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healthy land. sustainable future.

July / August 2007

Number 114

A Sense of Belonging— Holistic Management in Colorado



by Cindy Dvergsten


he Colorado Branch for Holistic Management supports folks in Colorado who do what it takes to be successful and sustainable on their farms and ranches, and in their businesses, families, and communities. Over the past 22 years, we have witnessed a story of success emerge across the mountains and plains of Colorado involving landowners and government conservationists who have adopted common sense principles, procedures, and tools embodied in Holistic Management.

focus through the years—a desire to enhance the vitality of Colorado’s natural resources, families, and communities by supporting those who practice Holistic Management. By choice, we have remained a small, membership-based, volunteer grassroots organization. Each year we sponsor an annual program featuring members as presenters, great food, and special guest speakers. During the summer, we host a tour featuring a ranch, farm, or other situation where Holistic Management is used. Our Al Tohill Memorial Scholarship fund helps

Over the past 22 years, we have witnessed a story of success emerge across the mountains and plains of Colorado. Our founder, Sam Bingham, discovered that being on the leading edge is a lonely place. He sensed that if Holistic Management was to have a chance, those who dared to give it a try would have to stick together. In February 1985, Sam brought together a group of sixteen Colorado ranchers, farmers, and others who had taken training in what was at that time called Holistic Resource Management. Concerned about the deteriorating state of natural resources and the future of agriculture in Colorado, these folks saw promise in the holistic decision-making framework. Our early members thought Allan Savory’s insights into the worldwide decline of ecosystem function, which in turn leads to the loss of biodiversity and desertification and an increase in human suffering, made sense. They risked their farms, ranches, and government jobs to give Savory and his then new ideas a try. As a result, they have set an example of what is possible for agriculture and land management. The Colorado Branch has held a very steady

people get the training they need to practice Holistic Management. We are a family-oriented membership organization. Children participate in events so they may learn with their parents. Our children are fortunate because they will more than likely inherit healthy land and viable agricultural enterprises, and they will know how to manage these for long-term sustainability. Here is just a sampling of what our members have to say about what they’ve learned from managing holistically: • “As long as people are willing to keep an open mind, learn from mistakes, and try on new ideas, then progress is possible.” Doug Wiley, Largo Vista Farms, Boone, Colorado. • “When we each take personal responsibility and develop a mindset that allows us to take in the big picture, we can find lasting solutions to problems.” Debbie Burch, rancher and conservationist. • “We sure do learn a lot more when we put continued on page 2

The Colorado Branch of Holistic Management has been creating a sense of belonging for over 22 years with their meetings, conferences, and field days. In this issue we feature some of the Colorado Holistic Management practitioners and the influence they’ve had in their communities and on the land.

FEATURE STORIES Getting Holistic Management on the Map . . . .3 RON CHAPMAN

The Quest for Viable Ranching— Interning at the San Juan Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . .4 VANESSA PRILESON

Learning Involving Nature & Kids— Kids on the Land at the West Ranch . . . . . . . . .6 PEGGY COLE

LAND & LIVESTOCK From Rocky Rangeland to Pretty Pasture— Working Together on the James Ranch . . . . . . .8 JIM HOWELL

Grass Wintering, Montana-style— Sieben Livestock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 JIM HOWELL

Arriola Sunshine Farm— Small Farm, Big Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 ASPEN EDGE

NEWS & NETWORK Grapevine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Certified Educators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20



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healthy land. sustainable future.

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

Jody Butterfield

STAFF Shannon Horst, Executive Director Peter Holter, Chief Operating Officer Bob Borgeson, Director of Finance, Accounting and Administration Jutta von Gontard, Director of Development Constance Neely, International Training Programs Director Craig Leggett, Director of Learning Sites Ann Adams, Managing Editor, IN PRACTICE and Director of Educational Products and Outreach Kelly Bee, Accountant Maryann West, Executive Assistant Donna Torrez, Customer Service Manager Marisa Mancini, Development Assistant

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

A Sense of Belonging our heads together.” Gayel Alexander, Rancher, Lewis, Colorado. • “When they (government employees) know you are serious about doing something more than just dumping your cattle on public lands and walking away, they will be more flexible in working with you. If you go in there with a good plan and a willingness to monitor your allotment, they will be more willing to put time and resources into your permit since they know they will be getting something in return.” John Ott, James Ranch, Durango, Colorado. • “You never used to hear Federal Land Managers talk about things like quality of life. We used to just focus on the land because that’s the only thing we were taught to do.” Jim Dollershull, Range Conservationist, Bureau of Land Management. • “The condition of the McNeil’s’ ranch is a reflection of their strong conservation ethic and love of the land. Their land provides an excellent example of how agriculture and wildlife can coexist to meet the needs of private landowners, society as a whole, and wildlife.” Bob Sanders, a biologist with Ducks Unlimited. • “We have learned that spending and

continued from page one financial planning must be consistent with your values and holisticgoal. With this in mind, we recognize that business is about exchange— and what is exchanged as currency is not only money, but labor, love, goods, services and service, and support—that business is about building relationship with your land, with others, with your mind, and with money.” Julie Sullivan, San Jan Ranch, Saguache, Colorado. In 2001 we sponsored “Whole Land Healthy People: A Celebration of Holistic Management,” a conference that drew over 200 people from around the world. This year the Colorado Branch for Holistic Management is planning a tour on September 18, at the Smith Ranch, a 50,000-acre (20,000-ha) property 30 miles south of Limon that was recently purchased by the Nature Conservancy and State Land Board. They are soliciting management proposals and have welcomed us to hold a brainstorming tour to formulate ideas based on our experience with Holistic Management. They will provide a guided tour, space for our meeting, and some campsites. To find out more details, visit our website or e-mail Chris Frasier at

The Colorado Branch has offered many familyfriendly events, like this one at the Blue Ranch in 2003.

ADVISORY COUNCIL Robert Anderson, Corrales, NM Michael Bowman,Wray, CO Sam Brown, Austin, TX Sallie Calhoun, Paicines, CA Lee Dueringer, Scottsdale, AZ Gretel Ehrlich, Gaviota, CA Cynthia Harris, Albuquerque, NM Edward Jackson, San Carlos, CA Clint Josey, Dallas, TX Doug McDaniel, Lostine, OR Guillermo Osuna, Coahuila, Mexico York Schueller, Ventura, 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 Holistic Management International, 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505/842-5252, fax: 505/843-7900; email:; website: Copyright © 2007.



July / August 2007

George Whitten of the San Juan Ranch shares with Colorado Branch field day participants his mobile water trough.



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Getting Holistic Management on the Map by Ron Chapman


n early 2005, HMI began a rigorous examination of our organization and activities to identify weak links, not in the practice of Holistic Management, but in our ability to advance the practice worldwide. As many of you know from being included in our assessment processes, it was a stakeholder and customer focus that drove the effort. It proved to be a challenging self-examination, as we sought to get down to underlying causes. Yet we were fueled by the certainty that without sufficient depth and weight to our selfassessment, we would be unable to realize our vision of greatly expanding the global practice of Holistic Management. From that analysis, the organizational logjam that emerged was inadequate structures to support clear leadership roles and lines of authority among the Board Chair, Board of Directors, Founders, and the Executive Director. We also identified organizational ineffectiveness in targeting appropriate markets with products and services that meet the needs of those markets. This assessment confirmed our challenges do not lie in the product of Holistic Management itself, rather in our ability to lead and deliver the practice. For this reason, the last two years we have focused on developing our marketing, public relations, product development, and management systems to support us in getting Holistic Management “on the map.” In this way we’re moving from what some call a “program led model” to a “business model,” while cementing it with our core values. The need for HMI leadership really occurs in three places: the Board of Directors, senior management, and with our practitioners and advocates. We are beginning to examine how we can create a cohesive, global leadership strategy with practitioners and advocates through informal learning sites, and certainly some practitioner leadership is naturally occurring as a byproduct of your Holistic Management practice. As for senior leadership, a number of actions have begun to advance our capacity. The most notable change is hiring people for those positions who understand the leadership role and need as opposed to simply bringing content skill sets. While content expertise is valuable, it should not come at the expense of defined leadership and management skills. We’ve begun using “topgrading,” a process that brings competency to the fore. The outcome is the most talented

group of senior leaders HMI has ever gathered together at the same time and includes skills in marketing, finance, administration and fundraising that were previously underrepresented. To grow our senior leaders, we’ve committed funds to leadership training. HMI has also changed a number of internal authority, meeting and decision-making processes to allow senior leaders to be more effective. This includes significantly revamping financial and accounting systems to be more responsive to management and Board needs. Notably, this has resulted in two consecutive stellar annual audits.

