Page 1

healthy land. sustainable future. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2009


Celebrating 25 Years of Holistic Management




by Ben Bartlett


009 marks the 25th year of the Advancement and Promotion of Holistic Management. To commemorate this occasion we are going to have a 25th Anniversary Celebration co-hosted with HMI-Texas in Abilene, Texas on March 5-7, 2009. At that event we will recognize is the monumental work and sacrifice that Allan Savory and Jody Butterfield have put into this effort of getting HMI to this level. There have been a number of people who have made significant monetary contributions, lots of educators who have impacted many people and of course the large number of Holistic Management practitioners around the world, but the spark that started the Holistic Management fire was Allan and Jody. Please join with us in Abilene to say “Thank You!” Many Holistic Management practitioners have hoped that other resource managers, consumers, and government agencies would see the benefits of Holistic Management. And while there have been some forward thinking people who have joined the ranks, Holistic Management hasn’t become mainstream. But after 25 years of hanging in there, more people are beginning to appreciate the wisdom and opportunity of Holistic Management. Heifer International started in 1944 with a donation of 17 heifers. Today that organization is in over 125 countries. For the first 50 years, Heifer remained a small aid organization; it is only since 1994 that the organization has grown by 10 fold. There is a Buddhist proverb, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I think the world is ready for the practice of Holistic Management, especially because of such key issues making

headlines: food vs fuel, global climate change, and capacity to produce a sustainable healthful food supply that honor both the land and the producer. After 25 years, the teacher (Holistic Management) is ready, and I think the student is close at hand.

Multi-species grazing must take into account not only the grazing animals above the soil but in the soil. Judi Earl, in her article “Managing for Soil Health,” discusses the value of feeding soil health by leaving some of the forage for animals such as this caterpillar. TO LEARN MORE, TURN TO PAGE 13.

FEATURE STORIES Can Annual Cropping be Sustainable? BY BLAIN HJERTAAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Integrating Permaculture and Holistic Management BY ASPEN EDGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Greenacres Farm— The Symbiotic Paths of Soil Growing and Multi-Species Grazing BY CARTER RANDOLPH AND ERIN PAYNE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

LAND and LIVESTOCK Predators—Friend or Foe? BY TONY MALMBERG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Managing for Soil Health— Planned Grazing to Better Manage Multi-Species Grazing BY JUDI EARL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

NEWS and NETWORK Canadian Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Grapevine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Certified Educators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

healthy land. sustainable future.

Can Annual Cropping be Sustainable? by Blain Hjertaas

Holistic Management International works to reverse the degradation of private and communal land used for agriculture and conservation, restore its health and productivity, and help create sustainable and viable livelihoods for the people who depend on it. FOUNDERS Allan Savory


Jody Butterfield

STAFF Peter Holter, Executive Director Shannon Horst, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives Tracy Favre, Senior Director/ Contract Services Kelly Bee, Director of Finance & Accounting Jutta von Gontard, Director of Development Ann Adams, Managing Editor, IN PRACTICE and Director of Educational Products and Outreach Maryann West, Manager of Administration and Executive Support Donna Torrez, Customer Service Manager Marisa Mancini, Development Assistant Valerie Gonzales, Administrative Assistant

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ben Bartlett, Chair Ron Chapman, Past Chair Roby Wallace, Vice-Chair Gail Hammack, Secretary Christopher Peck, Treasurer Ivan Aguirre Jody Butterfield Sallie Calhoun Mark Gardner Daniela Howell Andrea Malmberg Jim McMullan Ian Mitchell Innes Sue Probart Jim Parker Jim Shelton Dennis Wobeser


know there are some people who believe that the way to sustainable agriculture is to no longer crop farm. But, I do not believe that society will turn totally carnivorous. Therefore, we need to learn how to grow crops without destroying our environment—to make our annual cropping sustainable.

So what does sustainable mean? According to Webster’s dictionary, sustain means: keep in existence, keep going, prolong. Sustainable means: capable of being maintained or sustained. In the case of cropping what we need to keep in existence and prolong is soil fertility. One way to monitor that objective is to make cropping carbon neutral. If we can keep the soil covered and reduce tillage and bare ground, then we keep or build more carbon in the soil. Likewise, if we use these practices, we burn less carbon in our practices. In this way at the end of each year we have not mined any carbon from our storehouse.

The Time is Now Modern industrial agriculture is a long way from this definition. Soil erosion worldwide is 240 billion tons annually; we salinize over an acre a minute; and the soil fertility in the Great Plains region is half of what it was upon settlement 100 to 150 years ago. Tillage, burning, and confined livestock operations emit huge amount of greenhouse gases.

ADVISORY COUNCIL Robert Anderson, Corrales, NM Michael Bowman,Wray, CO Sam Brown, Austin, TX Lee Dueringer, Scottsdale, AZ Gretel Ehrlich, Gaviota, CA Dr. Cynthia O. Harris, Albuquerque, NM Leo O. Harris, Albuquerque, NM Edward Jackson, San Carlos, CA Clint Josey, Dallas, TX Doug McDaniel, Lostine, OR Guillermo Osuna, Coahuila, Mexico Soren Peters, Santa Fe, NM York Schueller, Ventura, CA Africa Centre for Holistic Management Tel: (263) (11) 404 979 • Huggins Matanga, Director The David West Station for Holistic Management Tel: 325/392-2292 • Cel: 325/226-3042 Joe & Peggy Maddox, Ranch Managers HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT IN PRACTICE (ISSN: 1098-8157) is published six times a year by Holistic Management International, 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505/842-5252, fax: 505/843-7900; email:; website: Copyright © 2009






2020 2008 1985

55 million barrels per day 85 million barrels per day 55 million barrels per day

whole we each manage. The following are a few ideas.

1. Make annual crops perennial This practice would save the need for annual seeding and maintain the ground in a permanent covered condition. The only requirement would be for an annual harvest operation. The disadvantage to this practice is perennials tend to be less prolific seed producers than annuals. Dr. Wes Jackson at the Land Institute in Salinas, Kansas has done considerable research into this concept and believes that it may be the solution. His website is

2. Sowing annuals into permanent cover

In the May/June 2008 IN PRACTICE issue, Colin Seis from Western Australia describes how he seeds annual crops directly into pasture land. Over 1,000 farmers in Australia are now using this technique. He has noticed considerable improvement in soil health, increasing his carbon by two percent in 15 years. I believe the potential for this is enormous in all areas of the WORLD POPULATION world. Each of us needs to 7.5 billion experiment and learn how 6.7 billion to make it work for us.

4.75 billion

3. More diversity If peak oil theory is correct, by 2020 the earth will produce the same amount of oil it did in 1985 while the world’s population will have grown by almost 60 percent. Since 40 percent (today)of the world’s population depends on calories grown with the use of synthetic nitrogen (from oil), this means an ever diminishing resource is currently a key lynch pin in a faulty agricultural system. As I write this, we are experiencing diesel shortages. The beginning of things to come! Modern industrial agriculture consumes 10 calories of energy for every one calorie of food energy it puts out. Clearly this is not a very wise use of fossil sunshine. What can we do as farmers to make cropping truly sustainable? We must begin experimenting depending on the unique

January / February 2009

We all have learned from the study of community dynamics that the less species we have the more at risk the system becomes. Modern industrial agriculture has moved us to the extreme of monoculture, which is very unstable. Hence, we have the crop protection industry to attempt to protect this highly unstable monoculture. Anything we can do to add more species to the cropping mix has to make it more stable. Farmers are growing oats and peas together as an example. Using legumes as a permanent low, noncompeting cover crop is another example of a way of increasing diversity. Harvesting an annual crop and seeding a grazing crop immediately following allows a much longer season of energy flow, plus provides animal food. Or, you can seed a grazing

Using a method called swath grazing where annual crops are sown in May, cut in July, and left in windrows to be grazed in December, Blain has been able to reduce his costs by 50 percent, and his carbon footprint.

and annual crop together in the spring or fall. Using rotations consisting of the warm-season broadleaf, cool-season grass, warm-season grass, and cool-season broadleaf offers a better potential to all layers of the rooting zone. We need to get more legumes into our rotations. Many crops separate easily with grain cleaners, but it does make planning more complex. These all have potential in our own areas. We need to get our thinking outside the box and begin to move cropping to a truly sustainable level.

4. Less tillage Tillage causes harm to the structure of the soil. Think of the mycorrhizal fungi with its filaments up to a mile in a gram of soil. Tillage destroys. The oxygen that is let into the soil during tillage causes the organic matter to oxidize sending carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. We all know about bare soil, water cycle, and evaporation. Tillage lets light into the soil which allows weed seeds to germinate. On the Great Plains of North America, farmers have embraced the concept of minimum tillage. This has done wonders for soil and water erosion. But 30 to 50 percent of the soil is tilled during the annual minimum till seeding operation I believe we need to take the next step and get to true no till.

5. Smaller is beautiful We have been told for years get big or get out. This is the modern view with efficiency as its driver. But, it begs the question: Efficiency for whom? When we look at any living system, the first thing we want is diversity. Smaller field size will give more diversity from the border. Smaller field size will allow different crops to be grown instead of a large field of monoculture. By splitting a square field into four you double the borders. Borders allow for insects to live, birds to nest, all increasing diversity. Livestock must be part of the farms of the future as we all understand the importance of the animals’ gut in recycling and animal impact.

My Experiment On my farm in southeast Saskatchewan at

Our cost per cow day is very low compared to the traditional system of feeding hay; $0.50 per cow per day vs. $1.00 or more for baled feed. latitude 49 with a cold arid climate, we are experimenting with various mixtures for winter forage for our cow herd. We use a practice called swath grazing where annual crops are sown in the spring (May) and cut at early heading(late July to early August) and left in a windrow until winter (November to December). Our climate is dry enough that we have very little loss of quality. We use a mixture of oats, forage peas, winter rye, millet, and sweet clover. The clover and peas are legumes and produce very palatable forage. Sweet clover is a biennial so we may be able to get some spring forage from its early growth. The winter rye fills in between the windrows covering the ground using light and giving us good grazing until the snow gets too deep, plus it gives us grazing in the early spring. The millet is a warm-season annual, so if we hit a hot, dry summer it will do much better than the oats. We graze any residues plus the rye and clover early in the spring either just before seeding or right after seeding, which is our weed control. There is also a small amount of alfalfa permanently on the field. I would like to find a warm-season legume that would work in our climate. We average from 75 ADA to 125 ADA depending on our growing season. Our cost per

cow day is very low compared to the traditional system of feeding hay; $0.50 per cow day vs. $1.00 or more for baled feed. Our petroleum use is for one pass at seeding and one pass with a swather cutting the forage. All nutrients are returned to the land. I am not sure if we are carbon neutral yet, but we are getting closer. Our monitoring is not yet that sophisticated. Seventy-one percent of our planet is covered with water. Twenty-nine percent is land. Of that land mass only five percent is tillable and eight percent is rangeland. Most of us live on this five percent tillable land. The greatest challenge facing civilization is to maintain the fertility of this five percent. Think of it as a veneer, or a sheet of paper thickness, covering five percent of the land mass of the world. We, as stewards of the land, have been given the job of nurturing and caring for this precious resource that provides life for all. Can we make annual cropping sustainable? Yes, the world depends on it. This article is excerpted from a presentation Blain gave at the Holistic Management International conference in Brandon, Manitoba in late October 2008. Blain is a trainee in the Certified Educator Training Program and can be reached at: Number 123




Integrating Permaculture and Holistic Management by Aspen Edge


en years’ ago we bought Semilla Besada, a 40-acre (16-ha) farm at 4,265 feet (1,300m) in the Sierra Nevada Natural Park in southern Spain. The landscape is commonly described as maquis/garigue characterized by the presence of woody aromatic perennials and indigenous oaks. Temperatures can fall to 5˚F and rise to 104˚F (-15C/40C). Although there are four distinct seasons, there is low year-round humidity and a summer drought which can last for six months.

