Sheep have grazed mountainous north for 6 million years, but 20th century industrialization led to a dramatic decline in the number of shepherds who tended them. For the last six years, Catalonia’s School of Shepherds has worked to keep the ancient profession from disappearing.
Students start with a month of classroom study in a rural home in the Pyrenees. Then they undergo four months of practical training with a veteran shepherd, who gradually gives them responsibilities with a herd. About 80 percent of students complete the course, and more than 60 percent go on to work in livestock farming.