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RACTICE P a publication of the savory center

November/December 2005 * Number 104


A Learning Experience— The Davis Family Farm by Seth Wilner


wenty one years ago Steve and Barbara Davis purchased 45 acres (18 ha) of land in Acworth, New Hampshire. This land had previously been a working farm 50 years ago. The Davises spent the first 10 years clearing the land and returning it to a condition that would support production agriculture. Over time, the Davis Farm increased its capacity and soon began selling products at regional farmers’ markets and offering on-farm internships. This expansion in biodynamically produced food coincided with a growing regional demand for locally produced organic foods, giving rise to the formation of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) on their farm. As the CSA continued to grow over the years, Steve and Barbara Davis invited neighboring farmers to join with them in meeting the production needs of their growing customer base. At this time, the Davis Farm decided to change its name to the Cold Pond Community Farm (CPCF). This name more appropriately described the expansion that included neighboring farmers. In addition to the name change, the Davis family formed a land trust named Cold Pond Community Land Trust (CPCLT). CPCLT leases land to farmers producing for the Cold Pond Community Farm. These producers sell their food and products through the Cold Pond Community Farm CSA and through regional farmers’ markets and local stores. The Davis Farm is one of the farms that produce food and products for the CSA; they also sell their products at local stores and farmers’ markets.

Holistic Sap Boiling I will never forget the first time I attempted to formally teach the Davises Holistic Management, as my experience was memorable from so many perspectives. I had arranged a date and time to meet with Steve and Barbara Davis and their family members and farm interns to begin the process of teaching and integrating Holistic Management into their current management. Typical of many farmers, all were a touch skeptical and quite busy, so we worked hard to fit in this educational session. I believe that had I not had a personal relationship with Steve and Barbara, this first session may not have taken place. Thus it was one of the first times I came to appreciate a lesson I have found to hold true in my career, introducing new concepts and approaches to farm families is greatly enhanced through personal relationships and mutual trust. Our first meeting was scheduled for an early evening during February 2002. As it turned out, the sap had begun to flow, so the Davises had to boil. I had driven to their farm with a large flip chart, a pad of paper and some posters and illustrations I had made during one of my training sessions. When I arrived at the farm, I learned that the meeting was to be held in the sugar house, which involved a hike through snowy fields. The hike precluded the use of my teaching aides, and I was forced to simply be flexible and carry only those materials that fit into my shoulder bag. I arrived at the sugar house to find seven people conversing around a large wood-fired evaporator, drinking boiling sap continued on page 2

Seth Wilner learned a lot more than just sugaring when we worked with the Davis family in New Hampshire. He learned that you have to take a flexible and collaborative approach when sharing new information. Read more about Seth’s story on this page.

FEATURE STORIES A Learning Experience—The Davis Family Farm Seth Wilner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Air Pollution, Water Shortage & Soil Erosion—A Different Farm Subsidy Approach Malcolm Beck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Write It Down Joe Morris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

A Middle-Age Adventure Laura Paine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Book Review Ann Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

LAND & LIVESTOCK Rocky Trails Farm—Where Farming is Fun Jim Weaver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 The Hidden Loss—Understanding the Cost of Overgrazing & Overresting Allan Savory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Beyond the Boundary Fence— Tilbuster Commons John King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

NEWS & NETWORK Savory Center Grapevine . . . . . . . . . . .15 Certified Educators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Network Affiliates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20





THE SAVORY CENTER is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. The Savory Center works to restore the vitality of communities and the natural resources on which they depend by advancing the practice of Holistic Management and coordinating its development worldwide. FOUNDERS Allan Savory

* Jody Butterfield STAFF

Shannon Horst, Executive Director Peter Holter, Senior Director of Marketing and Product Development Bob Borgeson, Director of Finance, Accounting and Administration Jutta von Gontard, Director of Development Kelly (Pasztor) White, Director of Educational Services Constance Neely, International Training Programs Director Ann Adams, Managing Editor, IN PRACTICE and Director of Publications and Outreach Maryann West, Executive Assistant Donna Torrez, Administrative Assistant

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ron Chapman, Chair Terry Word, Vice-Chair Jody Butterfield, Secretary Sue Probart, Treasurer Ben Bartlett Gail Hammack Clint Josey Brian Marshall Jim McMullan Jim Parker Ian Mitchell Innes Dennis Wobeser

ADVISORY COUNCIL Jim Shelton, Chair, Vinita, OK Robert Anderson, Corrales, NM Michael Bowman,Wray, CO Sam Brown, Austin, TX Lee Dueringer, Scottsdale, AZ Gretel Ehrlich, Gaviota, CA Cynthia & Leo Harris, Albuquerque, NM Clint Josey, Dallas, TX Doug McDaniel, Lostine, OR Guillermo Osuna, Coahuila, Mexico Jim Parker, Montrose, CO York Schueller, El Segundo, CA Africa Centre for Holistic Management Private Bag 5950, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Tel: (263) (11) 404 979; email: Huggins Matanga, Director HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT IN PRACTICE (ISSN: 1098-8157) is published six times a year by The Savory Center, 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505/842-5252, fax: 505/843-7900; email:; website: Copyright © 2005.




A Learning Experience to stay warm. It was actually a very elegant setting to engage in a discussion about values, desired quality of life, and decision making. I filled a mug with boiling sap, unloaded a note pad from my bag, took out some notes that I had prepared, and jumped in. Familiar with Extension activities, the people in the room prepared themselves to listen and learn from a “knowledgeable expert.” I tried to dispel this paradigm by sharing honestly my novice level of Holistic Management. Nonetheless, they were still eager at the onset to listen and learn from me. And so it was, I launched into my opening, a description of the model, including what I thought was interesting background information on its derivation and the life and times of Allan Savory. Fairly quickly I could sense that I was losing the interest of the group, after all, they had just come off a long day collecting sap, and it was approaching bed time for several in attendance. After about half an hour, Steve Davis saved me by asking what I believe most, if not all, in the room wanted to ask, “Can we just get started with this and skip the explanation?” Once we began the process of developing a holistic goal, the evening proceeded quite nicely. We went around the room with each person sharing what they valued in life, how they wanted their life to be like on the Davis Farm, what they wanted in their life, and what energized and depleted them with respect to their interactions on the Davis Farm. A short time after the meeting Barbara Davis said to me that it was the first time she could recall hearing her children articulate their values and life desires, especially as they related to the farm. I imagine that the sharing of values was equally as potent for the kids, for they were able to clearly hear their parents articulate their values, ethics, and life desires. Thus that evening I learned a second valuable lesson about Holistic Management, “the process of forming a holistic goal is as important as the product that results.” This lesson has shaped the way I teach and implement Holistic Management, as I truly see the process as equally valuable to the product itself.

A Flexible Approach Time had passed before my work with the Davis Farm proceeded again. I had not succeeded in energizing the group to continue

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their learning and I wanted to have more clarity before I worked with them again. Many in the group felt that once the quality of life component of the holistic goal was complete, so too was their work. When I did approach Steve to set up another session, he was pretty reluctant to schedule a time. Steve suggested that after the growing season we would revisit the idea of continuing our work with Holistic Management. I was not sure whether to push for the continuation of our work with Holistic Management, or to simply respect Steve’s desire to forgo this until sometime after the season was over. My decision was guided by a line from a song I like, “Don’t shake the tree if the fruit ain’t ripe.” So I made a decision not to push Holistic Management. Here again was another lesson that has helped me immeasurably in my career as an educator; “Meet people where they are at and respect that the slow process of behavior change will only occur when people are ready for it.” During the late fall of 2002, I approached Steve again to inquire about his interest in continuing our work with Holistic Management. He felt that Holistic Management might be very useful to the Board of Directors of a recently formed land trust, the Cold Pond Community Land Trust. Steve invited me to the January meeting to introduce Holistic Management and see if the members of the Board would be interested in learning and adopting this decision-making model. I took Steve up on his offer and agreed to attend the Board meeting in January 2003.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road Through my involvement and work with the Cold Pond Community Land Trust and some of the land trust residents as well as other educational opportunities, I had several opportunities to continue discussing Holistic Management with the Davises in a variety of contexts. But it wasn’t until the Davises were faced with a challenging decision, that they were interested in learning how to put their holistic goal “to the test.” What intrigued them about Holistic Management this time was that it could not only help them come to a decision that simultaneously considered potential impacts to their quality of life, their income and their farm

environment, but also through monitoring their decision, they could mitigate the situation in short order if necessary. This created a freedom to run with the decision and see if it bore the fruit they felt it would. I believe that through this two-year process of learning and experimenting Steve and Barbara Davis have come to gain a solid understanding of both the principles and process of Holistic Management, including the value of testing decisions and then monitoring these for the first sign that the decision may be resulting in undesirable outcomes. Their decision was: “Should we discontinue having volunteers and interns working on our farm?” Cause and Effect—This decision would address the root cause of the problem because the problem is the amount of time it takes to assist, organize, instruct and provide resources for the volunteers and interns, especially some who have high expectations of what will be provided and how. Weak Link Social—There would be no red flags if the Davises simply did not advertise for interns or accept them if they inquired. Biological—Not applicable Financial—Marketing conversion was identified as the weakest link. Having interns could help strengthen this link as they could attend farmers markets and help deliver goods to local stores. Yet, mostly, the interns deal in the product conversion link, so this will not probably affect the marketing/cash conversion aspect of the farm. Marginal Reaction—Right now, not having interns would allow the Davises to have more time together which was a high priority in their holistic goal. It would save them time and not impact them monetarily. Although supporting community and furthering sustainable agriculture were important in the holistic goal, time together was more important at this point. So not having interns would take them closer to their holistic goal. Gross Profit Analysis—Not applicable. Energy/Money Source & Use—Not applicable Sustainability—They did not see this decision negatively affecting the future resource base. Society and Culture—After lengthy discussion, it felt right to both have and not have interns. There were positive sides to both actions, yet it felt the best to not have year-round interns. They identified the possibility of having nonyear-round interns and have them only during

busy times of the year and not more than one at a time. We tested the decision above while sitting around the kitchen table. Steve and Barbara identified the new possibility of having a part time intern. This decision would allow them to have more time together, it would allow them to have more time devoted to participating in the lives of the land trust residents, and it would also allow for Steve and Barbara to participate in local politics or pursue hobbies. We then tested this second option, and it came up a winner.

Steve and Barbara Davis are an important piece of Seth Wilner’s learning community and demonstrate how on-farm education and research is a two way street in Cooperative Extension. Following the testing questions we had a long discussion about monitoring the decision to look for the first signs that the decision was not working out as planned. The monitoring aspect of the model was helpful in that it took the burden off of Steve and Barbara to be “right.” Instead they could try the action and see how it worked for the next year. If the monitoring showed signs that the action was not resulting in unintended negative consequences, they could then evaluate the situation at the end of this year to see if they wanted to continue.