When we came, we brought with us a lifetime of growing our own food, and four years’ experience of Permaculture Design. This was augmented by a two month stay at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village in Australia, where we were able to see first-hand the application of this “natural system” design framework. This environmental knowledge was also supported by experience in administration, systems design and accountancy. We added to these skills, our enthusiasm and our passion about creating a more sustainable life for ourselves and the planet. However, after four years of trying to establish a biodiverse, complex natural system, which also provided a year round net yield, we had to acknowledge we were beat!

Barking Up the Wrong Tree We had inherited 200 drip-irrigated mixed fruit and nut trees, under which annual grasses and plants flowered in the spring, with a reprise in the autumn if there was early rain. Conventionally when summer began, the annual plants would have been ploughed into the ground, leaving it bare under the trees for the

duration of the summer drought. This did not seem best practice, so after a year of observing our landscape and its climatic conditions, we created a design for a multi-stacking system of vegetation that simulated a temperate forest or a tropical jungle. We built on the existing infrastructure and planted edible trees, shrubs, vines, and ground cover. To conserve moisture and cover bare ground, we mulched underneath with dead plant material. Four years on, far from a complex, multistacking sward of vegetation, we had even less biodiversity and increased bare ground. Indigenous perennial aromatic plants proliferated, and those that were established were not thriving. The numerous annual flowers and grasses, which were part of the original landscape, were smothered by our mulching and no longer appeared. The perennial grasses, despite cutting, were dying out. Nothing was performing in the way that we had expected from our previous experience. We simply could not work out why. Clearly, there was something missing from our understanding. In addition, we had lost three years’ of the

time that we had bought ourselves at the outset. We had planned on a 10-year start-up period and had allocated our capital to cover living and development expenses over that time. However, unexpected expenses and circumstances had eroded that nest egg, leaving us with even less time in which to develop a sustainable livelihood.

Different Strokes Serendipitous circumstances brought to our attention the work of Allan Savory, and the concept of “brittleness.” As we looked with new eyes at our land, we saw the stark difference between the temperate climate to which we were used, and the Mediterranean climate in which we now worked. We began to understand how differently these two ecosystems had evolved, and how we could now re-work our design in tune with this natural system. Our temperate Permaculture eyes had seen what they expected to see: a dry landscape that needed to have water conservation, ground cover and soil building techniques applied in a way that mimicked nature. Our Permaculture mind applied those techniques which, if applied in a temperate or tropical environment, would build soil and conserve water. We had not appreciated the extent to which every landscape evolves differently. We had not known the pivotal importance of the implication of brittleness to the correct selection of land-use techniques. In this area of low year-round humidity, dead plant material did not break down readily. It simply oxidized on the soil surface. Even worse, such surface material became a fire risk. We discovered that, nature had another way of building soil. In a dryland environment, she did this most effectively through the gut of a grazing animal, provided its management mimicked the natural process that had evolved here.

Creating Synergy

This view east over Semilla Besada shows the oasis of green it is in this brittle landscape. Combining Permaculture with Holistic Management has helped improve the health of this land in a sustainable fashion. The first season of the “forest garden” shows how the Edges have integrated Permaculture techniques. 4



January / February 2009

It was easy at this stage to see Holistic Management as the better tool. Permaculture, as we understood it, had not served us well. However, as we gained experience we learned that the two frameworks complemented, rather than competed with, each other. It was important to select what was most effective from both systems, and not reject out-of-hand one or the other. So began a six-year process of integrating the two frameworks to create an even more holistic management of Semilla Besada. From the simplest perspective, we saw Holistic Management as a holistic decision-making framework which worked consistently for triplebottom-line sustainability in line with a holisticgoal and Permaculture as a holistic design framework which mimicked natural systems to

provide food, fiber and energy for local needs. They had much in common. They shared similar ethics, such as care for the planet and care for people. They shared, certain principles, such as holism and sustainability. They had, however, evolved in different environments: Permaculture in small-scale, intensive land-use in temperate and tropical regions and Holistic Management in large-scale, grazing-animal-based land-use in dryland regions. They are different types of organizations. Permaculture is a movement of individuals where there is no top-down regulation or uniformity of product or presentation. Holistic Management is a regulated body of knowledge and practice, supported by individuals, where there is consistency of product and presentation. We created a check-list of what we saw as the strengths and weaknesses of both frameworks. The table below summarizes this process. What we discovered was that Permaculture was particularly strong in design perspectives, but had PERMACULTURE Strength

no structured holistic framework for formulating clear outcomes or planning, monitoring, and controlling those outcomes. Nor was it possible to use the Permaculture framework as a diagnostic tool or check that our actions were always leading us towards the outcomes we wanted.

A More Powerful Management Tool Through our analysis of what Permaculture and Holistic Management were to us, we created a synthesized form of management. Holistic Management gave us a way of clearly defining what holistic outcomes we were working towards from the biggest vision to the daily objectives. It enabled us to plan what we needed to do to achieve these outcomes, and how to go about it. It also ensured that every decision we made was leading us towards a sustainable future, and when we ran into problems, we could use the same framework to discover what we needed to do next. In addition Holistic Financial Planning had enabled us to regain the three years of financial HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT


Ethics (sustainable people, planet, profit)



Ethics (triple-bottom-line sustainability) Principles (unclear and limited to design concepts)

Principles (holism, sustainability, responsibility, accountability, awareness, process, change)

No holisticgoal to drive overall vision


No routine testing for sustainability and movement towards vision

Testing Questions

No holistic financial planning

Holistic Financial Planning

No life/project planning No holistic grazing planning

No life/project planning Holistic Grazing Planning

Landscape design – wider application (multi-dimensional, diversity, yield, holism, input/output ratios, small-scale, wild soil, energy, zoning, location, sectoring, elevation)

Land Plan (limited application and perspectives)

No formal biological monitoring (so difficult to quantify progress)

Biological Monitoring (rangeland, cropland)

No formal feedback loop (so difficult to monitor, control and replan)

Feedback Loop

No capacity to use framework for diagnosis of problems

Framework can be used as a diagnostic tool

time that we had lost, and extend that period by another two years! However, when it came to designing the 30 acres (16 ha) of landscape and accommodation, Permaculture came into its own, with the added Holistic Management insight of the implications of brittleness. Semilla Besada is not a production farm, and relies on a very diverse portfolio of activities to build the environmental infrastructure and sustain the people that live on it. Using the technique of zoning, we were able to determine what activities should be located where. When selecting animals, trees and plants, we ensured that each would generate more than one product. We were aware of our dependence on nonrenewable resources and on goods and services which we could not provide for ourselves and used the insights from Permaculture to create a more sustainable design. One such use of this synthesis is how we create “closed” systems. For example, we generate tree prunings, which in many countries are simply burned, creating a ‘waste’. We, however, initially feed them to the sheep and rabbits. When the leaves and bark have been stripped, we then shred (chip) the branches. The resultant product is used as bedding in the sheep and chicken housing. When the housing is cleaned, the mixed contents are composted. This is then used to fertilize vegetable- and tree-growing areas. Any branches that are too large for the shredder (chipper) are cut and stored for firewood. No waste has been produced, and the output of one element of the system provides the input for the next. This design concept is from Permaculture thinking. Determining whether this activity is in line with the quality of life we are creating and is triple-bottom-line sustainable (particularly in using fossil fuel for the shredder) is the preserve of Holistic Management. So, too, is the planning of how and when the process takes places, whether it continues to lead us towards the desired outcome and what to do if changing circumstances require us to re-think this process With Holistic Management providing the structure for management and Permaculture the framework for sustainable design, we were able to be far more effective in moving Semilla Besada towards the outcomes we want. Aspen Edge can be reached at For more information, visit these websites: Number 123




Greenacres Farm— The Symbiotic Paths of Soil Growing and Multi-Species Grazing by Carter Randolph and Erin Payne


n 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Greenacres was founded by the Green family. In 1949, Louis and Louise Nippert purchased Greenacres and several adjacent farms, managing the entirety using “organic techniques.” In 1988, the Nipperts formed the Greenacres Foundation to preserve this farm for the public, reflecting the traditional environment of Indian Hill and its historical significance by preserving Greenacres in its current state of woodland and farmland.

They also wanted to encourage conservation and appreciation of nature by providing the public, particularly children, opportunities to study plant and animal life in their natural settings. Additionally, they wanted to encourage appreciation of music and culture by providing facilities and an atmosphere that will encourage artists to display their talents for all age groups. To that end, Greenacres includes the selfsustainable Farm, the Environmental Educational Center, the Equine Center, the River Lab, and the Arts Center. It is 600 acres (240 ha) of pastures, woods, streams, ponds, barns, stables, houses, and a cultural center. We serve 8,000 children a year from the Cincinnati community and are located 20 minutes from the central business district. The focus of the agriculture activities has been to expand capacity by naturally growing the soils. Over the last twenty years, we have learned that mimicking nature by shifting from monoculture grazing (cattle only) to multi-species grazing has created significant improvement in the soil and its stocking density.

soils and runoff issues to address. To combat these shortfalls, the Nipperts planted fescue and brought in Black Angus cattle. After 35 years, they began to see bare spots as the fescue began wiping out the orchard grass, timothy, and clovers. The fescue would grow to be three feet (one meter) tall and was not an appropriate feed for cattle until the first frost. Unbalanced soil fertility and fly and parasite problems were prevalent as well.

Agricultural Model at Greenacres Crop Harvesters Fertilizers Pests



Fescue Cattle Cattle No control

Grasses & Legumes Multi-species Multi-species Integrated pest management

In 1949, the Nipperts purchased a farmed out corn, bean and dairy farm, which had depleted

To produce quality beef, animals had to be removed from the depleted grass and be fed corn and grain. However, an animal’s natural inclination is to migrate to food, rather than to have food grown, harvested, processed, shipped, stored and then delivered to the feed bunks where the animal merely stands. To shift to the natural process of allowing animals to harvest their feed,

Greenacres serves the greater Cincinnati area as an educational farm. Many residents want to come see the whole food chain process and appreciate the healthy food that is sold at Greenacres.

Chickens were added to the Greenacres mix to help with parasite problems. They quickly became a key product and fertilizer.

