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Flocks of animals

JOHNSTONS OF ELGIN x SFA
TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION OF HERDERS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY

Johnstons of Elgin founded the first course in Sustainable Pasture Management, through the SFA, in 2018. This course, in the Khenti region of Mongolia, teaches sustainable herding methods to the children of nomadic herders. It combines modern sustainability theories with the traditional skills passed down through generations which are embedded within their centuries-old nomadic culture.

Specially developed textbooks combine contemporary regenerative theories with the traditional methods of Mongolian nomadic culture. The course supports the herders’ view of themselves as custodians of their environment, and a total of 432 students graduated in the first year.

Mongolian herder
Herder with cashmere goat
Cashmere goat
Khentii goat herd

Geography teacher Saranzul was raised by a herding family in the Khentii province. She returned to Khentii after studying at university and is now also a herder.

'In Mongolia, if you live in the countryside, your life depends on animals. I am very happy that the children of herding families can be educated about herding life,’ she said. ‘Also, since this course has started, our children have gained great knowledge about the environment.’

The SFA works in Mongolia where traditional nomadic herding is used to raise combined flocks of sheep and goats alongside yak, camels and horses. We plan to extend our training programmes in the future, helping to build a future for the next generation of herders.

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