Change is most effective when guided by constant observation, assessment, and replanning. While not apparent to most, the leadership of the Board is equally critical in building HMI, both the internal leadership of the Board, and the Board’s role in leading the organization and Holistic Management worldwide. Almost without exception, every strong Board produces a strong organization. Therefore, we have moved to embrace an organizational model that provides for a strong Board that complements strong senior leaders while maintaining appropriate distinction between the governance role of the Board and the operational management role of senior staff. In two years, we have grown HMI’s Board to thirteen voting members consisting of three staggered cohorts of four members serving three year terms, plus Jody Butterfield serving an unlimited term as one of the co-founders. In addition, four ex-officio Board members serve internationally, representing Australia, Canada, Mexico, and Southern Africa as areas in which Holistic Management has a significant presence. We’ve created policies to govern the Board’s operations including crucial practices for cultivation, recruitment, and succession. And effective, as of February 2007, we’ve fully implemented the use of Board committees in order to increase the capacity to fulfill the Board’s oversight role. Furthermore, we’ve bolstered core

Board functioning by defining roles and activities through fundraising and financial policies. Better still, we have conducted our first ever Board self-evaluation with excellent recommendations that begin to create an environment of continuous Board performance assessment and improvement. This fall, the Board should be positioned for our first transition in directors and leaders. Of course, there will be wrinkles to be ironed out. Yet we should be able to say for the first time that we have fully embraced this new Board leadership design resulting in an effective succession of leaders, one sign of the high functioning we consider essential to HMI’s success. Those who have watched the organization operate for a very long time tell us this is by far the best they’ve seen. One measure of our progress comes through those who provide key financial support. Without exception, they have demonstrated agreement through their positive response to our solicitations. Our Board and staff are likewise fully pledged to support HMI financially. As I am often reminded in my conversations with supporters and practitioners, the proof of success will be evident when it is realized. The reinvention of HMI is well underway. There are many anecdotal indicators that confirm progress including feedback from many of you that validates changes in direction, programming, marketing messages, and responsiveness. Certainly this feedback is reassuring, though we must remember that the organizational change is not yet complete and further challenges await us. As you all know through your expertise in Holistic Management, change is most effective when guided by constant observation, assessment, and replanning. We’re applying those very same principles to getting HMI on the map globally, and have made a commitment to improving our effectiveness. As the year unfolds, you will see how HMI’s new products, services, and approaches, including refocused organization and leadership will create a world class, non-profit organization that will herald the spread of Holistic Management to a world that has great need of our expertise. This is not business as usual. And I, for one, am pleased to be a part of the effort. Ron Chapman is Chairman of the Board of Holistic Management International. He can be reached at Number 114





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The Quest for Viable Ranching— Interning at the San Juan Ranch by Vanessa Prileson


hen I tell people I want to make my living running a ranch someday, I usually get a general response along the line of “Do you realize there is no money in agriculture? You’ll have to win the lottery or marry somebody rich to have your own ranch!” I used to feel annoyed when people shot down my dream like this; now I am disappointed by this negative reaction because those people do not realize thousands of ranchers and farmers are exploring ways to make ranching viable right in front of them. If you are open to avenues that involve learning what would make ranching a more viable livelihood, you may find more opportunities to manage animals and land than you thought possible. I have found such an avenue through ranching internships. For the past six months I have been working as an intern/apprentice on the San Juan Ranch with George Whitten and Julie Sullivan on their grass-fed, organic cattle ranch in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado.

A Passion for Ranching While growing up in the suburbs of Tucson, Arizona, I wanted to experience cattle ranching. I am the only person in my family interested in pursuing a career in animal agriculture. I believe what triggered my passion for ranching were the numerous day trips my parents took my brother and me on throughout southeastern Arizona. While my parents thought it great fun to visit the wineries, I was more satisfied with patting horses over the fence and counting cattle dispersed across the desert grasslands sloping into rugged mountains. As I entered high school economics classes, I started paying attention to issues resulting from vanishing ranchland in the southwest. I was introduced to the realities of ranching working on the Empirita Ranch southwest of Tucson during the summers, and began to wonder how could ranching be sustained? I deduced a more viable way of ranching would be if cattle were raised solely on rangeland forages, and the grain-finishing process was eliminated. With this realization I wanted to bring agricultural producers and conservationists together to cooperate on how to produce healthy meat and maintain thriving ecosystems. When I attended Oregon State University, I carried this 4


passion with me and stuck to my theory of raising grass-fed beef, even though grain-finished beef production was taught in my university classes. One day, my good friend invited me to go on a rangeland ecology field trip to Doc and Connie Hatfield’s holistically managed ranch in eastern Oregon. This trip was a turning point for me; Doc and Connie showed that raising beef in an unconventional way, such as without hormones or antibiotics, was not only possible, but profitable. This knowledge combined with rangeland ecology and agricultural economics classes motivated me to find out first hand what it would be like to raise and market grass-fed beef while managing rangelands. I discovered George Whitten and Julie Sullivan’s internship during my junior year in college. The position had already been filled for that summer, so I kept in contact over the next year and a half. Meanwhile, I lined up an internship at the holistically managed Lasater Ranch for my first real introduction to grass-fed beef production and marketing. After graduating

from college, I was hungry for more ranch work, grass-fed beef marketing, and grazing planning. I began my internship with George and Julie in the fall of 2006. Interning following college has been a valuable transition period for me. It enables me to see what it takes to be financially stable in a real world agricultural setting and provides me with ideas for an agricultural career. I ask myself, “Is this how I want to make my living? What about this do I need in the future? Will this allow me to make ranching a viable way of life for others?” My experience at George and Julie’s San Juan Ranch tells me, “Yes!”

No Visible Line

At the San Juan Ranch, I’ve been able to experience my dream—I’m learning how to raise cattle in a sustainable way. After first settling in at the ranch, I shared with George and Julie my main goal of learning how to run this type of ranch. From that day, I felt they did everything they possibly could to help me accomplish this goal, including involving me in how they work toward their own holisticgoal. From the very beginning I was involved in all the daily ranch chores and the planning of the ranch’s future. Being included in everything was effective and exciting in learning how important decisions are made on the ranch. If I had only been included in the physical work such as moving cows, loading hay, and moving fence, I would have only become good at following directions. I would not have become better at determining cattle movements, how much hay to feed, why only some marketing techniques work, and, most importantly, I would not have truly understood how a holisticgoal interrelates the animals, people and land of and surrounding the ranch. It wasn’t always easy—some obstacles came up for me while interning on the ranch. It was inevitable that I got caught in the middle of personal struggles, family disagreements, and issues. Luckily, Most of Vanessa’s family and friends can’t understand I had become accustomed to working what the appeal about ranching is for Vanessa. But, and living closely with people on several whether she’s moving electric fence across frozen other ranches in the past, so I overcame ground or helping with the grazing planning, Vanessa these obstacles and worked through has a passion for learning how to ranch sustainably.

July / August 2007



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them. Sometimes it was hard to be away from all of my friends and activities I was involved in during college. But I reminded myself frequently why I willingly chose to live without some of the amenities of a young person’s lifestyle, if only temporarily; so I could learn what it takes to be a rancher. Being a ranch intern requires me to be steady, be myself, be dependable, be open to new ideas and be there when ranching is fun, and when it’s not. There is no visible line that separates working and living; the combination is what creates the life a rancher seeks. Supper may be ready, but you might still be out walking through the cow herd checking for cows calving or giving a calf yogurt to settle an upset stomach. These things really make me appreciate living on a ranch because I love caring for animals while knowing I am working to benefit the world. I’ve learned the holisticgoal you live by, not just talk about, becomes your lifestyle because it determines every decision made for the ranch. Each decision moves you toward accomplishing part of that overarching goal. The beef marketing plans carry the same values as the grazing and financial plans because in considering each option, the holisticgoal is considered. If one objective is to run the ranch using as little fossil fuel as possible, ranch chores must be modified. For example, George and Julie cut and pile their meadow hay every year rather than bale and stack it. This haying method meets the triple bottom line: the nutrients are put back where they came from, fossil fuel is not necessary to feed the hay, and George and Julie can be among the cattle during daily feeding. The concept of holism is the most important thing I learned during my internship—one decision affects all the other aspects of the ranch. It is intriguing to see such a dynamic and personal holisticgoal be consulted so often, and it made me realize just how devoted George and Julie are to working toward it.

