The lack of shepherds to drive extensive livestock is an irreversible fact in recent years in provinces such as Guadalajara, where, so that the trade does not disappear, the sheep campaign and the cheese factories are reduced and the mountains and slopes are kept clean, The Delegation of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development has planned to organize a grazing school with workshops and conferences so that young people can learn a profession that is in danger of extinction.
The virulence of the latest forest fires makes it clear that the foreseeable neglect of the countryside, together with a combination of factors, makes the profession of shepherding more necessary than ever. Herding is an activity that has a long history long before the current borders were established. More than 10,000 years of history accompany the shepherdesses on their walks. When hunting was abandoned as the main means of survival and animals began to be domesticated for human consumption, the oldest known trade began, and it continues to persist today as an essential trade in our lives. A hard and lonely job, but exciting and rewarding for those who practice it.
Pastoralism represents an intellectual and cultural heritage of great value in our country. Protagonist of a complex economic history, of power and of relationship with the environment, without this activity the current configuration of the Iberian Peninsula cannot be understood.
Extensive livestock farming is an enormously varied economic, cultural and environmental activity, which does not go well due to the concentration and intensification imposed by current markets and policies. Faced with the harsh reality, grazing in the 21st century is torn between intensification and abandonment, trying to survive in conditions in which society barely understands the subtleties of its production model or its irreplaceable role in land management.
Despite everything, in such harsh conditions, different initiatives flourish in our country that work to maintain and transmit the activity, protecting a legacy that will be important for the future, especially in our way of dealing with climate change.