Today, as part of the Pathways training 45 participants we visited the fame of Ulf-Dieter Voight, owner of Krumhun farms. His family have been cattle farmers since 1909. In 1996 he changed Krumhuk to biodynamic farming with their community developing different production lines and processing their own produce. From dairy products, honey, sunflower oil and many other pure organic products. The farm is located in a mountainous terrain which is prime for predators like the cheetah, leopard, jackal, and caracal, which creates human wildlife conflict. In order to improve rangeland management, prevent losses to predators, and to build a better relationship between cattle and humans, many aspects of livestock management have been incorporated into their farming practice including herding and the use of a Livestock Guarding Dog supplied by CCF Cheetah Conservation Fund. In fact, this is the first Guard Dog placed to protect Cattle in Namibia. In the past years, the farm would lose on an average of 40 calves per year to predators. This past year only 2 calves were taken. Making this a very successful investment in the dog. Ulf told our group the dog and young cattle and calves have bounded nicely, some of the older cattle are still a bit wary of it’s presents with the herd.
Dr. Morgan Hauptfleisch, professor of Wildlife and Environmental Science at the Namibia University of Science and technology, lead our group in a field research and observation activity activity and discussion of the rangeland. We broke into groups of 5 and walk, answering questions noticeable ecological problems, conditions of the grazing, browse and signs and tracks of animals utilizing the rangeland.
It was determined that wildlife and livestock rangeland conditions are difficult to manage. By understanding grazing systems conditions, invasive species, drought patterns, soil type and other factors, helps with the successful management of Ulf’s farm.
The discussion following and questions were very divers, as some participants from other African Nations have a much higher average precipitation rate. Unlike the savannahs of Namibia.