The Need for Diversity




January / February 2009

we needed to improve the pastures and more importantly, improve the herd genetics. Adding legumes and diversity of grasses could provide pasture stability, which would allow animals to be finished on grass. Pairing this with improved genetics, focusing on grass intake and processing, would create an end product competitive with consumer proffered grain and corn fed beef. Pasture improvement began by overgrazing to eliminate the fescue and release the seed bank that was stored in the soil. We quickly learned that our single species— cattle—did not do an effective job of eating everything; cattle are picky eaters. We added sheep, forecasting that their more liberal diet would help to control growth of the other plants. We confirmed that their eating habits complimented the cattle’s. The sheep did a wonderful of job of eating weeds, especially pigweed and ironweed. Everything was being eaten, and the diverse seed bank was released to repopulate the fields with a variety of grasses and legumes. Because weeds were no longer overcrowding the fields, more nutrition was left in the soil for our grasses and legumes. Clay soils and wet weather in the spring and fall introduced more challenges: foot rot, flies, and pinkeye. As we started to address these challenges, we recognized that soil productivity had been halted. We returned to our fundamental belief that the natural systems hold all of the solutions. We just needed to watch a natural progression more carefully. Our read indicated that we had left out a smaller species that would impact the soils and help to defeat our new challenges. We introduced chickens and turkeys to our grazing system. In adding small poultry into the grazing plan, we could foresee additional problems to be solved. So we used electric fence netting to keep out predators such as raccoons and coyotes. We observed that chicken counts were stable over night, implying that our precautions were of some use, but we were losing birds during the day. A brief period of observation revealed that we had red tail hawks who quickly learned how to harvest chicken. We introduced movable pens for the chickens to interrupt the hawks’ harvesting techniques. This is necessary to protect our investment in the chickens, keeping them stable in the field for the span of their life (seven weeks) until they reach a harvest weight of 5 to 7 pounds (2-2.25 kg). We tried a couple of different movable chicken pens, such as the PVC frame model. This method did not work, as the chickens would get their legs caught under it. A very heavy steel construction (requiring a dolly for

Manure Facts When we began, our destination was to raise cattle effectively. Twenty years ago, the journey began to show that to be successful cattle ranchers, soil growth Cow 12 79 11.2 4.6 12 6.07 was necessary. By following Holistic Steer 8.5 80 14 9.2 10.8 8.12 Management principles and practices Sheep 6 65 28 9.6 24 13.88 and changing the questions we ask Horse 8 60 13.8 4.6 14.4 7.11 ourselves, the journey’s path took many Poultry 4.5 54 31.2 18.4 8.4 15.58 necessary turns, though never detouring From Animal Science by Ensminger, 9th edition from the original goal. We have bred our registered Black Angus Cattle selectively so that we can produce 600 pound has been raised as naturally as possible. They (273 kg) grass-fed Angus calf in six months. drive by and see the birds being pastured along Anticipated weight per animal at 18 months is the road. They stop into the store to ask about around 1,100 pounds (500 kg) harvest weight. the turkeys and end up buying beef and the last This pattern of weight gain contributes to the harvest of vegetables. The nice thing about raising high quality of the beef leading to increased chickens and turkeys is that it is for a limited consumer demand. This success is attributable time—in the summer— so we can hire college to the multi-species approach for growing our students to do that work. We also spread the risk soils, ensuring the best environment for our of production over two species. livestock. Multi-species grazing, selective breeding Today, we base our decisions on our primary for grass acceptance, and mimicking nature to belief that nature is the best farmer/rancher. grow our soils has created grass-fed meat that We should emulate the best. That decision led is in high demand. We slaughter our cattle year us from monoculture cattle grazing to providing round to keep our customers happy with fresh a diversity of grasses, then a diversity of grazers, meat. Our practice is to hang the meat for 14 creating a pairing of diverse product with days. We average $3,000 gross income from a diverse consumers. We have built a portfolio of slaughter animal and $6,000 from a year old heterogeneity that responds well in aggregate to heifer. Our restaurant trade is small but dedicated, changing conditions even when one or another and our products are listed as “Greenacres” on of the products fails due to uncontrollable their menus. Chefs enjoy coming to pick up their conditions. It is the implementation of the meat, choosing fresh vegetables, and often go to Holistic Management® Framework that led to our herb gardens to cut their desired herbs, asking different questions that changed our incorporating all of the Greenacres flavors operations. Holistic Management works! available. Carter Randolph is the Executive Vice-President of Greenacres Foundation. This article is excerpted from his presentation at HMI’s International Gathering 2007. He can be reached at: TONS/YR. ANIMAL /1,000 #

This is an example of what was happening to the farm when cattle were the only grazing species. Fescue dominated and bare ground was starting to show. movement) met our needs best. Turkeys, Ben Franklin’s choice for the U.S. national symbol, retained some defensive capabilities throughout their evolutionary progression and have enough mass that they can take care of themselves. Pens are not necessary for the majority of their time in the field. The addition of poultry in the grazing plan has numerous benefits. In a good rain year, the poultry impact result is three times the amount of grass restoration. This is due to their scratching at the ground, which releases dead grass from the soil and the nutritional properties of their manure. In addition, the poultry pick through manure pies left by cattle and sheep, eating insect larvae, and reducing the fly population. Not only does this reduce consumption of grain by the poultry without reduction in weight gain, it enhances weight gain in the cattle by reducing their fly swatting efforts. The multi-species approach also creates an additional fertilizer value chain in the form of manure applied. Rather than have an outflow of cash for manure, current prices of which are $15/ton for chicken manure, $13/ton for sheep manure, and $6 ton for cow manure, the movement of species provides the material at no additional cost. The value chain lies in the diversity of the manure—each species offers different digestive patterns that result in manures with differing nutrition, providing a wide range of nutrition for our diverse grasses and legumes.

Diversified Portfolio Adding different species to our farm also had the unintended consequence of broadening our market. Customers who buy our beef and vegetables also buy our lambs and chickens. Thanksgiving has become a huge revenue period as our consumers desire a turkey that they trust

H2O %





At Greenacres sheep graze the pasture first, followed by cattle. As you can see, sheep leave plenty of residual for the cattle (top picture) while eating species such as ironweed and pigweed that the cattle don’t want to eat. Number 123




& Predators—Friend or Foe? by Tony Malmberg


he tendency of our ranching culture has been to resist, fight and kill predators. In the United States there are even government “predator boards” that manage the hunting of predators. The recent reintroduction and protection of wolves and grizzly bears have brought a new twist to predator management for ranchers. Likewise, there is increased pressure from society and many special interest groups who desire predator protection. These interests, at one level or another, are part of our future resource base. As a result, we must ask, “How must we be perceived, far into the future concerning our predator management actions?” To achieve sustainability, i.e. profitable domestic livestock production, functional ecosystem processes, and our future resource base, we must revisit our relationship with predators.

The Predator/Prey Connection

“Our challenge is to overcome our instinct to resist predators, and learn how to align animal behaviors to achieve our goal . . .”

Holistic Management can be an important means toward that end. First, we acknowledge that brittle environments evolved with pack hunting predators and huge herds of herbivores. This interaction was key to implementing animal impact through herd effect. The migration was necessary because large herds graze everything and must move to find food, creating disturbance/recovery periods on the soil surface. Holistic Management® practitioners have been using the tools of technology (fencing) and labor (herding) to mimic this process. Obviously our culture views losses to predators as a problem. This takes us to the first testing question, “Are we addressing the root cause of the problem?” Could the root cause of losses to predators go back to the missing key, the predator/prey connection? If so, our challenge is to overcome our instinct to resist predators, and learn how to align animal behaviors to achieve our goal of adequate disturbance/recovery periods, with the predator/prey in full contact. This will require looking toward the tool of “living organisms” more often and “technology” less often, while refocusing the tool of “human creativity” to redirect “labor.” I think all sides of the discussion would agree that if we give predators carte blanche rule, we could not be sustainable economically, at least in the 8

Land & Livestock


short term until our livestock became less naive. So even though many practices and tools used to cope with predators admittedly do not address the root cause of the problem, we need to use these tools in the short term for economic sustainability. But by dealing with the symptoms of this problem directly, we buy time to address the root cause of the problem that are socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable.

January / February 2009

The Benefits of Predators

About 18 years ago, we pushed weaned cows to some high country that would be easy for them to use with no calves and cool fall weather. I saw a coyote lying beside a prairie dog hole. After we dropped the cattle on water and headed home an hour later, he was still intensely focused on the hole. The practice of Holistic Management allowed our consciousness to note this behavior. Since that day, we have recognized the coyote as a “Living Organism-tool” keeping prairie dog monocultures in check and contributing to diversity and complexity. We no longer allow anyone to hunt or trap coyotes and we actually encourage coyotes, eagles, and other scavenger/predators to frequent prairie dog towns by dragging dead animals into active portions of “dog towns.” Before we began practicing Holistic Management we had huge monocultures of prairie dog towns. Over the years they have broken down into small “villages,” with only 10-20 active holes in each community. The practice of drawing predators to these smaller villages, along with our placing a salt block in the middle of active dog holes, deferred grazing to provide predator cover, and erecting raptor perches, keeps the prairie dogs moving. Rather than large monocultures of prairie dog towns denuding every vegetative form, the communities move around. High grass quickly moves into the aerated and fertilized area vacated by the prairie dogs.

Need for Predator Competition The flourishing coyote community, however, didn’t come without a price. As we began to diversify our grazing animals on the ranch, they soon honed in on our dairy-goat herd. Each fall with the first couple of

snows, we would lose some goats to coyote predation. Then my wife, Andrea, witnessed a pack of coyotes in the middle of the day pushing the whole herd until a goat finally fell to its death off a cliff. We weren’t ready to start killing coyotes, but this scene certainly convinced us that keeping them horned and corralled at night was insufficient. We needed to push back, so Andrea got an Akbash. We never lost another goat under the Akbash’s watch.