The Realities of Ranching When I began my internship in October, the entire cow herd was on an allotment on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. Within my first weeks I learned how to move and roll up electric polywire fence, see the graze line, and observe the cattle for sickness or any other problem. When we brought the cows to the home ranch, my daily chores throughout the winter included feeding organic alfalfa-oat hay (grown on the ranch’s own farm) off the back of the flatbed pickup. My other main chore was to move electric fence every day to give the cows their ration of hay piles. When I was not floundering in the snow and chasing calves back where they belonged, I helped

While interning at the San Juan Ranch, Vanessa learned driving on ice is a lot like cattle ranching; if you don’t plan ahead you could have a wreck calculate how long the winter hay piles would last at the home ranch using Animal Days per Acre. I learned what an Animal Unit Month and an Animal Day per Acre can look like on an arid grassland rather than in a college textbook. Now I have a better idea of how these can vary even within a few hundred feet. I helped with the calculations of the growing season grazing plan and in the spring helped to set up paddocks for strip and rotational grazing. I learned to plan for rest and water access. Soon after implementing a grazing plan, I realized grazing planning is far more than making a chart and moving fence. A good grazing plan requires careful thinking and planning ahead. It is a puzzle that must constantly be solved. Cattle must always be somewhere eating something; they cannot be hung out on a clothesline. For example, the end of May comes around and all the winter feed has been used up. The growing grass needs to recover and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allotment turnout date is not until June 20th. This is a circumstance where a flexible and well thoughtout grazing plan will feed the cattle for those couple of weeks. The grazing plan needs to provide a reserve to feed the cattle for those couple of weeks by determining the additional forage needed in a worst case scenario. Additionally, a thorough plan does not merely consist of one backup plan. Plan A through Plan Z are necessary because Plans A, B and C can often fall through very quickly. Because I am almost as passionate about grass-fed beef and the cattle as George and Julie are, it hit me just as hard when an important

marketing option fell through for them. Right then we had to think of Plan C, which was not easy. I recall one winter night on the way to supper in town when George slowed the car down about a quarter of a mile before the stop sign because the roads were very icy. Then it hit me. Driving on ice is a lot like cattle ranching; if you don’t plan ahead you could have a wreck. All these experiences matter to me because I see now how much mental and physical work it is to raise cattle in general, let alone organic and grass-fed. It takes self-discipline and enthusiasm to make your work into a lifestyle. I also understand how difficult it is to make financial ends meet even when the most well-intentioned ecological and economical decisions are made. It is important for me to experience and observe these realities so that I can better plan my future and know which questions to ask: Do I really want to own a ranch or do I want to manage someone else’s? Do I want to lease land to start a herd? What kind of an operation would I want? I’ve also learned how to make a decision that feels right.

Making It Personal During my internship, George and Julie helped me make my own holisticgoal. It wasn’t hard to make because what I want is all inside me; I just needed to visualize it. During my internship, I was confronted with some very difficult decisions regarding my own future. Before I could make any decisions about careers and my personal life, I needed to put onto paper what I want in several different aspects of my life. Creating my continued on page 6 Number 114





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The Quest for Viable Ranching continued from page five holisticgoal helped me to decide to explore such options as: • Managing a grass-fed beef ranch somewhere in the world; • Managing a ranch camp; • Creating a buying club to market grass-fed beef; • Setting up farm and ranch internship programs; • Playing a role in rangeland restoration using livestock as a primary tool, and; • Becoming part of the public land management force and helping it to conserve and manage natural resources. My holisticgoal helped me decide to take a job with the Forest Service after my internship. Although the job will not include managing a ranch, it includes managing land, people, and animals in ways that aim to conserve natural resources and communities as well as learning about rangeland ecology. I feel it will also allow me to have some time to pursue some of my other interests on the side. With George and Julie’s support and my holisticgoal, I have gained clarity. Consequently, I felt good about the decision I made. I learned this is what really matters about any decision. I know trying to make a living in agriculture in today’s society takes forward-thinking, creative minds. I want to be one of those progressive thinkers and promote sustainable agriculture to the point where people want to go into agriculture for a career or support sustainable agriculture. As I finish my internship, I think of the small but significant things I learned in addition to the big things: moving electric fence in below zero temperatures with freezing fingers; yanking sweet-smelling, moldy bales of hay off the soggy ground and watching the rotted twine snap and the bale break loose; jamming the old truck into four-wheel drive in the middle of a snow bank; and, through it all, watching animals thrive and suffer as I learn to take care of them. Nothing I learned in my college classes prepared me for the actual realities of ranching. What the wonderful topics of rangeland science and economics did do for me, however, was encourage me to find ways to make ranching work. Without those lectures, field trips, dedicated professors and my parents taking me on all those day trips, I may never have been so motivated to experience ranching, so I am thankful for them. It heartens me to see George and Julie and other ranchers finding ways to make ranching truly sustainable, or as sustainable as they can get in today’s society. I know now that it is possible, though not easy, to make a living ranching and that someday I can do it. This is the answer I’ve been looking for ever since my passion for ranching began. Vanessa Prileson is headed off for her new job with the U.S. Forest Service. She can be reached at:



July / August 2007

Learning Involving Nature & Kids— Kids on the Land at the West Ranch by Peggy Cole


iscovery was the connecting tissue of the first official gathering of passionate people interested in sharing their love of the natural world and Holistic Management with children in the “Kids On The Land” program at HMI’s David West Station for Holistic Management. Six women from diverse fields came together in late April to begin a journey in creating curriculum for informal outdoor education for elementary school children led by Peggy Maddox as master teacher. For the past four years Peggy Maddox has been creating activities to support general themes for the various grades she has invited out from Ozona schools as part of HMI’s educational outreach at the West Ranch. She began with the third grade and added the next grade each year. Word got around, and now Eldorado Public School wants to bring their third through sixth grades, and Ozona wants to bring the kindergarten class as well as their third through sixth grades. Peggy and HMI devised this training to generate the help she so badly needs for this important mission. To create the curriculum, HMI and the West Ranch hosted two seven-day workshops of training and implementing the school field days this spring. Certified Educators Kelly White and Christina Allday-Bondy, as well as Dr. Pat Richardson, HRM of Texas Executive Director Peggy Cole, Kathy Dickson, and Jeanne Rides-Alone joined Peggy Maddox at the West Ranch’s newly upgraded learning quarters for this training and implementation. We decided to call ourselves LINK (Learning Involving Nature & Kids), because we want to be links—part of the connections in all directions. To help us understand the importance of nature experiences, Peggy introduced the book Last Child in the Woods— Saving Our Children from NatureDeficit Disorder, which discusses the need to reconnect children with nature for healthier, better-adjusted kids who care for our planet.

A fourth grader from Eldorado Public School examines a mealy blue sage.

Schoolchildren learn the different parts of plants and also the uses of those plants by livestock, wildlife, and humans.



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When schoolchildren arrive at the West Ranch, each grade learns a different aspect of nature. For example, third graders learn about the wind and how it can help people. On their way to the ranch headquarters, they stop at one of the four West Ranch windmills. Peggy helps them discover the many ways wind can be used by people. Peggy tells them the parts of the windmill and the function of each part. Joe Maddox, the West Ranch Manager, demonstrates with real windmill parts such as how the check valves and leathers lift water up from the aquifer. The class divides into three groups of about 20 each. Each group accompanies two LINKS to experience: 1) hand pumping water with the actual windmill parts, 2) climbing up to look into the big water tank where the water went from the windmill, and 3) walking down to the livestock watering troughs to learn about floats and the uses of the water brought up by the windmill. Back at the learning porch, Peggy discusses with the schoolchildren the history of their county and how the invention of the windmill made settlement in their area possible. Then she selects students one by one to come to the stage area and sets up a physical enactment of a windmill in action with each child playing a part of the windmill. With the fourth grade, Peggy’s focus is plants. She introduces the work of Carl Linnaeus, who created taxonomy, and demonstrates the types of classification by having all 45 children in the 4th grade stand up. She then begins separating them based on a combination of articles of clothing worn or physical traits such as hair color. The LINKS take groups on the nature trail up the hill discussing the uses of plants for livestock, wildlife, and humans. From the coprolites (eight thousand year old fossilized poop full of prickly pear seeds) found in regional caves to the tasting of agarita, mesquite bean, or prickly pear jellies, the kids experience all the local landscape has to

One group of many schoolchildren who have learned about how nature functions through the outdoor education program at the West Ranch.

offer as they carry their naturalist clipboards and answer questions about what they see. Back at the learning porch they rotate to the plant journal activity. A LINK teaches the parts of a plant, how plants work and what plants do for us and encourages them to study them in detail with the aid of field guide books. The students each receive a plant journal where they record their findings, draw and/or describe the parts of the plant, and write poetry or a story about it. With the fifth grade class, Peggy focuses on water. She uses an apple to demonstrate the small amount of drinkable water available on Earth, followed by a discussion about the geologic features of the region (ancient sea and limestone formations), regional watershed, and water supply before the kids role play the water cycle. Smaller groups are formed to: 1) watch the groundwater flow model where aquifers, wells, clean and polluted waters can be seen in action; 2) learn from the rainfall simulator how rain creates either runoff or groundwater, depending on the soil surface conditions and make a water cycle wheel; and 3) go fossil hunting. The sixth grade day is Healthy Soil – Healthy

Dr. Pat Richardson was one of several LINKS helping these students make the connection with nature.