Decisions Don’t Just Happen Steve and Barbara, as well as their family and farm interns, are a very progressive group of people. They are sound stewards of the land, care strongly about the community they live in, and are devoted to the success of their farm and family life. As such Holistic Management bore fruit for them. In separate one-on-one interviews with Steve

and Barbara, I asked them to describe the impacts that resulted from our work together with Holistic Management. Steve said. “I used to think that decisions just happened. You thought about things and then decided what you thought was best. You knew how it turned out sooner or later and went from there. But as I learned about the process (of Holistic Management), I saw how to make decisions differently, in a way that considered what I wanted much better.” Steve felt that Holistic Management improved his ability to make decisions. He feels that he has less stress as a result of this process and that he is more confident in the outcomes. The process also improved his communication with his family and others. Barbara cited great benefits with including the kids as decision makers in the family. She said that the times they have included the kids in the conversations has been very beneficial for the family and has improved the kids’ self confidence. “They felt that their input was as important as ours, and this increased their confidence and self-worth,” says Barbara. They also added many creative ideas to the discussions. Barbara said that it helped her to be clearer in her own mind when she makes decisions, thus increasing her confidence in her decision making. They also both monitor their decisions more than they used, and they keep their holistic goal in their mind as they walk through life, trying to make decisions that move them toward their holistic goal. Steve and Barbara also keep re-visiting their holistic goal and changing it, and each time this process helps their relationship to grow. The early challenge of how to engage the Davises has helped me to become a far more effective educator in numerous ways. It taught me to find other teaching approaches, and also taught me to accept and honor people where they are. Likewise it helped me to see that even just using some of the Holistic Management practices and processes offers great benefit. Indeed I am grateful to Steve and Barbara for helping me learn so much more about Holistic Management through my interactions with them; I am grateful and appreciative for the friendship that developed through our time spent colearning Holistic Management. Seth Wilner is a Certified Educator and lives in Newport, New Hampshire. He can be reached at: 603/863-9200 or

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Air Pollution, Water Shortage & Soil Erosion— A Different Farm Subsidy Approach by Malcolm Beck


efore our modern agriculture—with over soil tillage, non-organic, high analysis fertilizers, and improper animal grazing—became widely used on our farm and ranch lands, the soil in this country had an organic content between four and eight percent. Now the soil across the U.S. contains one half or less of the organic matter it once had. Although modern agricultural practices are designed to improve farming, the results show different. The big mold board and disc plows turned the top soil over and exposed the millions of soil life species to the sun’s rays which kill them. They then decay, and the carbon they contained is oxidized into the air as CO2. Using high analysis fertilizers doesn’t help either. Plants can’t absorb chemical fertilizer until microbes have processed it into an ion form. The energy microbes require to do the processing is taken from the decaying, carbon rich, plant and animal matter in the soil. As the soil life processes the fertilizers, the energy used is released to the atmosphere as CO2. The higher the analysis, and/or more fertilizer used, the more CO2 is released. As a result, the soil organic content is lost from the soil to the atmosphere as pollution. Is there an answer? Nature grows plants without plowing or using high analysis fertilizer, so why can’t we? Organic fertilizers contain the energy the microbes need for the processing so none is stolen from the soil. A study published a few years ago by William Holmberg, a consultant to the U.S. President, discovered that “all we need to do to offset the carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere each year from burning fossil fuels is to build the organic content of our farm lands just one tenth of one percent each year.” At that time no one knew how to do that. Time and testing have shown that “conservation tillage” does exactly that. In cooler and wetter areas, not all of the farm land can be operated on a no-till basis; however, grazing animals or ranching in a way that conserves the soil can be done in most any weather condition.




A Simple Solution Management®

Holistic Planned Grazing can help solve the air pollution and water shortage problems and much more. Holistic planned grazing builds the soil organic content the same as conservation tillage. In this country, there are 455 million acres of farm land with about 60,000 acres in no-till. There are 578 million acres of rangeland in the U.S. I heard an estimate that over a million acres of that rangeland is already being grazed by people integrating Holistic Management into their grazing practices.

ranchers were paid to build the organic content of their soil, Nature and all mankind would gain abundantly from this type of farm subsidy. The people living in the urban areas could also help to control air pollution and water shortages. Applying one half-inch (12.5 mm) of compost to the lawn in the fall, has proven to cut water needs from 20 to 70 percent. A two-inch (55 mm) layer of organic mulch over the root zone of shrubs and trees and one-inch (25 mm) for flowers show the same water-saving results.

Carbon & Water Cycles

Malcolm Beck, the compost guru, says a 1/2 inch layer of compost can reduce water needs up to 70 percent. Unlike farming or common animal grazing methods, Holistic Management grazing requires no or very little fertilizers, pesticides, and fossil fuel consuming large equipment. Holistic Management grazing keeps a protective cover of plants on the soil at all times, which traps rains, stops soil erosion, promotes greater water absorption, lessens flood damage, and creates a good habitat to protect and increase native plant and wildlife species. In addition to all of these benefits, Holistic Management ranchers have a higher stocking rate and make more profit each year than neighboring ranches. All of this could easily be accomplished if farmers and ranchers were helped to learn and understand these methods. If farmers and

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Understanding and using the carbon and water cycles is the solution to air pollution, water shortages, and soil erosion. On the surface of green plant leaves, there are numerous little valves called stomatas. These little valves open to take in air. They then shut, and the leaf attacks the carbon dioxide that came with the air and separates the carbon from the oxygen. With chlorophyll and energy from the sun, carbon is combined with hydrogen to make carbohydrates or energy. The oxygen is then released to the air for our use. This is how Nature keeps the air clean and creates the energy we use and the food we eat. Whenever there is a cover of mulch on the soil such as leaves, grass, manure, litter, compost, dead insects or any life form, there is decay going on at the soil level. The decay rate is greatest when the temperature and moisture is best for plant growth. This decay is creating and releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is slightly heavier than air. It tends to stay trapped in the canopy of growing plants and grass. These plants now have an abundance of carbon dioxide to process into energy. NASA research has discovered that when there are high concentrations of CO2 around the surface of leaves they stay two degrees warmer because there is less moisture being lost from the leaf through the stomata. The escaping moisture has a cooling effect. There is less moisture being lost because with a lot of CO2 in the air, the stomata can stay shut longer and open less because it quickly gets an abundance of CO2 resulting in longer processing which

keeps the stomata closed longer. NASA concluded this too could contribute to global warming. However, they missed an important point. Ninety nine percent of the water a plant takes from the soil is transpired through the open stomata. The longer the stomata stays shut, the less transpiration or moisture is lost from the plant. In a conservation-tillage operation with annual crops, the soil is disturbed very little. The earthworms and the many other forms of macro life are not disturbed or destroyed. The micro life along with the miles of fine root hairs are not disturbed or exposed to damaging sun rays, which can quickly destroy them, and they will eventually be oxidized into the atmosphere. Soil science has shown that there is more tonnage and numbers of live species underground than living above in any given area. With conservation tillage, the entire above-grown portion of dead plants is kept on the surface as mulch. This traps every drop of rain, keeping it from evaporating away or running off to cause flooding and erosion. Under the mulch, at the soil level, there is a more constant moisture and temperature where the macro- and micro-forms of soil life are feeding, pasteurizing, tunneling, and digesting the raw material back to the soil as fertilizer and soil conditioner. With Holistic Management grazing, the preferred species of grasses and forbs are never overgrazed. There is always a healthy stand of many species of growing plants with ample leaf surface to capture the CO2 being released from the urine, manure, and dead plant litter that has fallen down to the soil surface. Here the carbon cycle is working at its best. In poor grazing conditions, where the grass and other forage plant are eaten too short, with no green left, the plant is weakened, and then the plant has to steal carbohydrates from the roots to re-grow. This weakens the roots; eventually the plant will die, and this starves the symbiotic associated micro and higher soil life. Eventually, there is soil compaction, poor in-soak, water runoff, soil erosion, and CO2 escaping to the atmosphere. How people manage their land, consciously or unconsciously, all has an affect on the health and economy of the area, the nation, and the world. Our farm subsidies should support the kind of outcome we want, and Holistic Management is a simple solution to address issues such as air pollution, water shortage, and soil erosion. Malcolm Beck is a member of HRM of Texas and the compost guru of Texas. He can be reached at:

Write It Down

by Joe Morris


here was a study I heard on the radio about a statistical analysis tool that had been developed that was very good at predicting future behavior. It was far more accurate than the experienced members of parole boards, for example, at predicting how parolees would behave upon release. Yet, parole boards, even on this “if you screw up someone gets hurt” decision chose to rely on Joe Morris learned the value of writing down his holistic goal and their hunch rather than on using it when working through a situation with his daughter, Sarah. the analysis tool. What gives? We love to follow is sort of the former problem upside down. I our gut feeling and balk at what we think could test a decision, but only against a goal that might get in the way of that experience, like was felt by my gut. In fact, I was only testing a the Holistic Management® testing questions. decision toward an abstraction—nothing clear at How many of us, who are drawn to Holistic all about it except the compelling tug on my Management, have a fairly strong sense that innards. This practice has resulted in very life is connected everywhere and every way? inconsistent results. Most of us, if my experience is not unique. For example, on my way home from The Yet many of us fail to test our decisions. Savory Center’s Rendezvous in Albuquerque I believe it is for the same reason that the this January, I wrote down my holistic goal. parole board chose not to use the tools A few days after I got home, a conflict arose available to them: we are too confident in between me and my daughter, Sarah, about our holistic thinking, and we want to follow something she wanted to buy. I thought it was a our hunch. The problem is that our hunch ridiculous purchase and attempted to persuade does not always take into consideration the her. When that failed, I tried to coerce her. As various aspects of the decision, those that are you can imagine, it wasn’t working in a very expressly addressed by the six other tests peaceful way. before our gut is consulted. Our thinking is I had the chance to look at my holistic goal, “holistic;” our decision making is not. and it struck me right between the eyes that I The other problem I have noticed after valued freedom for “myself and others,” and that this year of using the testing questions and “I must work. . . to build peaceful relationships after talking with Dick Richardson, a based on justice.” Those were not clear in the Certified Educator from South Africa, is the abstract way my holistic goal registered in my challenges that arise when we use the tests gut. In order for those values to serve me, as I when we have only an abstract notion or managed holistically, I needed to take the time to feeling for a holistic goal. Dick suggested write them down. Without the discipline to do that we need to have our holistic goal even that, my gut would have failed me and Sarah. closer to us than the testing questions, and I believe he is right. In the past, I have tried to use the tests and couldn’t even tell you the last time I read my holistic goal—or even where it was. This

Joseph Morris ranches near San Juan Bautista, California. He can be reached at: 831/623-2933 or

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A Middle-Age Adventure By Laura Paine


y 23 year old daughter remarked to me recently that she thought it was pretty gutsy for her parents to embark on “the adventure of farming” in their late 40s, when most of her friends’ parents were well settled in careers and beginning the slide toward retirement. It was said with admiration, but it begs the question: Why would people our age, with an empty nest and established careers, choose to saddle ourselves with the monumental task of fixing up an old farm and trying to make it a paying business? Did we really know what we were getting ourselves into? No, definitely not. Would we do it again? Yes, but probably differently. Holistic Management has made a big difference in how this farm has developed so far, but it could have made an even bigger difference if we’d had this resource long ago.

looking for a farm in the county where I work. In 2002, we found an affordable 82-acre (33-ha) property that fit our needs. The plan was for us both to continue working at our jobs while developing a small, pasture-based, direct market beef enterprise on the farm. Once we were sufficiently well established, Bill could quit his job and further expand the farm operation. By the time I’m ready to retire in 10 or 15 years, we hope to have a stable, flexible operation that will provide a reasonable retirement income and allow us to adapt to our changing needs as we get older.

