Ranchers look to border collies to help with herding
ST. HILAIRE, Minn. (AP) – Farmers and ranchers interested in lowering their fuel costs and exploring the idea of sustainable agriculture may want to take a second look at an old-school way of handling their livestock.
Herding dogs are much more common in the Western Plains and mountain states than they are in the Northern Plains. But here, border collie fans are demonstrating how useful the animals can be, especially for smaller livestock operations.
Michelle Davis lives on a hobby farm near St. Hilaire and owns more than two dozen dogs, 11 of them border collies. She’s a professional trainer who regularly participates in obedience, agility and herding competitions. Her farm has chickens and horses, plus a small flock of sheep, which give her dogs real working experience.