tRecently I stumbled onto the story of a young Czech girl who has been working on different farms since the age of 17. Today, 24-year-old Helena has been looking after a flock of sheep and goats for the last three years. She characterises herself as an introvert who is perfectly suited to the job she holds. Accompanied by 400 sheep, some goats, and five dogs, she spends the entire season in a tent and claims to be absolutely happy.
The EU’s LIFE programme promotes conserving the natural fauna and flora of the Central Bohemian Uplands and does so, in part, by encouraging traditional herding as an eco-friendly activity that sustains a high degree of biodiversity in foothills communities. The LIFE programme can be readily researched on the Internet.
What does it take to become a shepherd, and is it a job for everybody?
- The job doesn’t require any special formal education, though…
- Depending upon the area, it is a job which must, in many cases, be carried out in complete isolation for days on end, accompanied only by the animals
- Again depending on the region, mountains generally bring frequent weather changes, especially drizzle.
- On the other hand, people who appreciate quiet and are able to admire the beauty of nature will surely come into their own doing this kind of work.
- There are advertisments on the Internet offering jobs for new shepherds, often within a Natural Trust zone as a part of a programme similar to the one where Helena worked. There are also jobs working for farmers.
What working as a shepherd can do for you:
- Apart from the obvious great experience, the work of shepherd is also a way to earn some money.
- The hourly rate is somewhere in the vicinity of $ 15 – 20
- Also worth mentioning is the option of returning to the same position for five or more years in a row – not a bad way to clear your head for another year of college.