Buying The Farm Bill and I have always wanted to own land. We almost went down that path as young, justout-of-college idealists back in the 1970s, but events conspired to set us off in a different direction. Looking at ourselves back then, I can see how Holistic Management could have changed our course significantly. Had we had at the time, a holistic goal for ourselves, we might have determined a way to make the farming thing work back then. Instead, our life together has developed step by step, decision by decision, without much of a plan for the long term. It has unfolded in response to a series of relatively random opportunities, the path we’ve traveled determined not so much by conscious choice as by chance. This sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it hasn’t been. It has turned out well, in retrospect, and the important, life-changing decisions we’ve made have moved us generally in a positive direction. We’ve always been in touch with our values and, for the most part, have made choices based on them. A quarter century later, we’re happy with where we are. Having raised our family and gotten our children safely off to college, the urge to own land has remained. The window of opportunity opened up in front of us again, and this time we climbed through. We made a plan: when I took my job as a county Extension agent in 1999, Bill and I began




Bill and Laura Paine embarked on a middleaged adventure of farming. Laura found Holistic Management to be particularly helpful in her development as an extension educator as well as a farmer.

I’ve always enjoyed exploring the boundaries of what is considered acceptable science, and I don’t have a problem sifting through new ideas and selecting the pieces that I want to fit together to meet my needs. I work for a ponderous, slow moving bureaucracy. Someone’s got to bring new ideas to it once in awhile. So, when the opportunity to join The Savory Center’s Certified Educator Training Program came along, I viewed it as a means of gaining skills to use in my work with farmers. I looked at where Bill and I were with our farm and imagined that this was a perfect opportunity to ‘learn by doing’—to gain a better understanding of Holistic Management by actually practicing it as we developed our farm. My primary motivation was to experiment with all of the concepts, decision tests, and planning processes in order to make me a better teacher of other farmers. If it helped our own operation directly, that was a bonus. With that goal, Bill and I have experimented with most of the Holistic Management practices I’ve learned, but I think the most valuable part of the experience for both of us has been participating in the learning community. What has evolved has been unexpectedly richer and more meaningful to me personally and to us as a couple. It would have been very different if it had been just me in my role as ‘teacher,’ but Bill’s participation in the group has allowed me to experience the process both as a teacher and a participant, and it has given us an opportunity to more fully understand our values and goals and to develop good decision-making skills for ourselves. It has and will continue to have a positive influence on how we develop our farm.

The Problem with Arnold Professional Development Enter Holistic Management. During my years as a researcher and educator in grazing management, I’d come across the work of Allan Savory and had familiarized myself with the general principles. I’ve had very mixed feelings about Holistic Management. I’ve always felt that agriculture could benefit from a more holistic view of the world, one that includes environmental and quality of life concerns. But, I was skeptical of what I felt was the quasiscientific treatment of ecological principles and the vaguely cult-like mystique surrounding the organization. Still, I felt that the basics of Holistic Management were very sound and were where I wanted to take my work with farmers. Besides,

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Bill and I have used the decision testing guidelines several times with questions directly related to our beef enterprise. Sometimes, the testing questions themselves don’t point to the answer, but going through the process usually leads us to ask the questions that do reveal the best solution for us. For example, in our first grazing season on the farm, Bill and I bought a group of 14 stocker calves to get our beef operation going. Among them were 3 heavy steers that we planned to butcher in fall; the rest were heifers of various ages, some of which we sold and some we kept to start our cow-calf herd. As the yearling heifers started coming into heat in June, one of the steers—we’ll call him

Arnold—made it clear that his operation hadn’t wait? What if we butchered him now? through the tests, we felt more confident about been completely successful. Arnold quickly It was mid-July. Arnold had started out at the choice. So, Arnold went to the butcher, the became a problem, stirring things up among the 850 pounds (363 kg) and he’d been on pasture heifers relaxed, and the steaks were delicious. girls and setting a bad example for the other two for nearly three months. We did some quick This isn’t necessarily the choice we’d make every steers, not to mention the possibility that he calculations. Eighty-some days, a couple of time this situation arises, but it was the best choice might actually be successful with these young pounds a day, he should be getting up around a for this time. For us, this is one of the keys to heifers. What to do? We used the cause and thousand pounds (450 kg). He was definitely not decision testing: few hard-and-fast rules should be effect to determine what the real problem was. ‘finished,’ but might this be the best option made. Every decision needs to be made fresh, Our first response was that we had to get financially and logistically? So we decided to test reviewing all the factors in place at that particular him fixed. When we talked to the producer we the decision: Should we butcher Arnold now? time with respect to your holistic goal. bought him from, his response was the Holistic Management has come along same—we’ll get him taken care of. Problem at a perfect time for Bill and me. As we equals failed castration. The solution was to plunge ourselves into this new project, redo the castration. Simple. But looking at having a shared vision of what we want the situation more holistically, we asked the farm and our lives to look like has ourselves: What is the actual problem? It’s helped guide our progress. Everything is not the failed castration; it’s the fact that new. The types of decisions needing to he’s in a mixed herd with females. That be made are different. For us coming from realization opened up a whole lot of other an urban professional background, even possible solutions. working together as business partners is We began brainstorming solutions. If a new experience. the problem was having Arnold in the There are two important pieces that herd with the girls, we could move him have made this a valuable experience for out of there. The options there were: we us. One is certainly having the Holistic The Holistic Management® planning processes have provided could segregate Arnold and his cohorts in Management® framework to provide structure for this new farming couple to succeed. their own separate pasture system or we structure to our efforts. The other is our could sell him back to Dick or have Dick learning community. This project we’ve ‘custom raise’ him for us (he wouldn’t be embarked on is all about exploring the Cause and effect: Action addresses the a problem in a herd of steers). boundaries of our own capabilities. In most problem of Arnold’s behavior in a mixed herd. We weighed those options against the first people’s holistic goals there is almost always a Does this lead us toward our long term goals? solution and still weren’t entirely happy with ‘personal challenge’ sort of statement. We as (Sustainability) It doesn’t lead us away from it any of them. The first option—having his Marginal reaction: Does this option give us human beings thrive on challenging ourselves to operation repaired would cost money and lost the best bang for our buck? Comparing this go a little farther, accomplish a little more. It can weight gain while he recovered, and he might option to the others, it at least comes out be a scary road to travel, and to fulfill this piece continue to have a behavior problem. The about even. of our holistic goal, having a community of segregation option would cost money, lost Society and Culture: Overall, taking Arnold to fellow explorers is a necessity. It creates a safe income, and/or additional time and resources visit the butcher a little early seemed like the space where you can dream, debate, decide, to run two groups. right thing to do. We couldn’t really think of any console, and gather the courage to continue. As we stood there watching Arnold other considerations that we’d missed in making mounting one or another of the heifers, I this decision. Laura Paine works for Cooperative Extension remembered Bill’s frequent comment over the After brainstorming all the options we could in Columbia County, Wisconsin. She can be past several weeks that he couldn’t wait to put think of (I’m sure there were others we could reached at: 608/742-9682 or him in the freezer. That made me think: why have considered), and running our favored option

Book Review by Ann Adams

Gardeners of Eden—Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature Dan Dagget © 2005 Thatcher Charitable Trust pp. 144 $25 (see ordering information on page 23)


or those of you who have read Dan Dagget’s book, Beyond The Rangeland Conflict, you may not believe that any sequel to that Pulitzer-nominated book could be better. But, Gardeners of Eden has indeed surpassed Rangeland Conflict, while also offering a continuation of the stories chronicled a decade ago. Having read a number of texts that try desperately to convince environmentalists and

resource managers that we must work with nature (not leave it alone or merely extract from it with no concern for sustainability), I believe that Gardeners of Eden offers the most cogent discussion of humans’ importance to nature’s healthy functioning. In addition to Dagget’s wellwritten prose, Tom Bean’s photography provides the readers a window into the lives of the people and land that demonstrate the credo of continued on page 16

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Rocky Trails Farm—Where Farming is Fun by Jim Weaver


his story chronicles the results and trials and tribulations of Donny Chamberlain, one of three Northern Pennsylvania (Northern PENN Network) farmers who have attempted to redesign their farms as a production unit not only to provide a source of solar income, but also to provide a base for community and family stability. The Chamberlains’ farm is located in the Corey Creek Watershed, a tributary to the Tioga River, which flows into the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. The farm is situated in a rolling basin with a predominantly southern exposure, and it is well watered in a non-brittle environment. The soils are formed in glacial till and can be heavy, wet and slow to warm in the spring. This is traditional grass and dairy country, although the ecosystem that it replaced was climax mixed deciduous/evergreen forests.

freshening. In addition, they keep 20-30 heifers every year, some to sell and some for herd replacements. They have several pigs for cleaning up, composting, and hams at Christmas, and a couple of horses, left over from the rodeo days.