Lessons Learned Predators are not just wildlife. They are often animals owned by other humans. For example, hungry guard dogs were Bill Hancock’s worst nightmare. Bill has worked on, managed and owned a chunk of country stretching 65 miles (104km) and spreading over 13 townships in the state of Wyoming for 59 years. The ranch ran as many as 4,000 mother cows and 2,000 yearlings. One spring a pack of eight abandoned guard dogs showed up to take a toll on Bill’s herd. The root cause of this problem was that a sheep herder wasn’t feeding his guard dogs, and they had to fend for themselves. They got the guard dogs gathered up and started feeding them to address the root cause and stop the carnage. Bill calved most of their cows on open range and lost few calves to coyotes. When a cow was ready to calve, she would go off by herself. The new mother stayed alone with her calf for about three days and then took her free traveling newborn to bunch back up with about a dozen pairs. These small bunches left a baby sitter with the calves, when they went to water or made a circle grazing. However, some instances required feeding hay and Bill says losses to coyotes escalated because the cow would leave their calf unattended when she came to the feed ground to eat. They had some success hazing coyotes out of the area by running the coyotes on horseback while the cows ate. Killing coyotes rarely helped the situation. One year, government hunters killed six on the feed ground and they were replaced the very next day. Bill says you need to view it as a surgical strike rather than a purge and claims the calf killing stops if you identify and kill the killer. On one occasion calf losses were exceedingly high yet Bill refused to randomly kill coyotes. It took several days, but he finally located the culprit. It was a coyote that had been injured and his back legs were crippled. He was unable to hunt and relied on the easy pickings of new born calves. Once the killer is eliminated, the coyotes roam around and clean up the afterbirth and don’t bother the calves. Bill thinks breed might have a little influence on how cattle cope with the presence of predators, and he particularly has a preference for horned Hereford cows. More important, he claims, is how the cattle are run and raised. If they grow up tending for themselves out on the range, they will do pretty well. In addition, he is adamant about never having a stock dog around because it changes the cattle’s natural instinct to fend off canines. Natural instincts, behavior, and patterns can benefit livestock producers. Biologists have noted one of nature’s strategies is to have their young all at once. The mass of births over a short time period limits the percentage of young preyed upon by their predators. Ranchers could piggy-back onto this natural defense if they calve at the same time as the wildlife. The sheer numbers of potential prey could limit losses. This type of solution could have a better marginal reaction than killing predators, which as Bill Hancock noted are merely replaced. This old time rancher sees the root cause of loss to predators as livestock not fending for themselves. He sees his best marginal reaction as not disrupting or removing the predator/prey tension, but in culling mother cows that fail to “push back” and protect their calf.

While coyotes pose a problem particularly for small stock producers, they are an essential part of the ecosystem. The Malmbergs have used them to help maintain the population of prairie dogs on their ranch and do not allow people to hunt the coyotes anymore.

Predator Preference Domestic livestock losses to predators can rise and fall based on the predator’s preferred prey. Bob Harlan ranches near Wyoming’s Hole in the Wall. His lamb losses are inversely proportional to rabbit numbers. Bob said the rabbit cycle rises and falls in a six- to eight- year cycle. When rabbit numbers are high, the coyotes are well fed and even have larger litters. Bob suspects the Mule Deer population, which serve as prey for the mountain lion may have a bearing on his lamb losses too. Bob thinks the root cause of loss to predators is the absence/scarcity of the predator’s natural prey. Managers may improve their marginal reaction by paying attention to the population cycles of the prey species. Prey population cycles and seasonal cycles affect wolf-kill pressure for James Stuart, manager of Sun Ranch, near Ennis, Montana, He says when elk leave for the high country in late July, wolf hunting pressure on his cattle immediately escalates. This happens because many of the pups are too young to follow their prey base, so they turn to livestock as a primary source of food. In trying to better understand the wolf behavior, James asks, “What did wolves naturally prey on when the elk leave in July?” He suspects Mule Deer probably provided this link in the food chain before ranching and domestic livestock appeared on the scene. The data shows that 25-30 years ago there were many more Mule Deer and a lot less elk. However, he has not determined the biological weak link in the Mule Deer’s life cycle to re-supply this native food source for the wolves but thinks the high elk numbers drive the Mule Deer numbers down. He suspects that baby calves are easier to hunt than elk. Could this shift in community dynamics affect wolf/livestock interaction? Is scarcity of the natural prey the root cause of wolves killing livestock? This twist could throw us a head fake if we get diverted from the testing questions. If we assume elk are the preferred prey rather than following the investigation through we might miss the real root cause of the problem. What if too many elk is the root cause of fewer Mule Deer? If wolves prefer Mule Deer to livestock this could be the way to address the root cause of the problem. What is the biological weak link of the elk and the Mule Deer? Favor the Mule Deer, stress the elk, and it may address the root cause of the problem in the long term.

Living with Predators The Sun Ranch takes a holistic, big-picture view and wants to minimize the loss of life, as viewed from the dynamics between wolf and cattle populations. From this perspective, a wolf kill is viewed as a problem and not a zero tolerance catastrophe. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

Number 123


Land & Livestock


Predators—Friend or Foe?

continued from page nine

When Sun Ranch started managing to be in harmony with the wolves, some friends became enemies and some enemies became friends. When this happens it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the future resource base in your holisticgoal. James says that straddling the fence can be difficult. Sun Ranch has partners and friends in both the ranching and environmental communities. They simply view wolves as part of the landscape they manage. Sun Ranch livestock operations are mostly confined to private lands, which gives them more flexibility than ranchers operating on federal lands. Sun Ranch makes extra efforts to use that added flexibility for advancing the future of wolf/livestock interactions. They started Sun Ranch Institute toward this endeavor and have committed to more employees than “ranch only” operations would demand. James thinks a root cause of wolves killing domestic livestock lies in habituation, which reduces the effectiveness of human presence as a tool—reintroduced wolves have not had sufficient negative feedback from humans or domestic livestock, and they do not have a fear of humans. Addressing the root cause and creating fear could be a federal offense if actions are too heavy handed. At this point the Sun Ranch, the Sun Ranch Institute, and other community members are working to understand wolf social structure, their habits, and their seasonal cycles. The group develops a proactive grazing plan to avoid exacerbating a livestock-wolf interface. Their grazing plan notes the location of the wolf dens, rendezvous sites, and elk movement. For example, when wolves move into an area, on a rendezvous site or den, the tendency is for cattle in the area to leave, if given a choice. Planning helps the Sun Ranch avoid unnecessary interface between their livestock and wolves. Understanding the different roles of the animals in the pack helps too. Like cattle, a wolf pack has babysitters. Wolves have scouters, an alpha male and an alpha female. Adult pack behavior is a big force and needs to be understood if one is to manage the situation. When the livestock become hunted, the ranch initiates disturbance practices to deter the wolves. Disturbing begins with less harmful actions, like hazing and non-lethal ammunition creating a loud sound called cracker to incite fear. Fladry consists of an 18-inch (450-mm) high polywire fence, with flags attached to the wire every 12 inches (300mm) and hanging just above the ground. Fladry lines have been used for this

The Malmbergs discovered that horns were not enough to protect these goats when coyotes forced one of them off the cliff to its death. Introducing a guardian dog helped to address this issue, while not reducing the coyote population. 10

Land & Livestock


January / February 2009

purpose for several centuries. They are effective, but only temporarily, as the novelty may soon wear off. Extended effectiveness can be gained with “turbo-fladry,” which simply adds an electric charge to the flapping straps and reduces habituation. Turbofladry can be used effectively for greater lengths of time. Putting up the fladry lines has been good for Sun Ranch’s community efforts, as people volunteer to help.

Livestock & Wolves To inform land and livestock managers on ways to avoid killing wolves, Defenders of Wildlife (DOW) have produced a great resource available to anyone titled, Livestock & Wolves: A Guide to Nonlethal Tools and Methods to Reduce Conflicts. You can find this publication at: utions/carnivore_conservation_fund/livestock_and_wolves.php. Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. The guide covers the tools, strategies and tactics practiced by Sun Ranch and more. The introduction to the guide stresses the importance of addressing the root cause of the problem. First, it asks us to think about the class and species of livestock, the season, the grazing area, and our level of human interaction. The guide addresses non-lethal tools used by Sun Ranch, including fladry, range riders, increased human presence, crackers, rubber bullets, changing grazing sites, changing class and breed of livestock. Different tools work at different times and require constant planmonitor-control-replan. The guide advocates removing sick animals and keeping dead animals cleaned up and in a carcass pit. The pit should be at least eight feet deep (2.7m), with straight walls and a fence to keep scavengers out. Dead carcasses are attractants to scavengers and predators. Finally, if the challenges are just too much, the guide explains programs that can help purchase or exchange your government permits/allotments. The guide has mention of herding and developing predator-wise livestock. There is growing evidence that cattle running in rough, wild-country are more equipped to deal with predators.

Preventing Habituation Suzanne Stone of Defenders of Wildlife says the root cause of the problem is habituation. Instead, the wolf must view killing livestock as a higher risk than killing their natural prey. Therein lies the task of managing the wolf/livestock interface—keeping livestock killing as a high-risk endeavor for the wolf. The best marginal reaction comes by preventing habituation. Before wolves become habituated, a different disturbance may be needed. This can be rubber bullets, increased human activity, lighting, or even sophisticated alarm systems (radio activated guards or RAG)—the latter will only work if you are dealing with radio collared wolves, as the radio collar signal approaches, the RAG sets off noise and flashing lights. Eventually, live ammunition with compression can offer a stronger reason for wolves to steer clear. When all of these tactics are exhausted, individual wolves are removed. Wolf removal is determined by the state agency, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, in Sun Ranch’s case. The first removal tries to focus on the killers. But it has been noted that wolves from a pack that has killed will return the following season and begin the year killing. One tactic is to kill the wolf next to a collared wolf so they don’t need to recollar a wolf. It has

been observed that a disturbance like lethal removal or trapping and collaring an individual will encourage the pack to leave the area. However, according to Suzanne Stone, utilizing lethal control in a reactive manner or too aggressively will create more problems than it will solve. She points out that long-term success often depends on stability. One of the more extreme disruptions to stability is killing an alpha female, who is the glue that holds a pack together. With stability gone, the pack often disbands and will then lose out to a new pack. Replacing a pack is not always the best course of action, particularly if the pack in place avoided or rarely killed livestock. Using aggressive lethal control leads to chronic cycles of loss of both livestock and wolves and disrupts stability in most cases. The key question to ask is, “How do we get out of this vicious cycle of habituation, pack removal, re-habituation and loss of stability?”

Contradictions or Data? Losses are not limited to killing. Stress from wolf encounters can reduce yearling weight gains by 30 percent, according to James Stuart. The Sun Ranch custom grazes cattle and weight gain is essential to the business. Cattle owners maintain the risk of death loss. With killing and stress it’s odd to see that wolves can travel through cattle with little interference. James says there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason for when they pass peacefully through and when they kill. Suzanne suggests there is normally a reason—some kind of a catalyst. Something happened or was recognized by the wolf that they determined this would be a low-risk kill—or they typically won’t risk a “first strike” kill. The catalyst is usually a low-risk scavenge or picking off a sick or old animal. However, once flesh is torn and blood is spilled, the pack will sometimes tip into a group-think, mob mentality. Once the frenzy begins, the kill can exceed the pack’s needs at times. James thinks hunger might be plenty of a catalyst. He has witnessed wolves killing healthy, strong, yearlings. They kept the herd bunched and maintained a strong human presence. They paid a wolf rider using a spot light, like during calving, to spend the night with cattle, yet they still lost livestock. To make the wolves’ hunt a little tougher, James changed his class of cattle from yearlings to cow-calf this year, in high-risk pastures, with good results. He said yearlings are so inquisitive and their excitement is infectious, as they follow the wolves around, and intensifies the interface. Mother cows interested in protecting their young bawl, chase the wolves, and keep their distance. James runs the cow-calf herd in high interface areas like the forested and large pastures, where they have less control. It brings an interesting twist to the community dynamics issue. This example demonstrates we can match the class of livestock to the resource. Suzanne points out that there have been far more calves killed by wolves than yearlings in the Northern Rockies. Canada’s experience is more in line with James – far more yearlings killed than calves. Ranchers in Alberta may know why. They noted that their mother cattle are very aggressive in protecting their calves—an instinct that may not be present in cattle who haven't seen wolves for many generations.