Land: Soil Critters and more. These kids are learning more and more complex concepts, so the opening large group discussion is on the formation of soil, including its parent materials and the different kinds of rock, components, life of healthy soil, the importance of covered soil, and the critters who live beneath the surface. The LINKS take each of the three groups out on the ranch for land monitoring, where students judge percentages of bare ground and different classes of soil cover and take the soil’s temperature. The groups come together in the big barn for Dr. Pat Richardson’s unique soil microorganism video—live action video of amazing soil mesofauna—then break into small groups again to play the soil food web game in which students wear an identification badge that says which soil critter they are and what they need to survive. Each student finds another who wears the badge of those needs, then connects to them by rainbow ribbons. In the end it is obvious to the students that all is connected under the soil surface as it is above. After lunch the groups hear a story about the buffalo days and go out again on the ranch to experience in their new roles as grazing animals or predators how herd effect and animal impact changes the soil surface and how the effect has changed with the advent of fencing and the reduction in predators. The tagline for this program is “LIFE…on the land, Get the connection.” With Peggy Maddox, the West Ranch, and this new curriculum, these schoolchildren in West Texas will do just that. To learn more about the LINKS curriculum and HMI’s educational outreach efforts at the West Ranch, contact Peggy Maddox, Director of Education and Public Relations at: or 325/226-3042. Number 114





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& From Rocky Rangeland to Pretty Pasture—

Working Together on the James Ranch by Jim Howell


ots of things have been written about the James Family— patriarchs David and Kay, daughter Jennifer and husband Joe, daughter Julie and husband John, son Dan and wife Becca, son Justin and wife Cindy, and daughter Cynthia and husband Robert, plus a whole herd of grandchildren—and the James Ranch. The James Bunch themselves are frequently featured speakers at Holistic Management get-togethers, cattlemen group meetings, and various other venues dealing with matters of the West. All this attention is well-deserved, because these folks have pulled off an almost too-goodto-be-true list of accomplishments.

Sustainable Development The James Ranch is the last intact tract of real ranchland in the Animas Valley—the majestic red-cliffed canyon that slices into the San Juan Mountains, just north of Durango, Colorado. The rest of this natural paradise has been morphed into a hodgepodge of human artifacts, from trailer parks to condos to golf courses to obscenely colossal trophy homes. But the James Family is not comprised of dreamy, purist ranchers. Don’t get me wrong, that element exists among them, but these folks are also real world businesspeople. Back in the ‘70s, with five growing kids, a crash in the cattle market, exploding interest rates, and lots of money tied up in breeding purebred cattle, Dave and Kay were forced to pull back and reassess their

A group of coming 2-year-old steers and heifers on the home ranch near Durango. These cattle are heading out of winter and ready to pile on the pounds with the green grass of spring. 8

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resource base. Like most of the rest of the owners of the Animas Valley, they realized that in a changing West, their primary asset was scenery. With their hearts in the valley and strong ties to their community, selling out to developers wasn’t an option, but neither was business-as-usual. So the James’ became their own developers, and determined that if part of the ranch had to be sacrificed to a housing tract, then it would be done right. The south extreme of the ranch was split off, and winding roads, ponds, and abundant landscaping with native aspen and spruce trees replaced 110 acres (45 ha) of cow pasture. As lots were sold over the years, an attractive mountain community evolved. For a subdivision, it turned out about as pretty as they come. And, partly because of the revenue generated by the subdivision, the rest of the ranch—450 irrigated acres (180 ha) to the immediate north—has been able to endure as verdant green pasture dotted with handsome red cattle. The fact that the James’ have bucked the trends and kept their piece of the puzzle ecologically intact, agriculturally productive, and responsibly developed is a huge success story in and of itself.

Family Enterprises But, that’s just the beginning. Rampant subdivision of the West’s most pretty and productive spots, and the associated fragmentation, is an agonizing problem. Equally as challenging is family fragmentation. Ranching families themselves have long struggled with maintaining intergenerational continuity on the land. As keystone elements of any whole, the (dauntingly difficult) people part has to be functionally working for long term sustainability, but the human stuff is really hard to get right. It’s one thing to figure out how to get along and want to stay together, quite another to create a viable economic niche for each family member that wants to stay. Both are necessary to keep families intact and on the land. The James Bunch has figured (or, more accurately, continues to figure) out how to do this. Three families of the second generation—John and Julie, Jennifer and Joe, and Dan and Becca—are living on the ranch and making their livings. John and Julie have taken over (actually, have purchased from Dave and Kay) the ranch’s tree farm and landscaping enterprise (an offshoot business which resulted from the subdivision years). Dan and Becca have built a New Zealand-style dairy barn and cheese-making plant. They seasonally milk on the order of 20 pasture-fed Jersey cows, and convert nearly all of their production into specialty cheeses, most of which is sold directly to customers at farmers’ markets, the on-farm produce stand, natural food



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to make it all work has been a Herculean effort. The logistics of moving cattle stores, or directly to restaurants. Whey, a by-product of the cheese-making through and between all this country has proven tougher than anticipated. process, is fed to hogs (which are marketed under the catchy label “Whey But Dave, along with hired man Colby Wells, think they’ve about got it Good Pork”). Jennifer and Joe operate a massive market garden, raising a figured out. First, they’ve recently decided to simplify their lives and sell huge variety of specialty vegetables. They sell the fruits (veggies) of their the big desert permit in Utah. The cost of trucking to and from this unit, labor to the same folks (and then some) who buy cheese, pork, and beef. Dave and Kay are in charge of the direct market beef enterprise. Kay keeps as well as the challenges of managing such a massive tract of land, was track of and moves inventory. Dave helps out with marketing by telling stories becoming too much to bear. By cutting back to a base herd of 300 cows and putting on a friendly smile at the farmers market, but most of his time is (about the upper limit of what the James’ feel they need to supply animals for the grass-finished beef enterprise), the spent on the production side of things, Slick Rock winter permit provides enough ensuring that a quality product reaches grass even in the worst-case drought their customers’ plates. This is a daunting scenario. In good years, Slick Rock can task, and even now, 14 years after diving be filled out with weaned calves. into this commitment, Dave is still By selling off the Utah permit, Dave no tweaking his production model. longer has to deal with the headache of Before I get too carried away, I need trucking (except for shipping yearlings to make a minor disclaimer. The James from the range country back to the Animas Family is exceptional by nearly every Valley for finishing). The summer permit, measure, but they’re still human beings, Indian Hills, and Slick Rock are all within and they struggle with the same human trailing distance. Dave is a true cowboy at issues that we all deal with. It’s not all heart, and trailing from summer to winter roses, and they don’t try to hide this fact. range and back again lines right up with Differences of opinion are common, the his holisticgoal. broad range of personalities doesn’t always jive, and values aren’t uniformly shared. Slick Rock Challenges Lots of families never proactively deal with The James Ranch 20 pasture-fed Jerseys supply milk for these sorts of challenges and end up going The Slick Rock permit remains tough to Dan James’ specialty cheese operation sold directly to their separate ways. But the James Family manage for lots of reasons, but the main customers at farmers’ markets, the on-farm produce is so driven by their love of the land, one is lack of stockwater till spring thaw in stand, natural food stores, or directly to restaurants. each other, and their way of life, that no early February. The Slick Rock has lots of squabble or interfamily issue has proven water (in the form of stock ponds), but insurmountable. A clear, shared holisticgoal, and good systems of these ponds are primarily located up in higher reaches of the permit, and are communication are key. Synergizing as a family doesn’t just happen. frozen solid throughout the heart of winter. The only open water through It takes work, deliberate effort, and intent. December and January is the meandering Dolores River, which runs through the core (and lowest point) of the permit. There’s no other option throughout Expanding the Bovine Base these two months but to graze along the river and the multiple side canyons that feed into it. This limited mid-winter grazing is the bottleneck to In the mid-’90s, and after a good grounding in the fundamentals of Holistic Management, Dave decided he was ready to branch out of the bucolic wintering more than 300 mother cows. Once the ponds thaw out, they can then move out of the river bottom and graze alternate higher elevation areas Animas Valley, take on the management of some serious real estate, and from year to year. expand the scale of the cattle enterprise (Dave’s true passion). Kay backed In the spring, all the cattle are gathered into the Snyder Place, a pasture her husband’s big vision (for the most part), and they initially ended up with on the east side of the Dolores River, and on the way to the summer permit. one of the West’s most challenging chunks of topography—50,000 acres Around the first of May, the cows (which still haven’t calved) are trailed to (20,000 ha) of rocks, canyons, rocks, mesas, rocks, cliffs, rocks, inaccessible Indian Hills, which is used as a transition stopover to the summer country. benches, and more rocks. This winter grazing permit, administered by the It’s a two-day trip. One end of Indian Hills is used in the spring, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), surrounds the thriving town of Slick other in the fall on the way back down to Slick Rock. These ends are Rock, comprised of an abandoned post office and diner, and smack dab in swapped each year, so they aren’t grazed in the same season in consecutive southwestern Colorado’s most isolated corner. This winter grazing option years. This stopover lasts ten to thirty days, depending on the year, would free up pasture back in the Animas Valley (that was formerly hayed both going and coming. to winter beef cows) to grass finish yearling and 2-year-old steers. Then, about mid-May, the cattle enter the forest permit in one of three A few years later, two other winter permits were added to the James Ranch land base. These included 113,000 acres (45,200 ha) of sand and blackbrush points—Ryman, Royce, or Black Snag. By switching these entry points year in southeastern Utah administered by both the BLM and the Utah State Land to year, each pasture receives a year and a half recovery period. For example, if cattle start out in Ryman this year in the spring, they won’t go back into Department and a 10,000-acre (4,000-ha) chunk called Indian Hills not Ryman until the following year in the fall, on the way back out. too far from Slick Rock, straddling a gouge in the earth fittingly named The cows commence calving once they enter one of these three pastures, Disappointment Valley. They also obtained one heckuva a good 45,000-acre and pairs are gradually drifted up to the top of the summer permit by late (18,000-ha) summer grazing permit (administered by the U.S. Forest June. By that time, the grass is in abundance on top. Cows and calves are Service). These permits gave added flexibility to winter grazing options, and moved through several big pastures, with grazing periods never more than enabled Dave to devote the 450 irrigated acres near Durango to 100 percent grass finishing, since the cows could now summer in the mountains. That all might sound pretty slick, but figuring out the right combination continued on page 10 Number 114