Community Ties

With their holistic goal, Don and Lugene have a clear picture of their values, how they will support them, and what they are striving for in their community and watershed. With Don’s involvement in local government as a Township Supervisor and Planning Commission member, which opens many avenues for influence, and Lugene’s social work, the family has many ties to the community. They can weigh important issues in their community based on what they want The Whole Family and how it will look instead of knee jerk reactions to influences they have The farm has been in the family no control over. since 1974, and the ancestral home is The framework for using a holistic next door. Donny farms full-time, goal, a way to test the decision before although he could expand his carpentry implementation, and the tool of business if he wanted and found the monitoring can be a powerful tool for right partner. But, his first choice is The Chamberlains have participated in conservation practices for change. When you ask Donny about farming. He said he’s “farming the land years and received the Conservation Farm of the Year Award from Holistic Management he says, “I would ‘cause I want to, and because it’s a good the Tioga County Conservation District in 2001. Don is in the middle. not be farming this way without it. If place to raise a family.” you had asked me ten years ago His wife, Lugene, and two children whether I would be seasonal, or even grazing, what’s my first reaction? NO agree, and they all enjoy country living. Family and friends make up a large WAY!!” When I asked him if his life has changed since or because of part of their holistic goal. Don and his son participate in the high school studying Holistic Management, he responded, “You bet! The people part of wrestling program with Don as a coach and son, Tyler, wrestling. They also my holistic goal has definitely had a positive change.” enjoy hunting and snowmobiling in the winter. Summers, they farm for fun. The farm is central to this community, and farming and farmers are a With a seasonal operation, cows are dry from Christmas to late March, they large part of their life. The Chamberlains looked at their interests and how have time to relax and enjoy their pursuits. they wanted to spend their time to determine what they valued: a hobby or Lugene produces off farm income as a social worker. She loves to help two, high school sports, run the numbers (financial planning) and volunteer in the barn though, and milks cows with the rest of the family. Cassy, their for local community activities, all of which make farming fun for them. daughter, is also involved with the dairy and enjoys working with the Without the framework to define the whole and see it as a complete animals. The sharing of responsibilities and chores is one of the family’s picture, plus the decision-making framework that Holistic Management values and a strong advantage as they work together and play together. provides, there would be a lot more stress in their lives. The livestock on the farm consist of 55 milk cows bred for spring


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When Don talks with other farmers in the network, the issues that come up are how they can influence the markets they work in, the infrastructure they rely on, and the community they live in. Don believes that having a holistic goal helps him make those kinds of decisions and keeps him from crisis management. “We don’t leave things to chance any more,” Don says. “We have a clear picture of how we want our lives to be, what’s important to us and what we will need to make it so. This is a recipe for smooth operation of the farm and our daily lives.” The overall results of that picture are that the Chamberlains have removed more than half the moving parts (machinery) of the operation, and they no longer run around fixing (and paying for) machinery and equipment that used to take up so much of our time. These changes, from a more conventional year around freshening herd that was confinement based with supplemental spring/summer “pasture,” have been enjoyable and profitable for the Chamberlains.

much too complex and tedious to do by hand, so he isn’t always as consistent with his monitoring as he’d like. Don notes, “Imagine what the plan will tell me when that’s done on the fly! This year, by monitoring my checkbook and using my desk in the milk house to track the bulk tank, I saved $11,000 on $11 milk.”

Resource Conversion

Since the dairy is the centerpiece of the farm enterprise most of the major decisions are made there. While the tendency is to spend more to produce more (a conditioned response to production agriculture), Donny keeps this tendency in check. “There is a point of diminishing returns,” he says. Soil tests and monitoring show the fertility of the farm has increased by 50 percent and the production of cattle has ramped up. “I have always run out of grass in July, but now I have twice as many cattle. The livestock production planning has allowed Don to increase his stocking rate from one cow Planning for Success per two acres to just under one cow per acre. He has gone from 30 cows in his While some farmers in this non-brittle milking string to just under 60, and this environment rely on the forgiving nature total is limited by the milking facility. of this environment, Donny has found you Likewise, the leftover infrastructure from can’t be so relaxed about financial planning. past production methods has been a He has found that without the insights of limiting factor in the Chamberlains’ allocation of expenses to generate wealth, transition to Holistic Management® putting profit in the expense column, and Planned Grazing. paying yourself first—coupled with running The basic grazing planning improved the numbers—he would have been a production dramatically, but still left Don carpenter long ago. Without Holistic with little grass in the paddocks during Management® Financial Planning, Donny would not have had these tools to generate the summer slump. While pondering the Rocky Trails Farm has moved from being a conventional, wealth from farming. He readily admits financial weak link in this enterprise, he high-input dairy to a lean and profitable grazing operation we would not be farming now if “I didn’t identified that his fencing was holding over the last six years. Donny Chamberlain is clear he couldn’t know about Holistic Management.” back his ability to get the animals to the have made that transition without Holistic Management. After getting into and out of the dairy paddocks in a timely and efficient manner business several times in the past for various reasons, now he is clear on and not run out of grass in July. Not all the fields were fenced, and some why he’s in it, and when and how to step off the train. The holistic goal he of them didn’t get harvested at the right time or for the right reasons. and Lugene share is the determining factor for his decision to stay/get back Donny reasoned that fencing all the open land on the farm would allow into farming. “Without a good reason to stay in and the ability to make a for a much more stable planned grazing and the production of top-quality profit, I wouldn’t have near the potential that I have now,” says Don. stored forage. Now he is able to plan for the summer slump of grass As we probed the financial planning process, Don confided he is production and his new fence will make that possible because it enables planning to sell the herd. But not for the reasons you might think. “Oh, they him to give plants more recovery time. Because he determines the financial cash flow,” he says. “I’m making money at $10/hundredweight, but my kids weak link each year and does his biological planning, and financial have never been out West. I’ll sell the herd as they are coming fresh, keep planning, the new fence is paid for. The fact that he had grass available, the bred heifers and take 2005 off!” Attention to the expense columns in his but had to harvest it with equipment and had no way to get the cattle on financial plan and the first column—profit— have allowed Don to first see, the grass without fence, demonstrated the need for the fence. then plan, for a major quality of life decision. “Right now it works on paper,” Organic or Not? Don says. “Cow prices are up, my cow numbers are up, my debt is down, Organic milk production is another decision the Chamberlains tested and my kids are growing up!” toward their holistic goal. When milk prices take a plunge, the search for How did Donny make this happen? Admittedly he likes numbers, but better markets pops up. For the past several years, one of the network he also noted that the out of the box methods of Holistic Management gave members has been selling organic milk. He is guaranteed a price that is him the ability and tools to “see” the possibility and “capitalize” on the usually higher than conventional milk. Last summer it was twice as much. opportunity. The sale of the herd will support the year off, and the heifers Donny tested that decision, but it failed the weak link, marginal reaction, coming due the following year will put him back under the cows and and the gross profit analysis. The cost of organic feed made this enterprise generating income back in the window of the spring of 2006. fare much worse than conventional production. The added cost of As he completes the financial plan this year he wants to convert over to organically produced grain, which Don still believes is important and a the Savory Center’s financial planning software. The complexity of tracking continued on page 10

monthly planned, actual, difference and cumulative figures manually is

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nutrients are needed on the paddocks. The story of the Chamberlains at Rocky Trail Farm demonstrates the long-term nature of Holistic Management and the complex relationships it is meant to plan, monitor, and manage. Don and Lugene are not unique, wealth generating expense, did not pencil, and the decision did not pass. although they have evolved a very unique and effective farm operation. Likewise, for financial and herd health reasons (the lack of a veterinarian They have been able to ask the right questions to move toward what they that practices holistic medicine in our area and Don’s inexperience in want as a family and dared to create a vision of what they want their making a transition from antibiotics and conventional medicine), Don community to look like far into the future. decided at this point not to transition. The financial success of the dairy can be directly attributed to the financial At $10/hundredwt. for conventional milk, his cost of production is a planning Don has learned as a result of his experience with Holistic Management. little over $6/hundredwt. So at $10 dollar milk, he makes a profit of $4. For He can pay himself first, generate wealth by the allocation of expenses and sort organic milk, his cost of production would jump to $16/hundredwt, due financial data to include wealth generating expenses. The fact that he does it, primarily to organic feed costs. At $20/hundredwt, this would still be $4 without a major debt load and can remain profitable in the toughest economic profit. With the other variables that circle this decision (herd health and times, is a tribute to his management ability and the tools he employs to harvest production), which are all unknowns in Donny’s experience, he plans to get solar energy from his farm. more information on organic milk and continue to research this option. Donny has developed his own pace of learning and likes to test his decisions for months or years in some The Grazing Plan cases. The decision to go organic is a case In the non-brittle environment of the in point. He knows what he doesn’t know Northeast the concern for cycling carbon and is willing to explore the field for and healing land with grazing animals is more education. He wants to improve his far from our daily concerns. While Don bottom line without reducing his quality doesn’t do a grazing plan on paper (maybe of life or the quality of his environment. why he runs out of grass in July?), he As a conservative dairy farmer in does monitor grass growth on a daily and North Central Pennsylvania, Don weekly basis during the growing season. Chamberlain has charted a course very By moving the cattle to the best paddock different from his neighbors and peers. and using twelve hour (after every He has started to question basic milking) paddock changes, the cattle assumptions of how his farming affects are moved through the grazing cell. the environment, how his decisions affect As his knowledge of Holistic his profitability, and how his family and Northern PENN Holistic Management Network Members prepare Management® Grazing Planning improves, quality of life are a major part of his role to monitor the macroinvertebrates in the stream that runs and his analysis moves him to more as farmer, father, and husband. Now he through Rocky Trails Farm as part of their biological monitoring. detailed planning of forage harvest and has tools for decision making that go far utilization, the need for better grass beyond his ability to produce a product management and grazing planning will be ramped up to include a more and make a living from the land, and he no longer accepts the notion that detailed plan. to make more money or improve his standard of living he has to produce Don is slowly coming around to improving and advancing his use of the more milk. grazing planning to better utilize forage produced and extending his grazing The necessary ingredients for making a profit from farming are right at his fingertips and many of the raw materials are free! With sunshine and to include the non-growing season. Right now, he is grazing seven months timely rains, he is able to use the land resource he has to produce milk at a of the year, with improved planned grazing offering the potential for profit when many farmers are going broke. By allocating expenses to increase reducing stored forage needs and grazing into and during the winter profit and changing the paradigm from cows in the barn and grass with months, which will further improve profitability. wheels to cows with legs and grass with roots, he can make the resource base Another monitoring indicator used to determine effectiveness of his grazing of his farm and community a real grassroots revolution in agriculture. plan is the bulk tank—how much did the cows produce on that paddock? Daily I have been following Donny’s transition from conventional highly bulk tank readings and correlation to paddocks and grass production is one of mechanized farming with many off-farm inputs to a lean and profitable the best monitoring tools a dairy farmer has. The daily production of milk is grazing operation for about six years, and every year he incorporates more an important tool for feedback on his decisions to move the cattle. He can see of his management skill into the operation. He didn’t do it alone, and he the value of moving on a twelve-hour schedule with the improvement in milk didn’t do it over night. But with persistence, patience and practice, he has produced by the best forage intake daily and the results of changing from a good start on sustainability and a profitable stake in farming. paddocks with different species composition and quality. Transfer of nutrients in the grazing cell is also controlled by feeding This article is an excerpt from the publication Improving Whole Farm schedules for stored feed. Round baled hay and baleage are used Planning Through Better Decision-Making, which can be ordered through extensively for periods of slow or no grass growth. Where these are fed is The Savory Center by calling 505/842-5252 or downloaded for free at: controlled by monitoring fertility, species composition, and bare ground, so Jim Weaver is a Certified the biological monitoring of the pastures is an ongoing process. Bare ground Educator in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at: and fertility are monitored “by walking around” and making note of where 570/724-7788 or