Sorting Out the Evidence Apparent contradictions seem to highlight two factors. First, when the data bank is skimpy, it can vary widely. When more ranchers make efforts like Sun Ranch to observe, and organizations like Defenders of Wildlife to document and organize the data, we can begin to quantify and qualify the data. More data (a larger sample size) should begin to level out results and offer more predictable results relative to specific actions. For example, we may be able to predict that standard fladry will prevent wolf/livestock interaction as long as a pack hasn’t killed livestock. Once a pack has killed

Cougars and wolves can be more challenging to address than coyotes and smaller predators. However, understanding why these animals kill and addressing the root cause of that problem allows the producer to co-exist with these animals and reduce or eliminate predation losses. livestock, the likelihood of standard fladry working to prevent livestock killing may drop to 80 or 20 percent or zero. That brings us to the second factor. Contradictions appear when we focus on tactics without associating them with a level of habituation. If one rancher says, “Fladry works for me!” And, another rancher says, “That fladry is a waste of time,” it can only mean the tactic was used in different circumstances or with a different level of habituation. To make better decisions in determining which deterrent to use and when to use it, we can practice Holistic Management’s rule to “assume we are wrong” and to clearly define early warning indicators in our monitoring. If the data suggests we have an 80 percent likelihood of deterring a kill with fladry immediately following a kill, we might continue with that form of habituation deterrent. With that decision, we may identify that our early warning indicator is seeing one wolf, on one occasion, through the fladry line, for example. In that instance, we immediately change our habituation deterrent to “turbo fladry,” or some other deterrent that the data suggests is more effective with a pack that has killed. However, if the data suggests we only have a 20 percent chance of preventing a kill, following a kill, with standard fladry after a pack has killed, we would most likely change our form of deterrent immediately following the kill. It seems the effectiveness of the tools to prevent habituation is relative to the pack’s level of habituation. Making decisions on which deterrent to use without factoring that part of the equation is not a sound decision.

Who’s Your Scapegoat? Another explanation of seemingly contradictory data is to see the world from a wolf’s point of view. The reason wolves prey on the weak, the sick, and the old, is because it is safe. A wolf knows about managing risk through millennia of being a predator and working to make a living. For example, biologists have documented that wolves can quickly pick out diseased animals from elk herds that are undetectable to humans and target those animals—running past other elk in their focused pursuit of the most vulnerable prey. That makes sense given how wolves interpret their CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

Number 123


Land & Livestock


Predators—Friend or Foe?

continued from page eleven

world largely through their sense of smell, which is 100 times sharper than ours. Could this be what is going on when we see an apparent kill for no rhyme or reason? Maintaining the predator/prey interface could result in healthier livestock such as coyotes cleaning up after birth for Bill and flies recycling manure, and wolves culling infection and disease. More diversity and complexity can contribute to stability.

Concentrate Cattle and Labor All of the tools and practices preventing habituation will benefit from increased stock density. But, concentrated animals also increase the effectiveness of labor. Concentrated animals would allow us to easily move to night penning, which has been practiced successfully in Africa for centuries. African Holistic Management practitioners have much experience and knowledge in night penning. Electric fencing can increase flexibility for night penning by keeping predators out and being mobile and temporary. If we are dealing with smaller livestock, like sheep or goats, this might be our only option if guard dogs are unable to keep the predators at bay. But cattle can learn behavior practices to enable self-sufficiency. Those behavior practices begin with increased stock density. Higher stock density improves the marginal reaction of all these practices and is the best marginal reaction place to start changing animal behavior. What do we manage on the other side of the equation? Fortunately most wolves hunt and eat wild prey and not livestock—it's a matter of keeping that natural behavior in place by elevating their sense of risk. Jeremy Gingerich of Red Rock Ranch near Dillon, Montana says his bison not only chase coyotes away but also will even run them down and trample them to death. Bison present risk. Can we get livestock to behave in this way? Bill Hancock in Wyoming says we can develop culling practices that will change our cattle behavior.

Stock Density Key The root cause of the problem goes back to Holistic Management’s missing key, the predator-prey relationship. Rather than preventing interaction between livestock and predators, progress requires developing a functional interaction between the predator and prey. The root cause of the problem seems to be small herds and naïve cattle. Suzanne points out the disconnect, “Most cattle losses to wolves occur with large cattle operations—not small ones.” The small operations are not losing livestock to wolves because they maintain a human presence. The large herd owners have cattle scattered in low stock densities—ripe

for a wolf managing risk. We tend to think 500 to 1,000 head is a large herd, but maybe we need herds of 10,000 or 20,000. James kept his herd of 1,000 head bunched to one square mile but we need more density for predator protection. No matter what size the herd, the protection factor boils down to stock density. Only with increased stock density, and a sagacious, wry cow aiming her horns so a predator sees risk, will we change behavior in a sustained way. That tension will provide stability better than a rifle. With a rifle, the next generation needs to learn the lessons all over again. People resist change because they lack a clear motive and/or doubt their ability. Social pressures are providing that motive as is the knowledge that predators bring benefits to a holistically managed ranch. And, efforts like the Sun Ranch offer new insights into our abilities to manage with predators. If practitioners focus human creativity, labor, and money towards increasing livestock density, the land will benefit from better application of disturbance/recovery ratios. If we focus our efforts on changing livestock behavior, we will benefit with less labor, fewer livestock losses and have a better bottom line. If we are perceived by our future resource base to have managed for more diversity and complexity, we will gain support for this important work.

Root Cause of Predation HOLISTICGOAL Future Resource Base: Our community, Congress, the American people, and our customers, desire the presence of predators.

THE PROBLEM Predators cut into our economic sustainability both through increased management and labor to prevent loss and the actual loss. Why?—Predators are hungry so they kill livestock. Why?—Because their prey base is not available so they kill livestock. Why?—They have become habituated and have no fear. Why?—Because humans or livestock have not presented a risk to them for generations. Why?—Because we either killed or protected them so there was no generational transfer of risk to succeeding generations. Root Cause of the Problem—Domestic animals (prey) and managers are naïve and predators have no fear.

Here a guardian dog is used in combination with electric netting to protect goats from predators. 12

Land & Livestock


January / February 2009

Managing for Soil Health—

Planned Grazing to Better Manage Multi-Species Grazing by Judi Earl


ulti-species grazing provides a variety of benefits, and producers in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia have been reaping the rewards for many years. In this area of Australia, the predominant multispecies grazing combination is cattle and sheep—as a means of controlling parasites. However, the most recent adaptation of multi-species grazing is the focus of using the animals to improve land health, not to just produce income. Likewise, this focus on land health means that land managers are now beginning to understand the need to leave plant residuals behind to enhance pasture growth and provide for the requirements of all the animals feeding on those plants (above and below ground).

If you have a living soil and are managing holistically, you are by definition doing multi-species grazing. Between wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, and cockatoos, (not to mention all the critters in the soil) you have a host of grazers that need access to plant residual. With holistic planned grazing you can factor that need into your planning.

Multiple Benefits For years producers have run multiple species as a way of diversifying income, controlling weeds and woody species, reclaiming land, providing guardian animals for their flocks and herds, and controlling parasites. But with holistic planned grazing, I have seen people move from an animalcentric approach (focused solely on animal performance) to an ecocentric approach (focused on livestock, wildlife, and soil health). In working with producers who have begun planned grazing in 28-32 inch (700-800 mm) rainfall environment, I have seen significant increases in SOC (Soil Organic Carbon) very quickly, up to 1 percent within a 12month period. Tim and Karen Wright are producers who run sheep and cattle together. They have multiple cells within which they use a leader/follower approach. Each mob commonly has access to an area for not more than one day before moving on. With this approach they achieve more even utilization of forage, since sheep are bottom grazers, grazing from the bottom up, while the cattle

graze from the top down. From an animal health perspective, this grazing has worked well. On the Northern Tablelands the regional norm is that sheep will be drenched from six to eight times a year, the Wrights rarely drench sheep more than once a year, if at all. This is just one example of how planned grazing provides a higher level of control of the interactions between animals and the environment. Planning the grazing to control those factors which can be controlled by graziers is critical since there are so many variables in a grassland environment. For example, wildlife can consume a significant amount of available forage. The forage intake of a kangaroo could be considered at least the equivalent of one sheep and a wallaby could be counted as half a sheep. Other grazers that depend on grasslands such as rabbits, and small native CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

(Left) Goats are a good species to add to a herd that predominantly has grazers. Goats prefer browse and will help control woody species infestations. In Australia, these Boer goats are being used to control blackberry bushes and thistles. (Right) A chicken and sheep combination helps to control parasites as the chickens can reduce worm populations. Number 123


Land & Livestock


Managing for Soil Health

continued from page thirteen

Grow more by leaving more

Planned grazing increases soil water infiltration — Clare South Australia “Anama” 2001-2005

marsupials, can also have a significant influence as can a variety of birds such as ducks, cockatoos and galahs. And, any living soil will have a countless number of species which depend on the below ground bounty provided by plants, including invertebrates such as mites, collembolan, and nematodes as well as protozoa, fungi and bacteria. In fact, it is the multispecies below ground that drive agricultural production. A key component of any living soil is the amount of organic material present in the soil, providing habitat and nutrition to the myriad organisms residing there. In terms of carbon, although it constitutes a relatively small percentage of the overall mass of soil, it can add up. A soil of average bulk density with just two percent organic carbon present in the top four inches (10 cm) translates to 9.6 tons of carbon/acre or 24 tons/hectare. This carbon is essential to not only feeding soil life and pasture productivity, but also affects water infiltration rates. On one trial site where planned grazing was implemented, within two years soil water infiltration rate increased eightfold in comparison to the conventional grazing treatment. Soil moisture significantly influences soil biological activity.

Increasing Pasture Growth Rate A key driver of pasture productivity is utilization, that is, the proportion of annual forage grown that is consumed by livestock. Our research has shown that in our 32-inch (800mm) rainfall environment, 60 percent utilization

is the critical threshold. Assuming 7,040 pounds DM/acre (8,000 kg DM/ha) of forage is grown per year, around 40 percent 2,640 pounds DM/acre (3,000 kg DM/ha) of that annual production should be planned to leave as a residual to go back to the soil organic pool (i.e. to be used by the rest of your “uncontrolled” below ground herd of multi-species grazers mentioned above). In this way you can be building the biological capital and productive potential within your soil. If you keep this ratio in mind it helps address the next issue, which is that high utilization retards pasture growth rates. The more residual green leaf you can leave behind following any graze event (lower utilization), the faster the pasture recovery rate will be. So the assumption that everything should be grazed at the three-leaf stage is actually the worst thing you can do to a pasture or an animal. That level of high utilization does not allow for the needs of soil organisms. Because there are so many variables beyond your control, it is imperative that you plan your grazing. It’s just not possible to effectively control pasture utilization under set stocking. Since soil health drives productivity, in our environment exceeding 60 percent annual utilization decreases productivity in both the short and long term. The process of holistic grazing planning is the most valuable tool any grazier can apply. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why more people don’t use it. If you look at the pasture production chart above left, you can see how planning the grazing and leaving more residual behind can potentially increase pasture growth rate. The graph shows a doubling of annual forage production. Planned grazing can do that within three years! And, it eliminates the need to substitute hay. All these results demonstrate the importance of doing your best for all the critters influenced by your management. If you plan your grazing, you can control your livestock, in the knowledge you are doing your best to adequately cater for everything from the microbes in the soil up the entire grassland food chain. This article was developed from Judi Earl’s presentation at HMI’s International Gathering in 2007. Judi Earl is a Certified Educator from Guyra, New South Wales, Australia. She can be reached at: The root mass on these samples of Phalaris aquatica show that recovery time is critical to regrow root mass and keep the plant and the soil healthy.


