When I think of sheep grazing, I envision a lone figure skillfully watching from far off – totally in touch with the flock before him. A shepherd has always been, and is today, a key player in the world of sheep. He has also played a vital role in artisan cheese-making through the ages.
It is interesting to note that the General Shepherd job description today is very much reflective of the duties of ancient times. Some key pointers that one may see in the ‘help wanted’ ads, are as follows:
- Flock welfare – Herding to areas of good forage and safety from predators…
- Healthcare – Providing assistance with lambing and responsibility for treatment of minor injuries and prevention of disease…
Experience required may also include:
- feed production management
- business farm management
- best practice environmental guidelines
These were certainly without designation hundreds of years ago. But all of this and more was built into the instinct and know-how of the shepherd. And as we approach April, I am also drawn to the Biblical references of the Good Shepherd. All of the above inclusive of devotion, care, love and sacrifice. A shepherd…. timeless. Powerful yet tender and compassionate… a purveyor of leadership, confidence, comfort and love.