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The Hidden Loss—

Understanding the Cost of Overgrazing & Overresting by Allan Savory Editor’s Note: Allan Savory wrote the following letter to a rancher who will remain anonymous. We include it here because so many ranchers experience the same problems.


am sending you this report/comment on what I observed on your ranch, Far Horizon, as I promised to do. I intend for it to be helpful and hope that it is. First, I must congratulate you on the overall improvement on the ranch and in the cattle that has taken place since my last visit ten years ago, wonderful improvement for which you must take great credit. I look forward to the day we can get our own cattle on our learning site ranches looking like yours do. We will, but like you, it will take time and rigid adherence to a strict culling program, which we have already established. The great improvement on your ranch is shown by such simple things as the growth of grass in the beds of the tank dams that used to be water, mud or silt, as I remember. In fact, you reminded me there were ducks on the one dam during my first visit! It was amazing to me to not see any runoff going into these dams, even after the four inches of rain you received just before my visit. If you are able to fine tune some of the things below you will not run into trouble as quickly or as badly when you do get dry years. Most of the things that concerned me were associated with what I see as “hidden” lost production. You do not see the loss, but in a dry time it is likely to catch up with you and lead to higher costs or lower profits. This hidden loss I have often tried to convey to ranchers with a story. Suppose you planted 200 acres of corn (which is a grass) and put a fence down the middle to equally divide the field. On one half of the field you put in four cows the day you plant the corn, but leave the other half to grow for 60 days. On your return 60 days later you would find four dead or very hungry cows on the one half but tons of forage on the other half. How on earth did four cows eat that much? The answer of course is that they didn’t because the corn never had the opportunity to get into the steep part of their growth curve.

these pictures. The first picture is one of the early grazing cells I had Bob Rutherford install on his Igava Ranch in Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) to use when I was developing planned grazing. After a few years, and running three times the old stocking rate, there is grass right up to the water point. There were over 30 paddocks radiating from this water point. The next picture is a close up view of one of the paddocks at the gate in the previous picture.

As you will see there is grass and very few weeds right up to the gate. This is because no overgrazing is taking place due to the planned grazing and monitoring. This was, for your interest, the first grazing cell on which I detected overgrazing when we tried to use average grazing periods instead of varying them with daily growth rate. It was from that experience that we developed the general rule that you should never average the grazing or recovery periods and then rotate animals. By contrast now look at the picture below of one of the water points on your ranch.

Overgrazing I noticed quite a lot of overgrazing of plants in areas of paddocks and around water points. To help you to recognize what I am seeing, look at

This is just one of many pictures I could have taken of any of the water points. As you see, they are characterized by weeds and not perennial grass near the water. Overgrazing was also occurring out in the paddocks much further from water in a number of places. But the most extensive (most plants continued on page 12

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The Hidden Loss

continued from page 11

overgrazed) was at the top of the ranch furthest from the homestead, shown in the photo below.

shows there is a great loss of production, and thus profit, taking place in average years and a danger of running out of forage in dry years (which people usually blame on the dry year and not the lack of planning). I can hardly overstate the amount of forage lost every year due to lack of planning. It literally amounts to many thousands of tons of forage over ranches as large as yours. Grass grows, like all biological organisms, on a sigmoid, or S-shaped curve (shown in the illustration here).

Recovery and the Growth Curve

In equal time periods grass will grow this much if it starts high on the growth curve, but much less if bitten way down.

Brush Encroachment I noted that the amount of brush encroachment was worrying you. The increase in brush is not surprising as not only is overgrazing taking place (which most commonly leads to grass being replaced by weeds, as you see by your water points), but many perennial grasses are also being overrested, which leads to brush replacing grass. Both overresting and overgrazing of grass plants commonly occurs with rotational grazing, and I was pleased to hear you say that when I explained this in the field you finally understood what has puzzled you for years—as you said, “How can plants be overgrazed and overrested in the same paddock?” Only this week I was observing this same thing on a research station in Oklahoma—overgrazing and overresting in the same trial paddock. The researcher could not understand it as he was “grazing the paddocks lightly.” Grazing a paddock lightly always leads to grazed plants being overgrazed and ungrazed plants being overrested. If you simply rotate animals, exactly the same can happen with incorrect timing of either grazing or recovery periods combined with low animal numbers as has happened in your case. You can correct both of these problems (overgrazing and overresting of plants) by simply using the holistic planned grazing process and monitoring the changes you intend to produce.

Hidden Loss My concern with the areas of overgrazing and overresting are that it


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{ {



In this view every plant is overgrazed, and as a consequence, litter has not developed and soil is eroding. Soil exposed to this degree will inevitably lose anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of the rain it receives without growing anything. What it does not lose to run off in heavy storms it will likely lose through soil surface evaporation later. I know you have had dry years, to which you attributed this poor growth; however, dry years do not do this—only animals overgrazing do this, and it is common when people use any form of rotation. This is what you can avoid by planning the grazing—as you used to do.



When grass plants in the same paddock are being overgrazed and others overrested, it means you are working with most of the plants in the shallow portions of their growth curve, where they put on the least growth over every growing day. The overgrazed plants do this as you hold all of them in the lower flat portion of their growth curve (like the four starving cows did), and the overrested plants do this because you leave them at the top shallow end of the growth instead of pulling them down at least once in the growing season to the steep portion of the curve. Again, keeping most of your plants in the steep portion of the curve is more easily attained through holistic planned grazing. That was how on Liebigs Ranch in Rhodesia many years ago we were able to achieve five times the meat yield per acre on the “Advanced Project” we ran for over 8 years. When we started, there wasn’t a single perennial grass plant; grassland had been reduced to brush, tree trunks and seasonal weeds. In summary, as this is so important for you to understand, what you have on the ranch right now, even while you are improving the water cycle and much of the wildlife habitat, is a loss of forage production that is likely to catch you in a dry year. Plants are not being allowed to grow into the rapid part of the growth curve, or they are being allowed to grow and remain beyond it. When that dry year hits, you will be starting out with thousands of tons of forage less than you should have. That could result in you needing to reduce your stocking rate even though your ranch is still understocked. That translates into less meat produced per acre and less profit.

The picture below shows the situation on Barlite Ranch near the Davis Mountains in Texas some years ago..

Note the perennial grass growing right up to the waterpoint under planned grazing. In this case there are a few weeds in the center and at the gate, which does not worry me as overgrazing and overtrampling commonly occur in these spots. On this ranch, we had doubled the stocking rate when we ran into a severe drought in 1983. The manager started to buy hay and asked me to visit to advise him on how much he should destock. I did the grazing planning with him and got him to understand the lost production from running a second herd (as he was running two herds on 100 paddocks). When I showed him the combination of time (grazing period and recovery period) and the density of animals we would achieve with one herd, it was easy for him to see that if they got any rain at all it would grow at least one ounce more grass per square meter. We then cut that in half to be conservative, and it amounted to many tons of forage on this large ranch. So as a result of this planning, where we could be so much more accurate, we amalgamated all the cattle into one herd. We then calculated, as we do with planned grazing, the number of animal days per acre of forage we would require and estimated what was in the paddocks. From this, we realized he did not need to destock, but could use the opportunity, as so many ranches were destocking, to buy in cattle cheaply. We bought another 109 cow/calf pairs and reduced the supplementary feed by 50 percent. This planning enabled us to get through the drought without a problem.

Nature Doesn’t Stand Still Unfortunately, nature never stands still. As a consequence, just like you need to read your cattle, you also need to read your land—constantly making adjustments as you observe what’s happening. This is much easier than it sounds with holistic planned grazing as it was designed to handle complexity. Ranchers and farmers who rotate their animals or practice what is commonly called management intensive grazing (MIG), rather than plan their grazing, whether they are conscious of it or not, are trying to avoid dealing with complexity. Some argue that the grazing system or rotation they are using is flexible. But flexible means changing when you see a need to change. Planning, on the other hand, means getting far ahead of the game to avoid a later need for unplanned changes. Holistic planned grazing goes hand in glove with monitoring followed by a quick response when that monitoring shows you’re going off track.

Number of Herds The number of herds you are running is also causing you lost production. I understand your justifications for this—many other ranchers make the same ones—the need to keep heifers away from bulls, first-calf heifers separate, and so on. In this case you’re thinking mainly of the cattle, but at the expense of the land’s productivity, which is the real basis for profit—the cattle being the

medium used to convert grass to money. Ranchers who talk of themselves as sunlight or grass farmers still tend to run several herds, perhaps not realizing the cost in lost grass production. Running more herds would be fine if nature stood idle. Every extra herd, with a given number of paddocks on a ranch, reduces animal impact (while increasing partial rest), and adversely changes the graze/trample : recovery ratio in every paddock. What this basically means is that less soil is disturbed so new plants can grow, and more plants are either taken down to the low part of their growth curve or left at the flat high end. On the two ranches the Savory Center runs as learning sites—the West Ranch in Texas and Dimbangombe Ranch in Zimbabwe—we simply cannot afford to run two herds through the paddocks. We run one herd year-round on Dimbangombe (cattle, goats, and donkeys). On the West Ranch, we run one herd of cattle and hair sheep, but also include a sacrificial paddock where bulls or heifers are run at certain times on continuous graze. To have one paddock under continuous grazing and change it every year or so is not a problem. It is far better than lowering the production on the whole ranch.