Land & Livestock


January / February 2009






Canadian Conference...

A Success F







ver 250 people from Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Australia participated in the Holistic Management International Conference held on October 22-26, 2008 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. This conference was a joint initiative between Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, the Manitoba Forage Council, and Holistic Management Canada. The theme of the conference was “Paradigm Shifting for the Future.” We would especially like to thank the organizing committee for all their hard work for making this conference a success: Pam Iwanchysko, Larry Fisher, Jo-Lene Gardiner, Marylou Goshulak, and Marc Boulanger of the Manitoba Agriculutre, Food, and Rural Initiatives; Don Campbell, Cynthia Nerbas, Perry Koss, Bruce and Patti Chern, and Blain and Naomi Hjertaas of Holistic Management Canada; Stan McFarlane of PFRA; and Allistar Hagan, Chris Wakentin, and Samantha Winslow of the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboys Association. D. Certified Educator Don Campbell was acknowledged by Peter Holter for his long-term commitment to spreading Holistic Management in Canada. To a standing ovation by the audience he received a plaque from HMI recognizing his efforts. E. Abe Collins gave his talk “Carbon Farming in America” to an enthusiastic audience. Abe will also be presenting at HMI’s 25th Anniversary Conference on March 5-7, 2009 in Abilene, Texas. F. HMI’s past Board Chair Ron Chapman gave a motivational speech: “Holistic Management: Save Haven or Launching Pad.” He was one of three motivational speakers on the program that the audience enjoyed.

A. Pam Iwanchysko did a brilliant job of directing the Organizing Committee for this conference as well as emceeing the first day of the conference. B. After the Honorable Rosann Wowchuk, Minister of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives opened the conference, longtime Holistic Management practitioner and educator Lee Pengilly had the conference attendees up and moving as they participated in the “Meeting Beyond Our Borders.” C. HMI Executive Director Peter Holter gave his presentation, “Growing Beyond our Borders,” sharing the international story of Holistic Management and the work of our practitioners around the world.

G. Ivan Aguirre presented his talk “Families Preparing for the Future: Holistic Management in Mexico” sharing his family’s experience with using Holistic Management to improve the health of the land under their management and provide a variety of income streams through multiple enterprises. H. Gabe Brown who presented on his experience with “cocktail cropping” visited with Certified Educator trainee Blain Hjertaas who presented on sustainable cropping. I. Bluesette Campbell visited with Peggy Maddox at HMI’s booth. Peggy Maddox presented a workshop on Holistic Management and children. J. Linda and Ralph Corcoran visit with Don Campbell during one of the coffee breaks. As Certified Educator trainees, Linda and Ralph also cotaught the planned grazing workshop with fellow trainee Brian Luce. K. Conference attendees enjoyed three-days of presentations, exhibits, workshops, food, concerts, and rodeos.

Number 123




New Board Members

T he


MI is excited to announce two new Board of Directors!

Jesús Antonio Almeida Valdez was born in the city of Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. He graduated from New Mexico State University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, and in 1979, he took over administration of the family’s 15,000-hectare ranch in Chihuahua. In 1987, alongside his father, Jesús Almeida Nesbitt, Jesús took the first Holistic Management course in Albuquerque. From this point, he began to apply Holistic Management principles on the family ranch. He has had great success in the administration of the ranch, and in coordination with engineer Elco S. Blanco Madrid, he is now dedicated to teaching Holistic Management and offering technical consulting and monitoring services to producers at four demonstration sites. Jesús and Elco continue their work through the financial support of the Producers’ Foundation of Chihuahua and proprietors of ranches in their area. To date, Jesús has successfully trained close to 25 ranchers in the practice of Holistic Management, so that they will manage their ranches for good economic, ecological, and social results. Jesús and his wife, Imelda Falomir Vallina, have seven children: Imelda, Susana, Jesús, Juan Pablo, Santiago, Teresa and Guillermo. John Hackley is President of Richards Ranch, a 15,000-acre, 1,100-head cow/calf operation in North Central Texas. The ranch was established by his family in 1865; John is the 5th generation to manage the ranch. John graduated from Midwestern State University with a BBA and worked in the banking industry for 8 years before returning to the family business in 1974. In 1979, John and his uncle began looking for more sustainable ways to manage their land and the next year they attended their first class with Allan Savory. The ranch has now been under Holistic Management for 28 years and the Hackley 16



news from holistic management international

family is proud of what they’ve accomplished. The ranch has received recognition for its outstanding demonstration of good management and environmental stewardship. And while the Hackleys appreciate these awards, the family’s focus is to increase its productivity and nurture the land for now and future generations. John has served on numerous boards and foundations over the years and was most recently the President of HMI-Texas. He is involved in his local church and has served on various local community boards over the years. His son, Brent, is general manager of the ranch and his grandson, Hunter, takes an active interest in the operation. His daughter, Mary Kay, is the Director of Corporate Sales for the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau. HMI welcomes Jesus and John. We also want to acknowledge the contributions of Ivan Aguirre who completed his term as a Board Member and International Representative for Mexico. Thank you to all our Board for their many hours of volunteer service!

Leopold Conservation Award


he Nebraska Cattlemen, in collaboration with Wisconsin-based Sand County Foundation, announced that A.B. Cox of Mullen will be the 2008 Nebraska recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award given for excellence in voluntary conservation work. Cox is a third-generation Sandhills rancher. His family has been in the ranching business in Cherry County for 103 years. Their Calf Creek Ranch and 4 –O Ranch consist of about 23,000 acres of deeded, leased and managed land. The ranch is mostly native range and they raise cows, calves and yearlings. The ranch is a huge flyway for migrating ducks, geese, cranes and many other birds. The Cox’s use a holistic approach to conservation as long-time Holistic Management practitioners. Cox manages for a sustainable cow-calf operation including calving in April to reduce his reliance on harvested feed. They graze and rest meadows and pastures in spring, summer and winter. This practice has added value and diversity to the meadow and pasture composition and balances the warm season and cool season

January / February 2009

h people, programs & projects

grasses, extending the grazing season. Most of his conservation work has involved the Nebraska Chapter for Holistic Management, the Sandhills Task Force, and Grazing Lands Coalition and has included hosting workshops, tours, clinics and schools to promote conservation education. Nominations were evaluated and finalists selected by a panel of judges representing The Nebraska Department of Agriculture; The Nebraska Land Trust; The Sand Hills Task Force; The Nebraska Environmental Trust; The Nebraska Game & Parks Commission; and The Nebraska Nature Conservancy. Congratulations, A.B.!

Kenyan Workshops


n September 2008 HMI lead an introductory two-day workshop on Holistic Management in Kenya for Participatory Environmental Awareness and Resources (PEAR) and Christian Blind Mission (CBM). This program was partially sponsored by CARE. The group consisted of 43 selected community members in the Northern Samburu District living around the villages of Arsim, Illaut and Ngurunit. Certified Educator Craig Leggett facilitated the event with representatives of PEAR. PEAR has been working with Heifer International to improve food security by introducing camels and related enterprises into the area. CBM has been working on water-point development as a strategy to reduce the incidence of trachoma, a blinding disease. Together they saw the long-term need for improved resource management across the pastoralist region in order for their efforts to be sustained.

In Memoriam


MI was saddened to learn of the passing of Ken Peterson, who helped to bring Holistic Management to northeast Minnesota. Ken also served on the Board of the Land Stewardship Project and was an extension educator for the University of Minnesota. Earlier this year he was given the Sustainable Farming Association’s Sustainable Farmer Emeritus Award.

PBS Documentary— Spread the Word!


s of January 2009, the documentary The First Millimeter: Healing the Earth has been completed and is being marketed to public television. Thanks to the generous donations of the HMI community in response to our annual appeal letter, we were able to raise the remaining money to complete production. Thanks to each and every one of you who helped us reach our goal! And, it’s never just about money: Now we are asking you for your time. When this film airs on public television, we want as many people as possible to see it. We will be compiling a schedule of what stations will air The First Millimeter, but may only have access to this information on short notice (possibly only a few days before it shows). We need to respond quickly to get the word out, and we’d like your help. Please contact us if you want to help us spread the word in your community. Call Marisa Mancini at HMI at 505/842-5252 or send a message to marisam@ and include your contact phone or email to receive information about airdates as it is available. We are very excited about this opportunity to promote this documentary that helps people understand the importance of soil health and the role that livestock and Holistic Management play. Not only do we have Allan Savory and several Holistic Management practitioners and Certified Educators interviewed in this documentary, we have leading authorities in land health and global climate change helping to tie all these pieces together such as James Hansen and Dr. Pushker Kharecha of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, both at the forefront of climate change science; Dr. Christopher Field, professor of biological sciences at Stanford; and Dr. Christine Jones, wellknown Australian soil scientist and the driving force behind Australia’s Soil Carbon Accreditation Scheme. Thank you to all that have contributed to making this happen!

James Hansen

HMI Australia News


n July we welcomed Phillip Diprose to the Board of HMIA. In his role as Business Development Director Phillip brings a wealth of corporate and project management experience to HMIA and we look forward to progressing to the next phase. Phillip led the development of the highly successful Lachlan Grazing Management Project where 10 landholders located across the Lachlan Catchment in New South Wales have established onfarm learning gyms of up to 50 acres (20 ha) where they will demonstrate the benefits of planned, high density short duration grazing. A funding application has been submitted seeking support to extend the project to include 10 sites new sites in northern New South Wales (NSW) and incorporate existing independent sites on both “Kachana” in Western Australia and “Coodardie” in the Northern Territory. Total land under the management of these 22 landholders is just less than one million acres (4,000 square km). Holistic Management training programs are currently underway in Uralla in the Northern Tablelands NSW, and with the support of the Western CMA in Wanaaring western NSW. More courses are planned for early 2009, see the website for details at Our fresh new website is up and running thanks to the outstanding efforts of HMIA Company Secretary, Fiona Smith. The site has many new features. The Course in Holistic Management courses are now been fully accredited through the NSW Technical and Further Education (TAFE) tertiary education provider. From 2009 the Holistic Management program delivered through TAFE NSW will meet the National Standards under the Australian Qualification Framework. This partnership with TAFE NSW is an exciting development and will provide widespread exposure and greater flexibility in delivering Holistic Management training. Australian Certified Educators met in August at George and Erica Gundry’s property ‘Willeroo.’ In advance of the meeting George and Erica hosted the ‘Baselines’ forum presented by CraftACT. This was a wonderful event, supported by HMIA which highlighted the link between art and the environment. For more details go to Another event which HMIA has supported recently was the Frog Dreaming conference. Held in conjunction with National Parks and Southern New England Landcare, about 120 year 5 and 6 students from a number of regional schools participated in the event. Students were fully engaged in activities which highlighted environmental issues and their role in the solutions. HMIA had a strong presence at the Sustainable Living Expo in Armidale in September with a trade stand and providing three presentations over the course of the event. Attended by over 5,000 people it was an outstanding function. HMIA is also proudly sponsoring the Carbon Cockie competition at the Carbon Farming Conference at Orange in mid November. The conference is being organised by Goolma-based Holistic Management practitioners, Louisa and Michael Kiely.