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30 days, and typically planned to ensure a different pattern of use from one year to the next (that is, to ensure plants aren’t grazed at the same point in the growing season in consecutive years). Calves are branded in July up on top, and bulls are put out in late July. At that point, all yearling steers are sent to the irrigated grass in Durango. They begin their finishing phase that summer and fall, winter in Durango, then finish as 24- to 30-month old steers over the course of their third spring and summer. Any cows or heifers without calves at side are also sorted off prior to putting the bulls out, and taken to Durango for fattening. These are surplus animals that can be sold through conventional channels, or made into hamburger to be sold through the beef program. Ideally, calves are weaned in the fall while still on the top of the summer country, which makes trailing back down to Slick Rock (with dry cows only) quite a bit smoother. Calves are kept separate and fed hay until at least early

December. If it’s been a good grass year at Slick Rock, the calves are turned back into the cows in December and winter together. If not, the calves are fed hay in a set of pens next to the “town” of Slick Rock (which Dave and Kay purchased and now use as a winter camp) until early February, when they are put in with the cows after the spring thaw, and the upper benches of Slick Rock can be used. Most of the grass-finished steers and heifers don’t reach their 1,100 lb. (500 kg) finish weight until 24-30 months, but that fits in well with the James’ rangeland resource base. They have the capacity on their winter and summer permits to grow out these cattle very economically. When they arrive on that salad bar of fresh leafy greens, these big framey calves really turn a crank, often gaining up to five pounds (2.25 kg) a day as they enter the spring and early summer of their second year of life. Several years ago, a much needed USDA-inspected slaughter plant was

Grass Wintering Montana-Style—

Sieben Live Stock by Jim Howell


first became aware of Chase Hibbard and Sieben Live Stock back in the mid-‘90s, when Dan Dagget’s excellent book, Beyond the Rangeland Conflict, came out. Dagget’s intriguing, hopeful account of the ranch’s history and successes, accompanied by Jay Dusard’s stunning photography, made a firm impression that never left me. Last summer, when Chase (along with fellow Montana rancher and consultant to Sieben Live Stock, Bill Milton) wrote me a letter potentially soliciting my involvement with Adel ranch, I almost couldn’t believe it. Based on Dagget’s story and Dusard’s photos, I had images of an other-worldly paradise up there in Montana. I jumped at the opportunity to become involved, and last November of 2006, made my first trip to the ranch, located in the Rocky Mountain foothills, between Helena and Great Falls. Sieben Live Stock, the company that runs Adel Ranch, has been in Chase’s family for 100 years now. Henry Sieben, Chase’s great grandfather, a business-savvy Montana pioneer who made his living in the early days of the freighting industry (with teams of oxen, not tractor-trailers), bought the ranch from the Cannon Sheep and Cattle Company in 1907. Through the years, various adjacent and close-by chunks of real estate have been added to the ranch, which now encompasses a sprawling 70,000 acres (28,000 ha) of some of the West’s most productive and beautiful terrain.

Too Much Haying, Not Enough Grazing Chase’s initial correspondence focused on a pair of critical issues—poor utilization of huge swaths of their higher elevation summer country, and a gross over-reliance on making and feeding hay. The ranch has always been profitable, and since initiating a Gus Hormay rest-rotation grazing system in the ‘80s, has been on steady trend of ecological improvement. But, Chase and the entire management team (which includes wife Emily, brothers Scott and Whit, sisters-in-law Gretchen and Samantha, and ranch managers Jeff and Susan Lechner) were ready to refine and continue improving. They reasoned that by accessing that unused summer grass, stocking rate (the most fundamental driver of profitability in any grass-based livestock enterprise) could improve, and by transitioning from a haying model to a 10

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This 950-head herd of dry cows was strip grazed on native rangeland from January 1 to May 1 of last winter. To stretch the grass out, they were fed 9 lb (4 kg) a day of hay for the final 60 days. Here they are on the last day in the last strip in the Turtle Butte pasture, just after having been fed their daily hay ration. winter-grazing model, costs could be slashed astronomically. The potential financial consequences (and improved quality of life that would ensue from a scaled back haying enterprise) of increasing turnover while cutting costs were too huge to continue ignoring. Their assessment was spot on, but like all of us, they found themselves stuck in their management habits and were struggling with where to start. But after two intense planning sessions, and a winter of experience, they’ve already made some tremendous progress. With close to 3,000 stock units (including 1,650 mother cows, yearling heifers, yearling steers, and 1,500 sheep), Adel Ranch has a lot of mouths to feed. In west-central Montana, the dominant paradigm and overriding assumption says that livestock have to be fed hay all winter. For all of Adel Ranch’s history, the Sieben and Hibbard Families have taken this methodology to heart, feeding their livestock nearly their total daily demand for at least 130 days through the winter. That works out to about 5,000 tons of hay. That’s a mountain of hay to put up. And then you’ve got to feed it all out again. No thanks. Some years, this conventional approach is right on. West central Montana can be a nasty place from December through April, with permanent deep snow cover and weeks-in-a-row below zero Fahrenheit. “How often does that



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constructed in Durango. Prior to that, slaughtering and processing beeves was a major hassle, and results were inconsistent. This new plant has struggled but is hanging on, and this year generated enough business to break even. Everybody is hopeful that the volume of business will continue to grow and that this obviously vital link in the production chain grows ever more viable. The fact that it’s USDA inspected means that individual cuts can be sold direct to the consumer. This takes a huge amount of marketing, as Kay is quick to point out, but the result is much more gross income than selling commodity cattle. The James Family latched onto Holistic Management in the early ‘90s. The triple focus on people, finances, and ecology made instant sense, since they were already thinking and working down that path anyway. Now, they had some new tools to help them stay consciously and intentionally on this path. I’m not sure that I’ve met another ranching family that epitomizes the result of conscious intention more than they do. They’re an inspiring example of what’s possible when people that love the land and each other work toward a common goal.

happen?” I wondered. According to Chase—about once in 40 years! The last time it happened was in 1978. You mean you put up enough hay every year to cover the worst case scenario, a scenario that might only happen three times a century? That’s right. How many days would you have no choice but to feed in a typical winter, due to deep snow? About 30. So if we could figure out how to graze dormant standing forage, you’re saying that you’d only need to feed 30 days in a typical winter? Right. So that’s our new assumption. The transition to this new approach is going to be long and complex. Lots of issues need to be resolved. Can dry beef cattle meet their needs on dormant standing forage in this part of Montana? We still need to make hay to at least cover those 30 days of feeding—which hay meadows do we keep haying? What do we do with all the hay meadows we’ll no longer need to hay? Keep them in the current alfalfa/grass mix, or replant to something else with better winter grazing potential? What about that one year in 40, when the roof caves in and we have no choice but to feed? Do we plan to buy hay in those years, or do we keep a steady stockpile of enough hay to deal with the worst case scenario? If we

Leader of the James Bunch, David James, explaining the method to his madness.

hold over a stockpile, how do we store it to maintain as much quality as possible? Where do we store it? If we need to build up this reserve, that means we need to keep haying, which means we’ll have less winter grazing available, which means we’ll still need to feed, which means we’re not getting anywhere.

Evolving New Habits As with any major change in life, it won’t be easy. Old habits usually have evolved out of a need to survive. Once we get a survival routine figured out, and once it becomes second nature, it’s habit. Even if it’s extraordinarily hard work, like putting up and feeding out 5,000 tons of hay, it’s almost always easier to continue with an old habit than struggle through the learning curve of creating a new habit, even if the potential payoffs are huge once the kinks are worked out. That’s just human nature. Chase and his team are aware of all this, and have elected to dive in anyway. They are extremely wary of creating a wreck, however, so want to make sure each step toward the new model is well thought out and meticulously planned. Most of the questions raised above don’t have clear answers yet, and it will take at least five years, and more likely ten, to work through them all. Intuitively, we all knew that question number one— can we expect dry cows to perform on a diet of dormant, standing forage— had to be answered first. If the cows are going to fall apart, it makes no sense to take another step. So, this winter, we tested our hypothesis that, yes, healthy Angus beef cows should be able to survive on dormant cool season perennial grasses. We didn’t do a simple little trial with 20 head, however. We wanted to try something that had real life scale—something that would really push us and teach us something, and that we knew we could replicate. In a nutshell, we all needed some confidence.