Dealing With Brush You asked me several times about how to deal with the two main brush species that are spreading much more than you want. The first thing is to remove the cause (overresting in this case), and then to deal with the brush after that. What I would do if it was my ranch is to first find out what will kill the plants. As you said, for at least one of the species you’ve found that simply spraying the base of the plant with diesel kills it completely. Do the same with the other species—try diesel on that too, or old engine oil, mixtures of these, or mixtures of these with herbicides. Try the ideas out on a few bushes, keeping notes so you can determine the most effective and least costly method. Next, divide in half a badly-infested paddock where you know the ADA yield. Treat one half of it and note the ADA yield increase, compared with the untreated half, and what it cost. If the ADA yield increase is well worth the cost, then proceed with other paddocks. However, remember that you will be clearing the brush, in this case, to increase solar energy flow to grass production. Thus, it will become a “wealth generating expense” in your Holistic Management® Financial Planning only in a year when energy conversion is the weakest link in the cattle enterprise. Brush clearing should only be done when it “makes money” not when it “costs money.” An important point, if profit is included in your family’s holistic goal. Throughout all this—brush clearing and planned grazing—you need a clear idea of what landscape you are aiming to produce, which should have been expressed in your holistic goal. You can produce the brushy hillsides and open parkland on the low-lying good soils, but you need to do so step by step, without sacrificing production and profit. One thought I want to leave with you, because it is what I’d probably do if I was managing your ranch, is to talk to the owners of the other three ranches in your valley who face the same problems. Persuade them to form a joint holistic goal with you to confirm that all of you want the same things for your families—prosperity, stable families, security, free time for friends, family or church etc.—and then suggest that all four ranches be managed as one larger unit. Then test the idea of combining all the cattle into no more than one herd, or two at most, to run through paddocks on all four ranches, as if they were one. That move alone would increase land and cattle performance enormously while at the same time cutting costs greatly, providing a greater profit than any one of the ranchers could attain on its own. And all four families would have far more leisure time to put balance into their lives.

N u m b e r 10 4


Land & Livestock


Beyond the Boundary Fence—Tilbuster Commons by John King


ver wondered how to get economies of scale without the costs? Australian researchers have hit on a common sense idea that combines the age old concept of grazing the commons with modern farming through cross property grazing. The benefits to farmers include lower production costs, improved returns through animal performance, and reduced labor. Dr. David Brunckhorst, Director of the Institute for Rural Futures, spearheaded Tilbuster Commons, a project involving neighboring farming families joining their livestock and grazing them on the land they collective owned and managed. “That was five years ago,” he says, “and as the success exceeded the expectations of the families involved, they decided to continue the practice long after the initial three year project ended.” The project involved four families and 3,237 acres (1,300 ha) in the tablelands near Armidale, northern New South Wales. Individual property sizes vary from 150 acres (60 ha) to 1500 acres (600 ha). There is now a similar ‘grazing commons’ project happening near Glenn Innes, northern NSW emerging from a labor-sharing scheme that will now involve mixed livestock grazing. The project drew inspiration from previous research in South Australia where 30 farmers and other landholders collectively managed some 3,475 square miles (9,000 square km) to start to regenerate land from salination across property boundaries, while experimenting with new more viable industries and practices. “For the families involved, it was important that they would be no worse off financially, but hopefully do a little better, while freeing up time and labor and improving and looking after the environment are equally high values held by all,” says Brunckhorst. Initially, the four families made formal arrangements including setting up their own company and formal meetings to discuss the operational arrangements. Each family has shares based on the agreed value of the land and livestock and receive profits through dividends. “The big issue,” as Brunckhorst describes, “was the ability to enforce the collective perspective by clear rules of decision making based on agreed values and goals. This reduces individual rationales leading us off the track, but does not at all squash individual input—from all ages.” This clarity of shared vision articulated in their holistic goal has allowed the management team to test their decisions toward the outcome they want. Likewise, this collective process has helped the management team grow in their trust and acceptance of each others’ strengths and weaknesses. As Brunckhorst points out, “Farming families naturally focus on their own situation, but for cross property grazing to work, families had to look beyond their boundary to the bigger picture across all the properties involved. Decisions are made for the best interest of the company, versus each family’s self interest. For example, all the paddocks are supplied water from the one dam.” Likewise, alternative stock water is obtained from a number of different sources across the commons and piped in the most cost-effective manner across the land-title boundaries. In this way the combined resources allows the management team to compete at a larger scale economy. The big picture perspective resulted in an interesting behavior. Families became more proactive in managing the grazing company than they had been on their own farm businesses. For example, upon working together, families made the decision to cut stock numbers earlier when drought loomed.

Previously, families delayed this kind of decision when managing their own operations. Brunckhorst believes this change in risk management behavior comes from a deep desire to work together resulting from the mutual support each family provides one another and a reluctance to let one another down. This communal spirit has strengthened over the years as their confidence in managing common land has grown. Family members now freely access each other’s properties, and increasingly operational meetings happen informally in the paddock of the property grazing the stock rather than at board meetings around a table.

More Profit, Less Labor The most significant saving has been in labor, time, and quality of life. As Brunckhorst points out, “The labor contribution of each family is determined by the size of their property. Essentially the larger the property, the more time the animals spend there. Yet the overall labor demands for each family dropped allowing time for pursuing family interests and environmental projects.” The Tilbuster Commons Company leases land from each property so everyone knows and contributes to the development of the grazing plan. The group has developed maps to plan grazing routes and determine how animal behavior can be employed to regenerate the landscape. Using holistic planned grazing rather than rotational grazing has meant families can have animals in the right place, at the right time for the right reason and improve land use efficiency. Such a change has eliminated the need to crop for winter feed which also reduces labor. Putting all the cattle in one mob had immediate benefits for the group. It improved the calving rate, allowed them to pull through drought easier, increased soil cover to the degree that water quality improved by 300 percent because of better infiltration. Cattle numbers float from 220 to 400 head with the animals taking anywhere from 90 days to 230 days to graze around the four properties. The stock policy is to run slight higher numbers and sell at lighter weights as this gives better returns both financially and environmentally. The long pasture recovery times have allowed the native grasses to return and flourish, one of the aims of the original project. As a result pasture renovation costs have drastically reduced as well as the need for winter grazing crops. The financial returns for the families has been around 10 percent above what they were achieving individually and heading towards 20 percent now that they have full organic certification for the Company and all properties. Six years of drought—the worst beyond all records—has seriously influenced profitability and degradation on local farms, but Tilbuster Commons has weathered the drought while maintaining good ground cover and profitability. John King is a Certified Educator who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. He can be reached at: or 64-3-338-5506. Further details of the project including relevant property law has been published in the book by S. Williams, D. Brunckhorst and G. Kelly, Reinventing the Commons—Cross Boundary Farming for a Sustainable Future by Federation Press 2003.

N u m b e r 10 4


Land & Livestock


T he

GRAPEVINE n ews f ro m t h e s a vo r y c e n t e r * p e o p l e , p ro g ra m s & p ro j e c t s

Maasai villagers

World Vision Contract


orld Vision Australia, in conjunction with World Vision Kenya, has awarded The Savory Center $216,000 to provide cutting edge natural resource management training to Maasai community members and leaders in the Loodariak Area Development Program, located in Kajiado District, Rift Valley province in Kenya, approximately 36 miles southwest of Nairobi. This project began July 2005 and will continue through June 2008. Executive Director Shannon Horst will oversee this project with Certified Educator Craig Leggett as lead trainer and Director of International Training Programs Constance Neely as trainer of trainers. This development area covers approximately 540 square miles with an estimated population of 17,000 people. Livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep are the Maasai’s primary source of income, and land degradation is on the increase in Kajiado. As demands for wood fuel in the district has increased, there has been rampant cutting of trees for fuel wood and charcoal production. All told, 50-100 percent of vegetation cover has disappeared in this area since colonial times.

This management has led to degradation of water catchments, riverside vegetation, hilly areas and the result has been soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, wildlife habitats and adverse climatic phenomena like recurring droughts. Kenya has 2 million people chronically hungry with over 5 million during times of drought. Subsistence farmers account for over 50 percent of the total poor and 80 percent of the population do not have sufficient livestock to meet basic needs, and thus frequently depend on relief. This project is targeted at assisting 1,500 Maasai households to use their animals to restore deteriorating grasslands and water supplies and to create the means to provide for their own food needs and reduce the dependency on international relief monies.

New Savory Center Staff


he Savory Center is excited to introduce two new members to our team. Peter Holter has come on board as our Senior Director of Marketing and Product Development. Peter’s core competencies include implementation of sales, marketing, new product and communications strategies, along with a general management skill set. He has been the president of two successful, national companies—one a professional services Peter Holter firm he started,

grew, and sold; the other a manufacturing company he took over in a successful turnaround venture. Peter served as chief operating officer and vice-president of marketing for a company specializing in the development of holistic health plans for businesses throughout the western United States. As a management consultant, he has worked extensively with entrepreneurial companies seeking the next level of growth and has also done significant work in highly volatile turnaround situations. He has advised many not for profits on the role of entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency. As a young man, Peter worked on ranches in California’s San Joaquin Valley and in Sonoma County. He has had, as clients, many major agricultural producers, and manufacturers of technology and equipment used in farming and ranching. Jutta von Gontard is our new Director of Development. She has 17 years of fundraising and grant management experience and has worked with Katalysis, a microlending nonJutta von Gontard profit for the last eleven years. During that tenure, Jutta was in charge of the fundraising and communications department, and she significantly broadened Katalysis’ private donor and foundation base. She also provided extensive onsite technical assistance to Katalysis Central American Partners in the area of project development, proposal writing, and donor relations. Previously, Jutta was Executive Director of a private foundation where she oversaw all grant-making decisions. Educated in Ecuador and Germany, Jutta is fluent in Spanish and German. continued on page 16

N u m b e r 10 4




The Grapevine

continued from page 15

Outreach Activities

West Ranch Update



llan Savory’s travel schedule has continued to be full with a week long workshop as part of a NASA sponsored GIS Conference at Idaho State University in July. Allan also spoke and led workshops, along with other Savory Center members Charley Orchard and Kim Barker, at the Oklahoma Grazing Lands Conference the beginning of August. At the Nebraska Grazing Conference, also held at the beginning of August, a number of Savory Center members were speakers, including Pat and Dick Richardson speaking on “Increasing Productivity with Dung Beetles,” Terry Gompert speaking on “Grassland Monitoring,” and Burke Teichert speaking on “Economic Considerations in Buying a Ranch.”