Number 123





Certified Educators


To our knowledge, Certified Educators are the best qualified individuals to help others learn to practice Holistic Management and to provide them with technical assistance when necessary. On a yearly basis, Certified Educators renew their agreement to be affiliated with HMI. This agreement requires their commitment to practice Holistic Management in their own lives, to seek out opportunities for staying current with the latest developments in Holistic Management and to maintain a high standard of ethical conduct in their work. For more information about or application forms for the HMI’s Certified Educator Training Programs, contact Ann Adams or visit our website at: EDUCATORS PROVIDE HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT INSTRUCTION * THESE ON BEHALF OF THE INSTITUTIONS THEY REPRESENT.




Bill Burrows 12250 Colyear Springs Road Red Bluff, CA 96080 530/529-1535 • 530/200-2419 (c) Richard King 1675 Adobe Rd. Petaluma, CA 94954 707/769-1490 707/794-8692(w) Kelly Mulville P.O Box 323, Valley Ford, CA 94972-0323 707/431-8060; 707/876-3592 * Rob Rutherford CA Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 805/756-1475

COLORADO Joel Benson P.O. Box 4924, Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-6119 • Cindy Dvergsten 17702 County Rd. 23, Dolores, CO 81323 970/882-4222 Daniela and Jim Howell P.O. Box 67, Cimarron, CO 81220-0067 970/249-0353 • Craig Leggett 2078 County Rd. 234, Durango, CO 81301 970/946-1771 Byron Shelton 33900 Surrey Lane, Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-8157 • Tom Walther P.O. Box 1158 Longmont, CO 80502-1158 510/499-7479

GEORGIA Constance Neely 635 Patrick Place Atlanta, GA 30320 706/540-2878




* Margaret Smith Iowa State University, CES Sustainable Agriculture 972 110th St., Hampton, IA 50441-7578 515/294-0887

LOUISIANA Tina Pilione P.O. 923, Eunice, LA 70535 phone: 337/580-0068

Terry Gompert P.O. Box 45 Center, NE 68724-0045 402/288-5611 (w) Paul Swanson 5155 West 12th St., Hastings, NE 68901 402/463-8507

NEW HAMPSHIRE * Seth Wilner 24 Main Street, Newport, NH 03773 603/863-4497 (h) 603/863-9200 (w)

NEW MEXICO * Ann Adams Holistic Management International 1010 Tijeras NW Albuquerque, NM 87102 505/842-5252 Kirk Gadzia P.O. Box 1100, Bernalillo, NM 87004 505/867-4685 (f) 505/867-9952

NEW YORK MAINE Vivianne Holmes 239 E. Buckfield Rd. Buckfield, ME 04220-4209 207/336-2484 Tobey Williamson 52 Center St., Portland, ME 04101 207/774-2458 x115

MICHIGAN Ben Bartlett N4632 ET Road, Traunik, MI 49891 906/439-5210 (h) • 906/439-5880 (w) Larry Dyer 604 West 8th Ave. Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783 906/248-3354 x4245 (w) 906/253-1504 (h) •

MONTANA Wayne Burleson 322 N. Stillwater Rd., Absarokee, MT 59001 406/328-6808 Roland Kroos 4926 Itana Circle, Bozeman, MT 59715 406/522-3862 * Cliff Montagne P.O. Box 173120 Montana State University Department of Land Resources & Environmental Science Bozeman, MT 59717 406/994-5079 •

January / February 2009

Phil Metzger 99 N. Broad St., Norwich, NY 13815 607/334-3231 x4 (w) • 607/334-2407 (h) John Thurgood 15 Farone Dr., Apt. E26 Oneonta, NY 13820-1331 607/643-2804 •

NORTH DAKOTA Wayne Berry 1611 11th Ave. West Williston, ND 58801 701/572-9183

OREGON Andrea & Tony Malmberg P.O. Box 167, LaGrande, OR 97850 541/805-1124

PENNSYLVANIA Jim Weaver 428 Copp Hollow Rd. Wellsboro, PA 16901-8976 570/724-7788 •

TEXAS Christina Allday-Bondy 2703 Grennock Dr., Austin, TX 78745 512/441-2019 Guy Glosson 6717 Hwy. 380, Snyder, TX 79549 806/237-2554

TEXAS Peggy Maddox P.O. Box 694, Ozona, TX 76943-0694 325/392-2292, R. H. (Dick) Richardson University of Texas at Austin Section of Integrative Biology School of Biological Sciences Austin, TX 78712 512/471-4128

WASHINGTON Craig Madsen P.O. Box 107, Edwall, WA 99008 509/236-2451 • Sandra Matheson 228 E. Smith Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226 360/398-7866 • Doug Warnock 1880 SE Larch Ave. College Place, WA 99324 509/540-5771 • 509/856-7101 (c)

WEST VIRGINIA Fred Hays P.O. Box 241, Elkview, WV 25071 304/548-7117

WISCONSIN Andy Hager W. 3597 Pine Ave., Stetsonville, WI 54480-9559 715/678-2465 * Laura Paine Wisconsin DATCP N893 Kranz Rd., Columbus, WI 53925 608/224-5120 (w) • 920/623-4407 (h)


AUSTRALIA Judi Earl 73 Harding E., Guyra, NSW 2365 61-2-6779-2286 Mark Gardner P.O. Box 1395, Dubbo, NSW 2830 61-2-6884-4401 Paul Griffiths P.O. Box 3045, North Turramura, NSW 2074, Sydney, NSW 61-2-9144-3975 • George Gundry Willeroo, Tarago, NSW 2580 61-2-4844-6223 • Graeme Hand 150 Caroona Lane, Branxholme, VIC 3302 61-3-5578-6272 (h) • 61-4-0996-4466 (c)


Helen Lewis P.O. Box 1263, Warwick, QLD 4370 61-7-46617393 • 61-7-46670835 Brian Marshall P.O. Box 300, Guyra NSW 2365 61-2-6779-1927 • fax: 61-2-6779-1947 Bruce Ward P.O. Box 103, Milsons Pt., NSW 1565 61-2-9929-5568 fax: 61-2-9929-5569 Brian Wehlburg c/o “Sunnyholt”, Injune, QLD 4454 61-7-4626-7187 Jason Virtue Mary River Park 1588 Bruce Highway South Gympie, QLD 4570 61-7-5483-5155

CANADA Don Campbell Box 817 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y6 306/236-6088

Len Pigott Box 222, Dysart, SK, SOH 1HO 306/432-4583 Kelly Sidoryk P.O. Box 374, Lloydminster, AB S9V 0Y4 780/875-9806 (h) • 780/875-4418 (c)

KENYA Christine C. Jost International Livestock Research Institute Box 30709, Nairobi 00100 254-20-422-3000; 254-736-715-417 (c) Belinda Low P.O. Box 15109, Langata, Nairobi 254-727-288-039

MEXICO Arturo Mora Benitez San Juan Bosco 169 Fracc., La Misión Celaya, Guanajuato 38016 52-461-615-7632 • Elco Blanco-Madrid Hacienda de la Luz 1803 Fracc. Haciendas del Valle II Chihuahua, Chih 31238 52/614-423-4413 (h) • 52/614-415-0176 (f)

PACIFIC NORTHWEST Sustaining Agriculture C O N F E R E N C E



EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION $150 ($275 for two people from the same family) BEGINS OCT. 1, 2008

Join over 100 Holistic Management Practitioners and Educators from the Northwest to learn from speakers including Bob Chadwick and Joel Huesby! TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE: Send a check payable to Sustainability Conference in the amount of your registration fee to: Sustainability Conference c/o KCCD, 607 E. Mountain View Ave., Ellensburg, WA 98962 or call 509/525-3389 for more information. Special room rate at the Shilo Inn, 509/943-2234: $70/room plus tax — call and tell them you are with the Sustainability Conference.



Ivan A. Aguirre Ibarra P.O. Box 304, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000 52-1-662-289-0900 (from U.S.) 52-1-662-289-0901


Ian Mitchell-Innes P.O. Box 52, Elandslaagte 2900 27-36-421-1747; Dick Richardson P.O. Box 1853, Vryburg 8600 tel/fax: 27-082-934-6139;


Usiel Kandjii P.O. Box 23319, Windhoek 264-61-205-2324 Wiebke Volkmann P.O. Box 9285, Windhoek 264-61-225183 or 264-81-127-0081

NEW ZEALAND John King P.O. Box 12011 Beckenham, Christchurch 8242 64-276-737-885

SOUTH AFRICA Jozua Lambrechts P.O. Box 5070 Helderberg, Somerset West, Western Cape 7135 27-21-851-5669; 27-21-851-2430 (w)

Holistic Management® Certified Educator Training Program


Aspen Edge Apartado de Correos 19, 18420 Lanjaron, Granada (0034)-958-347-053

UNITED KINGDOM Philip Bubb 32 Dart Close, St. Ives, Cambridge, PE27 3JB 44-1480-496-2925 (h); 44-1223-814-662 (w)

ZIMBABWE Amanda Atwood 27 Rowland Square, Milton Park, Harare 263-23-233-760; Sunny Moyo Africa Centre for Holistic Management P. Bag 5950, Victoria Falls;; 263-13-42199 (w)

Want to make the world a better place? Interested in teaching others about Holistic Management?

HMI’s Certified Educator Training Program is an individualized two-year training program developed to produce excellent Holistic Management facilitators, coaches, and instructors. Tailored to meet your needs and interests. TO LEARN MORE, CONTACT: Ann Adams • • 505/842-5252

Number 123






hen keeping livestock, the cost of growing feed is always a big factor to consider, especially since fertilizer has raised so much in price. Some have even concluded that at such high prices it is just too expensive to fertilize pastures. But to the extent possible, growing good feed for your animals as pasture and hay is always preferable to buying it elsewhere. Still far too many who have the land for growing hay and pasture dismiss such possibilities based on poor crop performance in past years.


Those who entertain such thoughts should consider trying another approach to growing pasture on a budget. It is possible to build soil fertility, improve production and increase feed quality even on poorer pasture soils by wisely considering the application of fertilizer and soil amendments. Considering current fertilizer prices, can such attempts possibly be worthwhile? YES!