Montana Strip Grazing Strip grazing at high stock density removes one of the great inefficiencies in ranching—overrested, oxidizing, wasted grass. This is on the eastern extreme of the Swale Pasture, about a mile and half from water, and had only been lightly grazed for years. This year's winter grazing trial removed masses of excessive old material from these native rough fescue plants, covering the soil with an excellent layer of mulch, and greatly improving plant vigor. In early April, these plants already had 6 inches of new growth—unheard of in early spring in west central Montana.

With the help and guidance of grazing consultant Jim Gerrish, Chase and team (with Jim’s son) had built a six-pasture grazing cell on a square mile section (640 acres or 250 ha) of the ranch’s far east end during the summer of 2006. Along with four more adjacent sections (2,560 acres or 1,030 ha), we calculated that we had enough standing grass (along with supplemental hay-feeding equating to roughly 25 percent of total feed demand) to winter 900 dry cows from January 1st to May 1st. We created a grazing plan through these five sections, taking in Mullery Creek, Swale, Turtle Butte, and Allen continued on page 15 Number 114

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Arriola Sunshine Farm—

Small Farm, Big Results by Aspen Edge


ike Rich and Cindy Dvergsten grew up in the Midwest with farming roots. But like many of their generation with a love of the land, they ended up earning degrees in Watershed Management, Natural Resource Management and Soil Science, preparing them for careers in federal government. And while they have enjoyed their work with a number of government agencies, their own farming adventures at Arriola Sunshine Farm have offered them even greater rewards.

Sustaining Civilization In 1980 Mike and Cindy moved to Colorado for temporary summer jobs with the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation. After a couple of years, they decided to settle near Cortez, where they purchased a five-acre (2-ha) irrigated farm. Pasture grass covered the land, with the exception of a few cottonwoods near a pond. The next year, Cindy started a market garden and sold her produce at the Cortez Farmers’ Market. Her first patch of raspberries yielded 500 pints (284 liters) annually. In addition, she produced 100 pounds (45 kg) of tomatoes and a sizeable pumpkin patch for several years. They also grew irrigated hay on four of those acres. As conservationists, they had a land plan in place from the beginning. For example, they planted trees around the market garden, knowing that one day they would shade it out because they envisioned that this area would make a good place for poultry and future livestock. Today, the trees are 10-40 feet (3-12 m) tall and provide a perfect area for their 200 laying hens and sheep herd. Altogether, they have planted over 200 trees, shrubs and fruit trees such as drought tolerant natives like Choke Cherry, Wild Plum, Ponderosa Pine and Sumac to establish windbreaks and habitats. The market garden was moved to below the house where it can be enjoyed as a part of a patio area and more easily cared for. Cindy’s introduction to Holistic Management came by chance in 1991, when the Bureau of Land Management announced it was offering a course in Holistic Resource Management just down the road from where she lived. At

the time, she was commuting to work as a soil conservationist with the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). None of those who attended knew what they were getting into! By the end of the course, Cindy felt she was onto something. What she had learned started to feel like an itch that she couldn’t scratch! She began to study the textbook and subscribed to the Center for Holistic Resource Management’s (now HMI) newsletter. The concepts embodied in the Holistic Management® framework made complete sense to her, and, as a realistic template for practical action towards sustainability, provided her with a new way of looking at her land and work as a conservationist.

Diversifying Income Cindy’s first attempts at using the Holistic Management® framework involved helping clients, not practicing it herself. This strategy did not work well. It wasn’t until Mike and Cindy attended a gathering hosted by the Center in 1993 in Utah that the impact of these concepts on people’s lives really hit home. The warmth and positive outlook of the people they met there touched them deeply. They had rarely seen so many ranchers and farmers with smiles on their faces! Cindy recalls Mike saying to her “Maybe there’s something to this after all.” On their return home, they defined their whole under management and started to draft their first holisticgoal. A refresher on the energy/wealth source and use test in the Center’s newsletter, brought home the importance of seeking out benign, infinite sources of energy, avoiding consumptive use of resources and the pitfalls of a debt-based economy. This was an exciting time for them. From that day on, their lives gained greater clarity and focus and they have worked hard to make the best use of their resources— human, natural and economic. The practice of Holistic Management enhanced their ability to be creative and manage for diversity. It enabled them to be flexible and adaptable to change. Through defining their whole under management, they realized how dependent they were on limited choices for employment and income generation. They decided to diversify, and this lead to Mike attending training as a Certified Massage Therapist and Cindy as a Holistic Management® Certified Educator. Mike continued with his career in the USDA while Cindy started her own private practice as a consultant. So began a process of life-long learning in which they gained skills in management, marketing, facilitation, farming and farm enterprise development.

Weeds No Longer A Problem A major shift of perspective occurred around the concept of solar dollars and the process of generating real wealth through a solar chain of production. They realized that the more solar energy they collected with green plants, the more potential there was to generate wealth. As they embraced this concept, they realized that even weeds were better than bare ground, and could be a source of real wealth, as those weeds were converted into meat for sale. For a long time they had believed that to be successful in agriculture, particularly in livestock, they needed more land. Land prices rose dramatically while they were preoccupied with health issues and the dream of a larger spread seemed further away than ever, bringing with it much

Churro ewe with her new born lamb. 12

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Cindy’s market garden is part of their home patio space to increase enjoyment and ease of care. frustration. However, they eventually realized they were not using their existing land to capacity, so they began to focus on increasing productivity of their land, paying more attention to using animal impact and grazing planning. They shifted from growing hay, which was depleting their soil, to pasture-based production. It took them a few years to gain the confidence to start, but when they did, it was a great success. The beef they raised was flavorful and tender. Starting with one steer, they learned how to manage a grazing animal and animal performance. Today they produce delicious grass-fed beef as well as grass-fed lamb. . For example, they had a strip of land in a sub-irrigated draw that was suffering from over-rest. This area had not been grazed or hayed for over 10 years. Canadian thistle was increasing. They were spraying with 2-4D and spending hours in the hot sun with a weed-eater to prevent the thistle from seeding. At this point, prior to Holistic Management, they simply could not see that the thistle was only present in the area that was not grazed or mowed. It seemed the more they focused on the thistle, the more they had. Once they learned the tools of grazing animals and animal impact, they realized that weeds, like the Canadian thistle represented a particular stage in plant succession. Knowing this, and knowing in what direction they wanted to be headed, thistles were no longer a problem. By converting these weeds into beef, they were generating real wealth. The steers loved the weeds and after several years of holistically managed grazing, Mike and Cindy have seen a 70 percent reduction in weeds, with an increase in the number of grasses and legumes. Holistic grazing planning has helped them consider the big picture and avoid getting lost in the details. One of the major benefits has been adjusting stocking rates and use so that they could plan for a winter reserve or forage and reduce their dependence on hay. They plan only for a small hay reserve for when the ground is too wet or there is to much snow. Minimizing outside inputs has helped them reduce costs and capitalize on what is available. This in turn has enabled them to plan for a profit rather than just hope for one!

Increased Productivity Through Diversity Through using the Holistic Management® framework, Cindy and Mike stay focused on managing for what they want. With their holisticgoal foremost in their mind, their quality of life has improved with the increase in

diversity, particularly with the rewards that come with conserving endangered livestock and poultry breeds such as Red Bourbon turkeys and Navajo Churro Sheep. Managing for diversity also includes being predator friendly, planting habitats for birds, providing passage ways for deer, eating well off a robust garden, not using chemicals (sometimes even those approved for organic production), and building healthy, vibrant soils. Through Cindy’s work with Navajo producers, they were introduced to Navajo-Churro Sheep and now have a breeding flock of 15 to 20. One of their most recent endeavors is developing a market for Navajo Churro lamb. The need for consumer education in this market is high, so Cindy will be providing Churro lamb for a Slow Food dinner in Boulder, Colorado this fall to tap that consumer base. To help control insect pests they have added bat houses, more trees and shrubs for birds, and habitat for snakes, toads, and predatory insects. With over 200 chickens, turkeys and ducks they do not have enough grasshoppers to cause problems when other market gardeners have been devastated. In fact, they just do not have disease, parasite or insect problems! Each year they have more new birds visit or nest including a pair of white-winged doves for the first time this year.