Book Review continued from page 7 this book: “You can’t have your cake, unless you eat it too.” While this concept might not be new to those practicing Holistic Management, I’m sure many of you have had your fair share of trying to explain these concepts to others. Gardeners of Eden is the perfect book to hand to a new acquaintance and say, “I think you’ll understand better what I’ve been talking about or doing after you read this book.” For example, in the beginning of the book, Dagget notes that we do not see bees as arrogant or unthoughtful when they take pollen from a flower, or we do not believe the plant is manipulating the bee to spread its pollen. We see such synergy and mutualism as the way nature functions. Yet, many people see humans as separate from nature so once we begin to interact with it, even in a mutually beneficial way, we are seen as aliens invading this pristine natural world. Dagget’s point throughout the book is we have been gardeners in Eden for a long time. Since our introduction as a species we have been shaping the landscape. In fact, that bastion of primordial nature, the Amazon rainforest, is as much a cultural artifact as the landscapes we see outside our homes. In other words, the




he monitoring from The Savory Center’s West Ranch learning site this year shows the following changes between 2002 and 2005: 2002 2005 Year Bare soil 67.5% 52% Mature capping 70% 36.6% Av. Distance to plants 5.6” 2.98” Healthy plants 11.6% 55.9% Overrested (damaged) 38.5% 29.4% Dying or dead 49% 5% This recorded change has been very promising as we move in the direction of our holistic goal and our future resource base. We will continue to increase the stocking rate and increase the paddocks as we can to increase animal impact to prevent overresting. The monitoring of the West Ranch is in

natives of that area manipulated the landscape, albeit with more focus toward symbiosis and mutualism than the average human today. This argument is so critical when working with environmentalists, who take a “leave it alone” approach to nature, believing nature is always better off if humans stay out of the picture. Of course, the problem with the “leave it alone” argument is that we can’t stay out of the picture with our current population even if there are areas from which we have removed ourselves. Moreover, as Dagget explains, we are needed to tend the garden. We are part of natural synergy and in removing ourselves we have let nature down.

Just The Facts As Dagget travels around the country gathering stories to prove his point, his selection is a veritable Who’s Who in Holistic Management. Chronicled in this book are the lives and work of Tony & Jerrie Tipton, David Ogilvie, Gene Goven, George Work, Joe Morris, Doc and Connie Hatfield, and Gregg Simonds. With the Tiptons, located near Mina, Nevada, Dagget picks up where he left off in Rangeland Conflict. He talks about their mine reclamation work where they worked with a mine tailings pile, which had been sterilized by cyanide, and which had a salt absorption rate (SAR) of 200. The Tiptons needed to lower that SAR to 10 in order for the reclamation work to be

November / December 2 0 0 5

conjunction with the use of the ranch with HRM of Texas for a Southeastern Sustainable Research & Education (SE SARE) Research Grant on the effects of animal impact on soil health as it relates to cedar (juniper) infestation. The research team will monitor 12 transect lines with pegs set every 10 meters in all paddocks. Baseline data has already been gathered. Another monitoring will take place after all the fences are in and the West Ranch livestock moves through. The monitoring will continue until this grant ends in 2007. The research review committee consists of Dr. Pat Richardson, soil ecologist of University of Texas, Steve Nelle, wildlife biologist for Natural Resource Conservation Service, Dr. John Walker, range scientist for Texas A&M Experiment Station at Angelo State University, Art Roane, local rancher, and Dr. Dick Richardson, professor and biologist of University of Texas. Joe and Peggy Maddox, managers of

complete. Within six months they had the SAR down to 3.6 using the tool of animal impact (the animals processed and injected their organic waste into the rocks through hoof action) to create a soil microbial community that transformed the area—all on less than one inch of rain. From the Tiptons, Dagget turns to David Ogilive of the U Bar Ranch in southwestern New Mexico. The U Bar is home to the largest known population of the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and to two threatened species—the common black hawk and the spikedace (a fish). It also supports significant populations of several other rare species, is inhabited by the highest density of nesting songbirds in North America, and has one of the highest ratio of native to nonnative fish (99 percent to 1 percent) in the Southwest. The irony, of course, is that cattle are the supposed nemesis of both the southwestern willow flycatcher and the spikedace, yet here are large populations of both species on a working ranch. There are two preserves (one upstream and one downstream) near the U Bar. In 2001, there were only 7 pairs combined between the two preserves. There were 137 pairs at the U Bar. In 2002, the preserves had none while the U Bar had 156 pairs. No chronicle of land restoration would be complete without including Gene Goven of Turtle Lake, North Dakota. Dr. Jim Richardson, a

and changes in soil mesofauna. These will be made into videos for classroom use. Since the West Ranch is a working ranch and a learning site for The Savory Center, opportunities for onsite visitations and publications of data will be available.

Savory Center Member Awards


ertified Educator and South African Farmer, Dick SARE Monitoring team at the West Ranch. Richardson, was awarded the Vryburg Farmers Union Farmer of the Year 2005. This competition is organized West Ranch, The Texas Hair Sheep Association, through Agri SA—the organization representing and Peggy Cole, Executive Director of HRM of commercial farmers/ranchers in South Africa. TX are other cooperators. Dick was nominated by his local Farmer’s Another outcome of this grant is Dr. Pat Association and competed against Richardson’s digital videography of the soil farmers/ranchers from seven Associations in samples taken that will document the presence

scientist from North Dakota State University, has done a wonderful job of quantifying the results Gene has achieved through his use of animal impact to improve the health of the land. That health has translated for Gene into increased forage production on the land. He notes that his pastures used to produce 2,000 to 2,500 pounds of grass per acre. Now he has that much forage left over after his cattle finish grazing. Such fecundity provides Goven a 16 percent gain on money where the average in his area is usually two percent. In the chapter, “The Economics of Eden,” Dagget visits with Doc & Connie Hatfield in Brothers, Oregon. The Hatfields started Oregon Country Beef in 1986 with thirteen other ranchers and have been one of the leaders in the grassfed industry which is now educating consumers about their role in creating Eden. As Dagget notes, food is at the heart of any mutualistic relationship, and the grassfed industry is a clear line of connection to nature for many people who are not particularly interested in directly working the land. Perhaps one of the most fascinating chapters is “Building a New Economy for Eden,” in which Dagget visits with Gregg Simonds of the Deseret Ranch in northern Utah. Like the U Bar Ranch, the Deseret Ranch is a haven for birds, including the sage grouse. In fact, 25 years ago the ranch had a population of 600 sage grouse. Now the population is 2,500. Likewise, their elk

population continues to grow; and at $12,500 per elk, this resource provides a sizeable income for the ranch. But Simonds is interested in other marketable resources that ranch offers, including its ability to sequester carbon. He believes that one must be able to define what they are marketing, defend your claim that you can deliver the product, and divest the product to the client (the 3 D’s). With a host of technological devices, Simonds is determined to map how much carbon can and has been sequestered so that producers can sell that commodity at its current $25/acre price tag. The conclusion of the book is a call to action, to inspire people to become native again. Dagget notes that learning to adapt to nature’s response to our management and actions is the essence of life and evolution. He writes, “If this book is to help establish a new environmentalism… this strategy [of adaptation], which is a cornerstone of management, science, evolution, holism, and life, would be the central strategy of that environmentalism.” By setting a goal, working to achieve it, reading the feedback, and correcting what we do, we act as a living system, as native. While I truly enjoyed Dagget’s storytelling and found myself vigorously nodding my head throughout the book, I found myself wanting him to provide me a roadmap to helping those from the “Leave It Alone” Club make the

the Farmers Union which covers about 40 million acres (16 million hectares) and approximately 250 members out of about 650 farmers/ranchers in the district. Dick also won runner up in the Beef Farmer category. During the Farmer of the Year competition, Dick received special mention of his triple bottom-line success. This award is a huge achievement for Dick and for Holistic Management, especially given the fact that Dick has only been on this particular land for five years. He will now automatically be put forward to the next level of the competition which is the Provincial Competition.



n our last issue of IN PRACTICE, we mentioned a US AID workshop in Zimbabwe. However, the workshop was sponsored by, and the participants were from, the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). Our apologies for the error.

transition to the “Gardeners of Eden” Club. But a recipe for such paradigm shifts was not forthcoming. In fact, Dagget comments on his own lack of success at getting people to understand these concepts despite years and many presentations to the masses. He likens his experience to showing dog pictures to cat fanatics. So where does that leave us? With our circles of influence. Ultimately people change when they are ready to absorb new information or ideas because they have heard and seen enough evidence that persuades them that the risk of change (including changing an unconsciously held belief) is worth taking. They are more likely to have that kind of paradigm shift when they see the results they want to attain. And the reality is many people are not as excited about people making grass grow on bare ground as they are about their own economic stability, happiness, and success. Moreover, people have to believe they too can achieve the results they want more easily through a mutualistic relationship with nature. But, that kind of paradigm shift will predominantly occur through neighbor watching neighbor over time. Dagget’s book is a wonderful addition to our toolbox as we reach out to those people in our circle of influence and provide them an opportunity to hear this message one more time in a new way.

N u m b e r 10 4






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 the Center. 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 U.S., Africa, or International Certified Educator Training Programs, contact Kelly Pasztor at the Savory Center or visit our website at

* These educators provide Holistic Management instruction on behalf of the institutions they represent. UNITED STATES ARIZONA Tim Morrison 230 1st Ave N, Phoenix, AZ 85003 602/280-8803 • CALIFORNIA Monte Bell 325 Meadowood Dr., Orland, CA 95963 530/865-3246 • Julie Bohannon 652 Milo Terrace, Los Angeles, CA 90042 323/257-1915 • Bill Burrows 12250 Colyear Springs Rd., Red Bluff, CA 96080 530/529-1535 • Richard King 1675 Adobe Rd., Petaluma, CA 94954 707/769-1490 • 707/794-8692 (w) Tim McGaffic 13592 Bora Bora Way #327 Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 310/741-0167 • Kelly Mulville 225 Portola State Park, Lahonda, CA 94020 650/704-5157 (c) 650/917-6120 (w) Christopher Peck P.O. Box 2286, Sebastopol, CA 95472 707/758-0171 • Rob Rutherford CA Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 805/75-1475 • Tom Walther 5550 Griffin St., Oakland, CA 94605 510/530-6410 • 510/482-1846 • 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 • Rio de la Vista P.O. Box 777, Monte Vista, CO 81144 719/850-2255 •

Byron Shelton 33900 Surrey Lane, Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-8157 • GEORGIA Constance Neely 1160 Twelve Oaks Circle, Watkinsville, GA 30677 706/310-0678 • IDAHO Amy Driggs 1132 East E St., Moscow, ID 83843 208/310-6664 (w) • IOWA Bill Casey 1800 Grand Ave., Keokuk, IA 52632-2944 319/524-5098 • LOUISIANA Tina Pilione P.O. 923, Eunice, LA 70535 phone: 337/580-0068 • MAINE Vivianne Holmes 239 E. Buckfield Rd., Buckfield, ME 04220-4209 207/336-2484 • MASSACHUSETTS * Christine Jost Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine 200 Westboro Rd., North Grafton, MA 01536 508/887-4763 • MICHIGAN Ben Bartlett N 4632 ET Rd., Travnik, MI 49891 906/439-5210 (h) 906/439-5880 (w) MINNESOTA Gretchen Blank 4625 Cottonwood Lane N, Plymouth, MN 55442-2902 763/553-9922 •

