Sheepskills - modern skills for people committed to sheep, sheep dogs and innovation in rural communities

The Leonardo da Vinci - Transfer of Innovation project Sheepskills has made a huge impact in all partner countries, contributing to rural community development and nature maintenance through sheep farming.

We would like to revive Sheepskills and use the platform to:

  • Develop a strong network of sheep farmers, sheep dog handlers and trainers, and all people and experts involved in rural development, innovation and tourism
  • Develop and deliver training in the fields of sheep farming and sheep dog handling via the platform and onsite
  • Promote and market products and services related to sheep dogs and sheep dog training
  • Develop entrepreneurship among sheep farmers
  • Make PR for the profession
  • Provide support to develop funded projects

If you are interested in joining the network, get in touch with:

Some background about the former Leonardo project

SHEEPSKILLS - Curriculum and training for European sheep famers

Sheep have played a great role in landscape management, nature conservation, in regional economies and in rural culture in nearly all European countries. Meadows and nature grazed by sheep are amongst the richest biotopes as regards diversity of different plants and insects. Beyond the contribution of sheep to landscape management and nature conservation sheep farming has a potential for the regional economy. All politicians and regional developers talk about experience economy and experience tourism as new opportunities for economic growth. In remote and rural areas sheep and shepherding can make a considerable contribution to sustainable agricultural tourism. The regional economy could benefit by the emergence of new sources of income, e.g. from nature conservation, from funding for land, from farmers „hiring“ sheep as „grasscutters“, from sustainable agriculture tourism, from designing new products from sheep and from developing new business models. There could be events like sheep dog demonstrations and open courses on shepherding skills. Crafts around the wool and skin and the art of preparing traditional food could be experienced.

The Leonardo innovation transfer project intends to develop a curriculum for shepherds in Europe, including

  • basic knowledge on European sheep races and their contribution to natural and cultural heritage
  • sheep and the European landscape
  • the physiology of sheep
  • aspects of health and nutrition
  • shepherding with sheep dogs
  • economic aspects of shepherding
  • contributions to sustainable agricultural tourism and to a new experience economy – guidelines, best practice models
  • ICT, e-learning, e-collaboration, and e-commerce skills

The major products will be
  • an accredited curriculum on shepherding skills
  • a handbook on shepherding skills localized to the partners’ languages
  • an e-learning course on the open source platform moodle
  • a collaborative network on shepherding skills with researchers, shepherds, and stakeholders
  • a European exchange network to share best practice in shepherding and landscape maintenance
  • a pool of experts to provide courses, workshop, consultancy

Target groups
  • Students and graduates from agricultural schools and universities
  • Shepherds
  • Hobby sheep farmers
  • Agricultural consultants and organisations
  • Municipilaties, decision-makers and organisations responsible for nature conservation, landscape maintenance, sustainable economy
  • Sheep dog owners, handlers, organisations

IS- Agricultural University of Iceland - promoter
TR - Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Agriculture
DK- Sheep and Goat Consult (, Lystbækgård, ed-consult
DE – Leading Interactive
HU –Tudas Alapitvany - Foundation of Knowledge

Sheep farmers and stakeholders from all over Europe and beyond are welcome in our network.

If you would like to participate, create an account on this site and drop us an email. Then we will give you further coaching how to join the European community of sheep farmers.

Looking forward to seeing you online!

Ragnhildur Sigurðardóttir, LBHI, Iceland

Last modified: Monday, 27 November 2017, 11:53 AM

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