Stacking Enterprises Cindy and Mike find it is crucial to their sense of success to use their own energy in a way that creates a positive marginal reaction for their time as well as their quality of life and financial return. They divide their time between five primary enterprises: Lifestyle (Mike and Cindy’s home and way of life), Mike’s employment with the NRCS, Whole New Concepts (Cindy’s training and consulting firm), Arriola Country Massage (Mike’s massage business), and Arriola Enterprises (the animal and vegetable produce generated by Sunshine Farm). They have stacked their enterprises in a way that keeps their learning curve manageable and avoids increasing debt. For instance, the market garden activities provided the capital to purchase the steers and start grass-fed beef production. These two enterprises then provided the capital to expand their pastured egg layer business and purchase the Navajo Churro sheep. Each enterprise is now viable and contributes to farm income and profit. Moreover, each enterprise helps the other by adding value. The chicken manure helps the market garden; the birds keep fly and parasite populations down for the livestock; the livestock keep the grass in a vegetative state for the birds; the birds help break down the steer manure and so on. Each enterprise is planned to generate income for Mike and Cindy’s labor and profit. The net profit support capital expenditure on the farm or feeds their lifestyle enterprise. The daily workload is designed so that one person can handle all daily chores and most harvesting and processing work, so that they can travel to meet work and family commitments.

Adjusting Focus Cindy finds the weak link test and the focus on chain of production a very helpful tool for adapting to the constant shift of farm life. For example, in the past two years, Cindy has slowly grown a pastured chicken egg enterprise. She has a wholesale egg license and sells them at an average of $2.75 per dozen. This covers all costs of production, labor, and contributes to farm overheads. Her primary customers are a small grocery store and a seasonal resort. For the first couple of years, product conversion was the weak link. Now she has the size and age of flock she wants with a good feeding and pasturing program. She has always been successful raising chicks and had a 100% survival rate with her last pullets. continued on page 14 Number 114

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Arriola Sunshine Farm Production at Arriola Sunshine Farm Before: PRODUCTION IN 1989 Market Garden Income $700, sold at Cortez Farmers Market and a private market in Durango Hay Income $750 for approximately 2.5 tons /acre production Chicken Eggs for Own Use 50 dozen at $100 value Produce for Our Use $500 Pheasants Raised for Release 25 birds Grazing Animals None In 1989 their market garden had a gross value of production of $1,200 for 5,000 square feet or 24 cents per square foot. The gross value for all production on the entire farm was $550 per acre—with four acres in production out of the five. After: PRODUCTION IN 2006 Market Garden Income About 625 pounds valued at $2,950 Fruit Production 210 pounds valued at about $630 Beef Harvested 1,030 pounds valued at $6,952 Eggs Produced 1,560 dozen valued at $4,292 Forage Utilized 25,278 pounds valued at $2,106 if it were hay Manure Produced About 90,000 pounds with fertilizer value of $729 Wool Produced 53 pounds valued at $265 Lambs Produced Six valued at $750 for live animals Heritage Turkey Harvested 135 pounds valued at $540

continued from page thirteen When egg production increased in the spring, her weak link shifted to marketing, because she had more eggs than she could sell. She developed an attractive flyer that explained the value of pastured eggs and found a small natural food store that would carry 20-30 dozen of her eggs each week. Her weak link then shifted to resource conversion and so her focus is now on improving pasture management in the six paddocks she had set up for the poultry.

Creating a Successful Farm Cindy and Mike believe that their farm success is based on their adherence to the following efforts: • Producing what they can sell. They have customers that purchase what they produce at a price they consider fair. This is in contrast to growing produce in the hopes that they will be able to sell. • Managing for the triple bottom line: consistently producing social, economic and environmental benefits. • Marketing their values, not their commodities—making their products and services unique. They educate their buyers and their customers to the quality of their products. • Planning for a profit, not just hoping for one. • Creating and using a business plan based on their holisticgoal and using the Holistic Management® testing questions to ensure that they are making the best possible uses of their resources. • Using their human creativity to see possibilities in challenges, not only limitations. • Learning from others to help them avoid costly trial and error scenarios. • Making the farm a part of their lifestyle which enables them to blend the daily tasks into the fabric of their life. They keep the functions simple so that they can delegate easily when they need to be away. • Completing the feedback loop to enhance their

Cindy and Mike have learned the meaning of real wealth. They understand that it embodies the concept of holism, as it includes social, economic and environmental benefits—the triple bottom line. Since their practice of Holistic Management, they have experienced significant improvements in all these areas. In 1989, the market garden gross value of production was $1,200 for 5,000 square feet (463 square meters) resulting in a gross production of 24 cents per square foot ($2.60 per square meter). Their gross value of production on the entire farm was $550 per acre ($223 per ha)—based on having 4 acres (1.62 ha) in production out of the five. In 2006, they created a very different picture. The market garden had a gross value of production of $2,900 for 3,000 square feet (278 square meters) resulting in a gross value of production of 97 cents per square foot ($10.43 per square meter). Their gross value for all production on the entire farm was $4,803 per acre ($1,945 per hectare). One reason for this increase was the critical shift from selling at the local farmers markets to selling to small groceries and restaurants. These markets provided them with a higher marginal reaction for labor and the land area used. In calculating overall production, they account for the value of forage production as though it were purchased as hay, the fertilizer value of manure, as well as the retail value of the food they consume. Each year they plan to pay themselves an average of $12 per hour for the time invested into the farm business, cover all direct and overhead costs, and

> Eggs sold to two small groceries and a resort for an average of $2.75 per dozen. > Lettuce sold to several restaurants and small groceries for an average of $6.00 per pound. > A small amount of specialty produce is planted to order for the two stores— white patty pan squash,sugar pie pumpkins, pear tomatoes and yellow beans. >Wool sold for an average of $5.00 per pound to a weaver who specializes in Peruvian style rugs. > USDA beef sold for an average of $6.76 per pound directly to customers by word of mouth. > Share and trade with friends in the agricultural community—i.e.apples for honey.

A selection of Arriola Sunshine produce. Land & Livestock

Creating Real Wealth

Who Buys for How Much?

In 2006 their market garden had a gross value of production of $2,900 for 3,000 square feet or 97 cents per square foot. The gross value for all production on the entire farm was $4,803 per acre.


learning and enable them to be proactive. They stay on top of what is happening and make timely changes that avoid crises.

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also increased plant and animal biodiversity, generate a net cash profit of about 15 percent of which in turn has resulted in no disease, parasite cash receipts. or insect problems. Even predators such as coyote, They also feel that their social wealth has lion or fox are an accepted part of life at Arriola increased. They eat healthy food, which they feel is Sunshine Farm. a priceless commodity nowadays. They have built Nurturing life and wellness, creating healthy a sense of community through participating in land and being of service are what drive Mike and agriculture and local business, as well as sharing Cindy. The fact that they have Holistic Management and exchanging produce with others. They also experience and practice in both agriculture and share knowledge and experience with their business enables them to provide a very complete customers, community and clients, contributing to professional service to the farmers and ranchers the improved lifestyles of others, not to mention with whom they work. Through the connection being responsible for the generation of 1,200 healthy with those they help, their dream of having a larger salads at the restaurants they supply. They feel all spread has been realized vicariously as they witness this adds meaning and purpose to what they do, the environmental wealth that others now generate. which in turn enhances their quality of life. Cindy and Mike work tirelessly not only to keep A healthy environment supports this quality of Mike and Cindy with winning moving towards the sustainable quality of life they life, and Holistic Management has helped them lamb fleeces at the Best of the wish to achieve, but empowering others to do the build their social, economic, and environmental Southwest Wool Festival. same. Arriola Sunshine Farm is a testament to their wealth. Prior to the practice of Holistic Management good custodianship and an inspiration to those who wish to give back by the land was declining in productivity. They needed to add fertilizer and nurturing the land. resting the land simply encouraged weeds. Since the changes they made, forage production has increased on average of one ton per acre (0.405 Cindy Dvergsten is a Holistic Management® Certified Educator and hectares), which has allowed them to increase stocking rates. They have lives with her husband Mike Rich in Dolores, Colorado. You can visit reduced bare ground by 60 percent, and the use of animals and birds have their farm blog at or contact Cindy eliminated many weed problems. There is evidence of an improved mineral at: or 970/882-4222. cycle with manure incorporating into the pastures in 30-60 days. There is

Grass Wintering Montana-Style Creek. Outside of Mullery Creek, where Jim Gerrish’s two-wire, hi-tensile fences were in place, Jeff and cow foreman, Lloyd, strip grazed off the remainder of the grass with a portable polywire. For the most part, five-day strips were rationed to the one big herd. This resulted in a strip one mile long by one fifth of a mile wide. It took Lloyd about four hours to put up the new fence, and two hours to take down the old fence. From January 1 to February 26, these cows were on 100 percent grazing—no help at all from hay. From Feb. 26 to April 30, an average of 15 lb (6.8 kg) of hay per day had to be fed to stretch out the grass to the end of our planning period. Other than a couple tough days—the cows spooked one day and made life a little challenging, and the pronghorn antelope tore out the portable wire a few times—it all worked amazingly well. The cattle and the people fell into the routine and everything really clicked. How did the cows do? Another herd of 500 mature cows had been on full feed throughout this period, so we had a good control group to test against. We scrutinized both bunches in mid-April, and the general consensus was that the herd that had been grazing looked to be about a half a body condition score better off (5.5 on a scale of 1 to 9) than the group that had been on full feed. So, we got our answer. Yes, cows can graze through the winter in Montana. And they not only don’t suffer, they thrive with good planning and management. At a feeding rate of only 15 lb./6.8 kg per day for 60 days, total hay fed worked out to about 408 tons for this herd. Under the old program, total hay demand for these cows over this 120-day period would have worked out to 1,620 to 1,800 tons (1.8 to 2.0 tons per cow per winter). That’s a savings in hay of 1,212 to 1,392 tons. If a value of $85 is placed against

continued from page eleven

Chase Hibbard, great grandson of Sieben Live Stock founder Henry Sieben, in the Mullery Creek Pasture, discussing winter grazing possibilities.