NEW MEXICO * Ann Adams The Savory Center 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 505/842-5252 • Mark Duran 58 Arroyo Salado #B, Santa Fe, NM 87508 505/422-2280 • Kirk Gadzia P.O. Box 1100, Bernalillo, NM 87004 505/867-4685 • fax: 505/867-0262 Ken Jacobson 12101 Menaul Blvd. NE, Ste A Albuquerque, NM 87112; 505/293-7570 * Kelly (Pasztor) White The Savory Center 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 505/842-5252 • Sue Probart P.O. Box 81827, Albuquerque, NM 87198 505/265-4554 • David Trew 369 Montezuma Ave. #243, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505/751-0471 • Vicki Turpen 03 El Nido Amado SW, Albuquerque, NM 87121 505/873-0473 • NEW YORK Erica Frenay 454 Old 76 Road, Brooktondale, NY 14817 607/539-3246 (h) 607/279-7978 (c) • Phil Metzger 99 N. Broad St., Norwich, NY 13815 607/334-3231 x4 (w); 607/334-2407 (h) Karl North 3501 Hoxie Gorge Rd., Marathon, NY 13803 607/849-3328 •


NORTH CAROLINA Sam Bingham 394 Vanderbilt Rd., Asheville, NC 28803 828/274-1309 •

Preston Sullivan 610 Ed Sullivan Lane, NE, Meadville, MS 39653 601/384-5310 •

Craig Leggett 2078 County Rd. 234, Durango, CO 81301 970/259-8998 •

Wayne Burleson RT 1, Box 2780, Absarokee, MT 59001 406/328-6808 •

Chadwick McKellar 16775 Southwood Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80908 719/495-4641 •

Roland Kroos 4926 Itana Circle, Bozeman, MT 59715 406/522-3862 •


NEW HAMPSHIRE Seth Wilner 104 Cornish Turnpike, Newport, NH 03773 603/863-4497 (w) 603/863-9200 (h)

John Thurgood 44 West St. Ste 1, Walton, NY 13856 607/832-4617 • 607/865-7090 •

MONTANA Elizabeth Bird 3009 Langohr Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715 406/586-8799 •


NEBRASKA Terry Gompert P.O. Box 45, Center, NE 68724-0045 402/288-5612 (w) •

Terri Goodfellow-Heyer 4660 Cottonwood Lane North, Plymouth, MN 55442 763/559-0099 •

Daniela and Jim Howell P.O. Box 67, Cimarron, CO 81220-0067 970/249-0353 •


* Cliff Montagne Montana State University Department of Land Resources & Environmental Science Bozeman, MT 59717 406/994-5079 •

November / December 2 0 0 5

NORTH DAKOTA * Wayne Berry University of North Dakota—Williston P.O. Box 1326, Williston, ND 58802 701/774-4269 or 701/774-4200 OKLAHOMA Kim Barker RT 2, Box 67, Waynoka, OK 73860 580/824-9011 •

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 • Jennifer Hamre 602 W. St. Johns Ave., Austin, TX 78752 512/374-0104; Peggy Maddox P.O. Box 694, Ozona, TX 76943-0694 325/392-2292 • * R.H. (Dick) Richardson University of Texas at Austin Department of Integrative Biology Austin, TX 78712 512/471-4128 • Peggy Sechrist 25 Thunderbird Rd. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 830/990-2529 • sechrist@ Liz Williams 4106 Avenue B Austin, TX 78751-4220 512/323-2858 • 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 • smm1@ * Don Nelson Washington State University P.O. Box 646310, Pullman, WA 99164 509/335-2922 • nelsond@ Maurice Robinette S. 16102 Wolfe Rd., Cheney, WA 99004 509/299-4942 • Doug Warnock 151 Cedar Cove Rd., Ellensburg, WA 98926 509/925-9127 • warnockd@ WEST VIRGINIA Fred Hayes P.O. Box 241, Elkview, WV 25071 304/548-7117 • Steve Ritz HC 63, Box 2240, Romney, WV 26757 304/822-5818; 304/822-3020 WISCONSIN Heather Flashinski 1633 Valmont Ave., Eau Claire, WI 54701-4448 715/552-7861 • Andy Hager W. 3597 Pine Ave., Stetsonville, WI 54480-9559 715/678-2465 • Larry Johnson W886 State Road 92, Brooklyn, WI 53521 608/455-1685 • Laura Paine P.O. Box 567, Portage, WI 53901-0567 608/742-9682 (h) 920/623-447? (w)



Mark Gardner P.O. Box 1395, Dubbo, NSW 2830 61-2-6882-0605

Gero Diekmann P.O. Box 363, Okahandja 9000 264-62-518091

George Gundry Willeroo, Tarago, NSW 2580 048-446-223 •

Colin Nott P.O. Box 11977, Windhoek 264-61-228506

Steve Hailstone 5 Lampert Rd., Crafers, SA 5152 61-4-1882-2212 Graeme Hand “Inverary” Caroona Lane, Branxholme, VIC 3302 61-3-5578-6272 • 61-4-1853-2130 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 blward@holisticresults. com. au Brian Wehlburg c/o “Sunnyholt”, Injue, QLD 4454 61-7-4626-7187 CANADA Don and Randee Halladay Box 2, Site 2, RR 1 Rocky Mountain House, AB, T0M 1T0 403/729-2472 • donran@telusplanet. net Noel McNaughton 5704-144 St., Edmondton, AB, T6H 4H4s 780/432-5492 Len Pigott Box 222, Dysart, SK, SOH 1HO 306/432-4583 Kelly Sidoryk Box 374, Lloydminster, AB, S9V 0Y4 403/875-4418 MEXICO Ivan Aguirre La Inmaculada Apdo. Postal 304, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000 tel/fax: 52-915-613-4282 Elco Blanco-Madrid Hacienda de la Luz 1803 Fracc. Haciendas del Valle II Chihuahua Chih., 31238 52-614-423-4413 (h) • 52-614-107-8960 (c) Manuel Casas-Perez Calle Amarguva No. 61 Lomas Herradura Huixquilucan, Mexico City CP 52785 52-55-5291-3934 (w) 52-55-54020090 (c) Jose Ramon “Moncho” Villar Av. Las Americas #1178 Fracc. Cumbres, Saltillo, Coahuila 25270 52-844-415-1542

Wiebke Volkmann P.O. Box 182, Otavi 264-67-234-557 or 264-81-127-0081 NEW ZEALAND John King P.O. Box 12011 Beckenham, Christchurch 8030 64-3-338-5506 SOUTH AFRICA Sheldon Barnes P.O. Box 300, Kimberly 8300 Johan Blom P.O. Box 568, Graaf-Reinet 6280 27-49-891-0163 Ian Mitchell-Innes P.O. Box 52, Elandslaagte 2900 27-36-421-1747 Norman Neave P.O. Box 69, Mtubatuba 3935 27-084-2452/62 Dick Richardson P.O. Box 1806, Vryburg 8600 tel/fax: 27-53-927-4367 Colleen Todd P.O. Box 21, Hoedspruit 1380 27-82-335-3901 (cell) SPAIN Aspen Edge Apartado de Correos 19 18420 Lanjaron Granada (0034)-958-347-053 ZAMBIA Mutizwa Mukute PELUM Zambia Office P.O. Box 36524, Lusaka 260-1-261119/261124/261118/263514 ZIMBABWE Liberty Mabhena Spring Cabinet P.O. Box 853, Harare 263-4-210021/2 • 263-4-210577/8 fax: 263-4-210273 Huggins Matanga Private Bag 5950, Victoria Falls 263-11-404-979 Elias Ncube P. Bag 5950, Victoria Falls 263-3-454519

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Network Affiliates

There are several branch organizations or groups affiliated with The Savory Center in the U.S. and abroad (some publish their own newsletters.) We encourage you to contact the group closest to you:

UNITED STATES ARIZONA HRM of Arizona Norm Lowe 2660 E. Hemberg, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 928/214-0040 • CALIFORNIA Holistic Management of California Tom Walther, newsletter editor 5550 Griffin St. Oakland, CA 94605 510-530-6410; COLORADO Colorado Branch For Holistic Management Megan Phillips, newletter editor PO Box 310, Mesa, CO 81643 970-487-3515

NEWYORK Billie Best Regional Farm & Food Project 295 Eighth St., Troy, NY 12180 518/271-0744; Central NY RC&D Phil Metzger 99 North Broad St., Norwich, NY 13815 607/334-3231, ext. 4 NORTHWEST Managing Wholes Peter Donovan 501 South St., Enterprise, OR 97828 541/426-2145

GEORGIA Constance Neely SANREM CRSP 1422 Experiment Station Watkinsville, GA 30677 706/769-3792

OKLAHOMA Oklahoma Land Stewardship Alliance Charles Griffith, contact person Route 5, Box E44, Ardmore, OK 73401 580/223-7471

MONTANA Beartooth Management Club Wayne Burleson RT 1, Box 2780, Absarokee, MT 59001 406/328-6808

PENNSYLVANIA Northern Penn Network Jim Weaver, contact person 428 Copp Hollow Rd. Wellsboro, PA 16901 717/724-7788;




November / December 2 0 0 5

TEXAS HRM of Texas Peggy Cole, Executive Director 5 Limestone Trail, Wimberley, TX 78676 512-847-3822

West Station for Holistic Management Peggy Maddox PO Box 694, Ozona, TX 76943 325-392-2292

INTERNATIONAL AUSTRALIA Judi Earl 73 Harding E. Guyra, NSW 2365 61-267-792286 CANADA Canadian Holistic Management Lee Pengilly Box 216, Stirling AB, T0K 2E0 403-327-9262 MEXICO Fundacion para Fomentar el Manejo Holistico, A.C., Jose Ramon Villar, President Ave. Las Cumbres Saltillo Coahuila 25270 tel/fax:52-844-415-1542

Elco Blanco-Madrid, Director of Education Hacienda de la Luz 1803 Fracc. Haciendas del Valle II Chihuahua, Chih. C.P. 31238 52-614-423-4413 (h) 52-614-107-8960 (c) NAMIBIA Namibia Centre for Holistic Management Argo Rust, contact person P.O. Box 23600, Windhoek 9000 tel/fax: 62-540430; 62-81-2463319 SOUTH AFRICA Community Dynamics (Newsletter in English) Dick & Judy Richardson P.O. Box 1806, Vryburg 8600 tel/fax: 27-53-9274367

#104, In Practice, Nov/Dec 2005