READ ABOUT ONE OF OUR CLIENTS’ EXPERIENCE WITH REVERSING THE PROBLEMS OF POOR PERFORMING PASTURES. “. . . these results are all from a FIVE acre pasture! We have only ten acres, about ten ewes, some feeder lambs and two horses. Originally I hoped that we could have a very small 100% grass-fed lamb operation. Unfortunately my sheep died off one at a time.” “. . . applied the first of . . . (your) fertilizer (recommendations) to our pastures in mid or late February (2008).There was enough growth to turn the ewes out by the first of March, about a month early. By the first of May I had clipped the pasture twice and by mid-May the pasture had entirely gotten away from me. I made the decision to cut the pasture for hay . . . and harvested 13 tons of gorgeous green hay in mid-June.” “Within a week, the fescue had shot up and was ready to start grazing. The ewes have almost all lambed, and are turned out on the pasture, when it is normally dead and gone.” “We have had no nutritionally related problems with lambing, which is a first. Many of the lambs have been born too weak to nurse in the past. Something was missing.”




January / February 2009

Truly, when soils are not performing at their best, something is missing, and not just nitrogen or the major nutrients that can be supplied by use of a simple N-P-K fertilizer mix. We specialize in advice for helping to rebuild soils to supply improved nutrition and yields. You don’t have to start with the whole spread! Just take one small pasture and follow through to the extent the budget will allow by requesting the nutrients be prioritized according to importance. Based on the soil analysis, a written evaluation of each individual sample in terms of strengths and/or weaknesses may also be requested. (Recommended fertilizers to supply nutrient needs for the intended crop are included in the cost of the soil analysis. Prioritizing nutrient needs and the written evaluation are not included in the basic cost, but are available upon request for an extra charge.)

When sending samples for testing, mention you read our In Practice ad g to be entered in a drawin oaut ary ent for a complim sey’s graphed copy of Neal Kin Hands-On Agronomy.

For consulting or educational services contact:

Kinsey Agricultural Services, Inc. 297 County Highway 357 Charleston, Missouri 63834 Ph: 573/683-3880 • F: 573/683-6227 WE ACCEPT CREDIT CARD ORDERS (VISA, MC)

T H E M A R K E T P LAC E From the Ground Up: Practical Solutions to Complex Problems

DON’T HAVE TIME TO MONITOR LAND HEALTH? Let me get you the information you need to improve the health AND productivity of your land. • Over 40 years of experience with ranching and rangeland • Public and private land experience • 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!

KELLY BONEY 575/760-7636 kboney@

DVDs OF: Joel Salatin Thom Hartmann Temple Grandin Allan Savory

2007 HMI Conference Recordings DISCOUNT!




• Soil Health • Animal Behavior • Sustainable Genetics • Benefits of MultiSpecies Grazing • Brix & Healthy Rumen • and more . . .

Neal Kinsey, Terry Gompert, Ian Mitchell-Innes, Fred Provenza, Betsy Ross, Dale Lasater, Greg Judy, Jon Frank, Kirk Gadzia, and many more . . .



Call HMI at 505/842-5252 for a complete list or visit our store at:


Hold the Celebrating 25 Years of Holistic Management Date . . . March 5-7, 2009 SPEAKERS and WORKSHOP PRESENTERS INCLUDE: Allan Savory Jody Butterfield Peter Holter Elmer Kelton Zachary Jones Tom German Abe Collins Terry Gompert Betsy Ross Amy Hardberger Joel Benson

Hilton Garden Inn, Abilene, Texas

Join HMI-Texas and Holistic Management International as they celebrate


Keyline, Planned Grazing, Carbon Sequestration, Holistic Policy Analysis and Design, Estate Planning, Introduction to Holistic Management, Holistic Financial Planning, and much more! Watch for our next ad with more speakers and presenters listed.


Number 123





PO Box 1100 Pasture Bernalillo, NM 87004 Scene 505-263-8677 Investigation

The Business of Ranching

Holistic Management Resource Classes February 2-7, 2009

• On-Site, Custom Courses • Holistic Business Planning • Ranchers Business Forum • Creating Change thru Grazing Planning and Land Monitoring

Roland R.H. Kroos (406) 522.3862 • Cell: 581.3038 Email:

Resource Management Services, LLC Kirk L. Gadzia, Certified Educator

By World Famous Dr. Grandin Originator of Curved Ranch Corrals The wide curved Lane makes filling the crowding tub easy. Includes detailed drawings for loading ramp, V chute, round crowd pen, dip vat, gates and hinges. Plus cell center layouts and layouts compatible with electronic sorting systems. Articles on cattle behavior. 27 corral layouts. $55. Low Stress Cattle Handling Video $59. Send checks/money order to:


Introduction to Holistic Management Feb. 2-4: $495 Advanced Holistic Management Training

(Requires prior attendance at Intro. Session)

Feb. 5-7: $495

Comprehensive Holistic Management Training Feb. 2-7: $895 Repeat Policy: Repeat attendance is encouraged. $100 booking fee.

2918 Silver Plume Dr., Unit C-3 Fort Collins, CO 80526

Remember, profitable agriculture is not about harder work.... It is about making better decisions!


For more information and registration, visit our new website

4926 Itana Circle • Bozeman, MT 59715

Start Using Holistic Management Today! Join Our Distance Learning Program Stay At Home – All You Need Is A Phone

Apply What You Learn As You Learn With Our Hands On Approach, Step by Step Workbook And Personalized Mentoring. Enjoy Flexible Scheduling. Choose to Work Independently or In Small Groups. Get Started Now.

Realize Immediate Benefits Find More Details On The Web at By Phone at 970-882-4222 or e-mail us at

FREE CHOICE ENTERPRISES, LTD A Nutritional Consulting Firm

Laboratory Services Free Choice Cafeteria Mineral Program Energy Supplements SPECIALIZING IN NUTRITION FOR THE GRAZING ANIMAL AND THE LAND WHERE THEY GRAZE

Offered By Whole New Concepts, LLC


P.O. Box 218 Lewis CO 81327 USA

—— C O N T A C T ——

Cindy Dvergsten, a Holistic Management® Certified Educator, has 12 years experience in personal practice, training & facilitation of Holistic Management, and 25 years experience in resource management & agriculture. She offers customized solutions to family farms & ranches, communities and organizations worldwide.

MARK BADER, Free Choice Enterprises, LTD



January / February 2009

10055 County K Lancaster, WI 53813



T H E M A R K E T P LAC E Tony & Andrea Malmberg


Holistic Management® Certified Educators


The practice of Holistic Management has improved our relationships, enabled us to run profitable enterprises, enhanced the health of the land, animals and people that have enriched our lives, and given us peace of mind when faced with troubled times. We look forward to sharing what we have learned with you and building your capacity to create the life you desire. ®

March Courses Holistic Financial Planning

Introduction to Holistic Management

March 8-9, 2009

March 4-5, 2009

ALL CLASSES HELD IN ABILENE, TEXAS (in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary Conference)


Tony & Andrea Malmberg

For custom-designed coaching based on real-life experience contact:

768 Twin Creek Road • Lander, WY 82520 U.S.A. • 307.332.5073 • •

Special package discounts available!

To register for these classes, contact HMI Texas at or 325/348-3014

CLASSIFIEDS Livestock 5 Bar Beef Harvesting the Deserts of the World



Advertise in. . .

In Practice a publication of Holistic Management International

Low Rates International Audience Contact Ann Adams at 505/842-5252 or Number 123






Holistic Management® Financial Planning (single-user license) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $249

_ A bimonthly journal for Holistic Management practitioners

Please specify PC or Mac, Office ‘95 or ‘97, 2000, XP, or 2003 and version of Excel you are using

Subscribe for 1 year for only $35/U.S. ($40/International) 2 years ($65/U.S.; $70/International) 3 years ($95/U.S.; $105/International)

_ Gift Subscriptions (same prices as above). _ Special Edition: An Introduction to Holistic Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5 _ Compact Disk Version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$14 _ Bulk subscriptions available.

Pocket Cards Holistic Management® Framework & testing questions, March 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$4

Planning and Monitoring Guides

One year for $17 each/U.S., or $22 each/International ______ Please indicate number of one-year subscriptions

_ Introduction to Holistic Management August 2007, 128 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25

_ Back Issues: $5 each; bulk orders (5 or more issues) $3 each. List

_ Financial Planning August 2007, 58 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17

Please indicate issue numbers desired: ___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25

_ CD of Back Issues: #71 - 89

_ Aide Memoire for Grazing Planning August 2007, 63 pages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17

_ Early Warning Biological Monitoring— Croplands

Books & Multimedia

April 2000, 26 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$14

Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision-Making,

_ Early Warning Biological Monitoring—Rangelands and Grasslands

_ Second Edition, by Allan Savory with Jody Butterfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39 _ Hardcover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $55 _ 15-set CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $99 _ One month rental of CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35 _ Spanish Version (soft). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 _ Holistic Management Handbook, by Butterfield, Bingham, Savory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $27 _ At Home With Holistic Management, by Ann Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20 _ Holistic Management: A New Environmental Intelligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10 _ Improving Whole Farm Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $13 _ Video: Creating a Sustainable Civilization—

August 2007, 59 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17

_ Land Planning—For The Rancher or Farmer Running Livestock August 2007, 31 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17

Planning Forms (All forms are padded – 25 sheets per pad) _ Annual Income & Expense Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 _ Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 7 _ Livestock Production Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 _ Control Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 5 _ Grazing Plan & Control Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17

An Introduction to Holistic Decision-Making, based on a lecture given by Allan Savory. (VHS/DVD/PAL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30 Stockmanship, by Steve Cote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35

_ _ The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, by Shannon Hayes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 _ The Oglin, by Dick Richardson & Rio de la Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 _ Gardeners of Eden, by Dan Dagget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 _ Video: Healing the Land Through Multi-Species Grazing (VHS/DVD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30 TO ORDER

MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION Amount $_____________ Please designate program you would like us to apply contribution toward _________________________________________

Questions? 505/842-5252 or

Indicate quantity in box preceding item, print shipping address at right, mail this page (or a copy) and your check or international money order payable in U.S. funds from a U.S. bank only to: Holistic Management International, 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 Credit card orders: 505/842-5252, or fax: 505/843-7900. For online ordering visit our secure website at:

healthy land. sustainable future.

SHIPPING AND HANDLING up to $15: $16 to $35: $36 to $50: $51 to $70: $71 to $90: over $91:

add $ 5 add $ 6 add $ 8 add $ 9 add $10 add $12

To rates at left, for: Canada Other countries

All shipping is surface or media mail. Contact HMI for shipping rates for priority, express or air mail.


a publication of Holistic Management International 1010 Tijeras NW Albuquerque, NM 87102 USA return service requested

please send address corrections before moving so that we do not incur unnecessary postal fees

Printed on recycled paper

add $10 add $20

Profile for HMI - Holistic Management International

#123 In Practice JAN/FEB 2009  

headlines: food vs fuel, global climate change, and capacity to produce a sustainable healthful food supply that honor both the land and the...

#123 In Practice JAN/FEB 2009  

headlines: food vs fuel, global climate change, and capacity to produce a sustainable healthful food supply that honor both the land and the...