AROUND SLOVAKIA

Lady shepherd manages shepherd’s hut in Iliašovce

There are few women in the male-dominated field of tending sheep. But the shepherd’s hut under the 1,000-years-old chapel in Iliašovce in the Spišská Nová Ves district is managed by a young lady. The tradition was passed down to Katarína Mangerová, 28, from her father.

Lady shepherd form Iliatovce,  Lady shepherd form Iliatovce, (Source: TASR)

There are few women in the male-dominated field of tending sheep. But the shepherd’s hut under the 1,000-years-old chapel in Iliašovce in the Spišská Nová Ves district is managed by a young lady. The tradition was passed down to Katarína Mangerová, 28, from her father.

“I grew up around a shepherd’s hut, so I was not afraid to take it over,” she told the TASR newswire. “My work begins at about 7:00 in the morning – the guys are here even earlier, as they begin with early morning milking. Most of the time, I only organise them and try to manage official things concerning vets [and] hygiene, and I also sell cheese and cook for the men,” she explained. However, she does not shun the more demanding work that the job often requires.

She started visiting the shepherd’s hut when she was five and gradually learned everything about the profession. Sheep must be milked at about three in the morning, after which the lengthy process for making sheep’s cheese begins. The sheep’s whey is boiled, the sheep pen is partitioned so as to keep their environment sanitary, and the cycle continues, the female shepherd adds. She insisted that she would not be able to do anything else.

Working in nature was natural for her, as she did not grow up in a city block. “Our family comes from Smižany,” she said, “but when I was young, we moved to Markušovce, and I commuted from there every day.” The young shepherd boss graduated from the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. She works with three other men, without whom she would be lost, she stressed. They have been working the land over Iliašovce for many years. She is the only one in her family to have inherited her father’s love of nature, sheep and shepherding.

“It is hard for younger people who know nothing about agriculture, not to mention basic industry, and older people are hesitant to continue in this field,” Mangerová said, adding that the current situation in Slovak agriculture does not look rosy, but that one can survive when working dutifully and hard. She is mostly worried about low repurchase prices of goods. However, she maintained that it is easier to work with animals than with people – she said she gets along better with them, and thus, would never change her job for anything else.

Top stories

A paraglider flies over a valley from the Martinské hole mountains.

The Slovak region compared to Tuscany is a big unknown

Set out on a trip to the Turiec region with a new Spectacular Slovakia podcast series.


17. jún

News digest: Slovak-Hungarian relationship has never been as good as now, Hungarian MFA says

Health Ministry fears spread of Delta strain from football match in Budapest. Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister refutes claims of a negative relationship with his Slovak counterpart. Read more in today's digest.


18. jún
Child-initiated play is a style of play where children choose how, where, and what they wish to play with.

Blog: Play is the child’s work

Learning through child-initiated play.


18. jún
Illustrative stock photo

Law change makes cannabidiol legal

CBD allowed in cosmetics, but off the menu for food products.


18. jún