PROJECT DRAFT CATTLE
A social and ecological agricultural project
With the «Draft Cattle» project, we are developing a training program based on the traditional knowledge of migrants in handling draft cattle. We want to further develop this know-how in the context of ecological and social agriculture.
With this non-profit project, we are creating a niche job for long-term unemployed people who are difficult to place, under the responsibility of a social service. In addition, the training provides migrants who are obliged or willing to leave the country with a professional perspective in their country of origin by creating a feasible livelihood.
Until the post-war period, draught cattle played an important role in Swiss agriculture. With industrialization, not only the old cattle breeds but also the traditional knowledge about draught cattle fell into oblivion. In less industrialized countries, however, they are still an important part of agriculture today.
At the international draft animal conference "Draft Animals in the Past, Present and Future", organized by the UNSESCO World Heritage Site Kloster Lorsch, our project was also documented. As part of the conference, an archive was created in which examples of work with draft animals in the 21st century were recorded as short video clips. It is presented by project manager Joana Ryser, Léon Bickel, head of FastRunner programs, and our cattle Elly and Milou.
Our Draft Cattle-Family: Elly & Milou
In December 2020 we bought our first cow of the Grey cattle breed Grauvieh), Elly. Shortly after, Elly gave birth to a baby calf, Milou.
Elly and Milou form the heart of our draft cattle project and will be trained by us to become a draft cow and a draft ox. Mother Elly started her training in January 2021, so that with her energetic support we will soon be able to harvest our first potatoes.
With the organic farm Wingey we have found an ideal place for our animals. There they live with other cows in a herd, have a spacious free-range barn and plenty of access to pasture. The organic farm is also where the extensive training of our two cattle will take place. Extensive means that Elly and Milou are allowed to be mainly cow and ox, and only work as much as is healthy for them.
If you would like to contribute to the upkeep costs of our draft animals or volunteer, go here.