavior of wild and domestic animals and humans, phytochemical ecology, pasture and rangeland science and management, and restoration ecology and targeted grazing, among others. Along with colleagues and students, he has authored or coauthored over 250 publications in scientific journals and books. He has been an invited speaker at over 350 conferences. Fred's efforts led to the formation in 2001 of an international network of scientists and land managers from five continents. That consortium, known as BEHAVE (, integrates behavioral principles and processes with local knowledge to foster healthy relationships among soil, plants, herbivores, and people as social, economic, and ecological environments ever transform. We no longer view organisms, including ourselves, as machines and genes as destiny but learn to work with behavioral relationships to create opportunities as environments ever transform. Fred has received numerous awards for research, teaching, and mentoring. These awards represent the productivity that flowed from warm personal and professional relationships with over seventy-five graduate students, post-doctoral students, visiting scientists, and colleagues he worked with during the past thirty-five years.

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