this hay, that’s a dollar savings on the order of $110,000. And, the only reason any feeding was necessary was because we didn’t allocate sufficient area to enable this herd to graze 100 percent. If we’d have added another 1,000 acres to this winter grazing cell, these cows could have had a hayless winter. Maybe next year. This summer, we’ve come up with a grazing plan that promises to begin addressing the under-utilized summer grass problem. All of the mature cows will be managed in one huge herd, and with only strategic placement of portable hot wires, the Adel Ranch crew is hoping to get cattle into country that has been overrested for decades. As the lessons mount at Sieben Live Stock, I’ll keep you posted.

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news from holistic management international

Acoma Pueblo Project


coma Pueblo Game & Fish and Land & Cattle Enterprises contracted with HMI to help with the intergration of these two enterprises. George Whitten and Lee Johnson have George Whitten headed this team as consultants and led the Acoma management team through the formation of a holisticgoal, a grazing plan—including the various species of wildlife, a livestock production plan, a wildlife production plan, creation of monitoring sites, as well as a full financial plan, all based on their holisticgoal. The Acoma team manages 325,000 acres of very diverse land west of Albuquerque, New Mexico belonging to the Acoma tribe. The team developed a plan using livestock to enhance the entire habitat, including herding techniques to utilize existing infrastructure while planning for improvements based on long-term land and financial planning. They combined the current 1,200 head herd into two herds the first year, and plan to grow the cattle herd to approximately 3,000 head over the next 10 years. There is the potential to combine these animals into one herd to further improve the range over the entire ranch as water distribution improves. There is a great potential for management on a watershed scale, as well as improving tribal lands and the well being of the tribe as a whole. Team leaders Sam Diswood and Orlando Orona have worked very hard to make the considerable changes needed to move the enterprises in the direction determined by the holisticgoal. The benefits to both the land and the people are evident after the first year. Combining the livestock and learning herding techniques, coupled with the recent rains, has greatly benefited the plant community. A field day for the tribal leaders was planned for the first week in June to give the team the opportunity to demonstrate their considerable progress.

Ranch Road Workshop


olistic Management International will cosponsor, with the Quivira Coalition and other groups, a ranch road and low-standard rural road building workshop at the Circle 16


 people, programs & projects

Ranch near Van Horn, Texas on September 20-23, 2007 featuring Bill Zeedyk of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bill has taught public agencies, land managers and landowners improved ranch road and low-standard rural road building techniques. These techniques reduce erosion and harvest water back onto pastures out of roadbeds that interrupt surface flows across pastures. If road beds are constructed improperly they drain water away, drying and killing plants, increasing bare ground, evaporation, runoff, and erosion— all contributing to falling water tables. With the proper road building techniques, the Circle Ranch has dramatically reduced road maintenance, and have reestablished natural water flows across pastures, which in many cases were being killed by the roads that cross through them. This workshop is being sponsored by a grant through the Dixon Water Foundation. The Circle Ranch will also provide a short presentation and field comments, about how planned grazing has helped the Circle Ranch. For more information about this program, contact HMI at 505/842-5252.

NE SARE Funds Holistic Management Grant


ortheast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE SARE) funded a $172,000 three-year project that will train 24 participants in whole farm planning skills using the Holistic Management® Framework. These participants will utilize specific processes and methods in their work with farmers to develop whole farm plans, which enable the farmer to establish and maintain sustainable farm enterprises and management practices. The program consists of four 4-day residential sessions. The training will use a combination of educational methods including pre-session assignments, a self-directed learning plan lectures, decision cases, on-farm activities, a learning community, and a program mentor. Each participant will work with two farms to apply and teach the procedures and methods learned in the residential sessions. Upon completion of the project, the participants and learning community will be implementing whole farm plans and sustainable management practices. The project will collate the farm plans

July / August 2007

and experiences of the participants for presentation using an online format. Seth Wilner, Cooperative Extension with University of New Hampshire and Holistic Management Certified Educator wrote the grant and will oversee it. Certified Educators Erica Frenay and Phil Metzger will oversee the trainings in New York. Certified Educator Cindy Dvergsten will be the program mentor and will create an interactive website for the program. Each session will be taught by two educators, one from the Northeast and one from the HMI Certified Educator network. This is the fourth Holistic Management grant funded by NE SARE. For more information about this program, contact Seth Wilner at: 603/863-9200 or

Sponsors Support International Gathering


MI’s International Gathering— “From the Ground Up: Practical Solutions to Complex Problems”—has received funding from three key sponsors. Intel Corporation, Whole Foods, and Horizon Organics have provided key funding for our November 1-4, 2007 Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have already been receiving registrations from both participants and exhibitors and have secured most of our presenters. To see the most up to date list of presenters, see the Gathering ad on page 21.

New Development Assistant


he staff at HMI is excited to announce our newest staff member, Marisa Mancini. After receiving her B.A. in Spanish from Gustavus Adolphus College last May, Marisa worked briefly with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) as a Grassroots Campaign Assistant. In this role, she contributed to the coordination of an international relief and Marisa Mancini education program with dual efforts in the Midwest United States and Colombia. Her work with LWR cemented her interest in nonprofit work and her desire to pursue a career in this field. Marisa is interested in working for Holistic Management because of the organization’s clear mission and dedicated staff. She is excited to step into her new role and sees this as an opportunity for growth, as well an opportunity to contribute to the goals and priorities of HMI. She anticipates meeting many of the dedicated people in the HMI network at the International Gathering this coming November.



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Book Review


Page 17

by Peter Donovan

ome months ago I stumbled onto an internet discussion of David Allen’s personal productivity methods, called Getting Things Done (GTD). At first I was skeptical. A neighbor was getting things done—turning over his topsoil with a large tractor—but how do you make sure that these were the right things? Climbing the ladder is needed, but the ladder surely must be placed against the right wall first. Many of us are steeped in Holistic Management and other strategies that emphasize mission and goals first, and management of personal commitments and decisions based on these. David Allen’s methods seemed at first glance to be crosswise with all this, challenging some of my beliefs. Many of the people who seemed to be devotees of his methods were freelance “knowledge workers” with multiple enterprises, like me. So, I read both books. While David Allen recognizes that a top-down approach is laudable, and makes sense intellectually, he says it often doesn’t work for people. Most of us, he says, are so enmeshed in the day to day, the stresses of keeping track of so many commitments, that the higher priorities are not a sufficient fulcrum for changing our habits until we are faced with drastic failure of some sort. Focusing on your values, he says, does not simplify your life. It complicates it, and may create or increase paralyzing conflict and stress. His GTD method starts at the bottom, with increasing the effectiveness of the mental processing we do around tasks and workflow, regardless of importance. He says this process is more successful in creating the kind of results promised, but not delivered, by the various top down methods, as it can empty one’s worrying mind, freeing it for more creative work and higher levels of thinking. If you have not mastered workflow, he says, you are tying up your mental life with shoulds, ought tos, can’ts, and maybes, which leads to reactivity. You are thinking about things either more or less than they deserve. After three months of practice, I am finding that these workflow methods benefit me considerably. The workflow processing skills I had were substandard: I either did things as they showed up, as they became urgent, or because they were based on my holisticgoal and testing. Even with the last category, my lists of things to do often didn’t get done. According to Allen, this is normal today,

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen • Penguin, 2002

Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life by David Allen • Viking, 2003

where the demands of knowledge work typically overwhelm the reactive strategies that may have worked reasonably well for the more routine work of the past. And as many readers realize, producing food and fiber and maintaining landscapes is knowledge work—where the most important task, according to management author and consultant Peter Drucker, is to “define your work.” The GTD methods of workflow processing are a big step toward this. They give a clear focus to thinking about what you are doing, and doing something about what you are thinking. On the surface GTD may appear to be an organizing system, but it is more a discipline for clearing the decks of psychic rubble and repetitive loops such as thinking about what we should be doing or thinking about, thus freeing mental energy and creativity. “Stuff is unactionable until we’ve decided the outcome and the next actions required to do it.” The simple mental tasks of workflow processing are: • Is it actionable? • What needs to be the outcome or result? • What is the next action that would move

this forward? Lists of unprocessed items tend to repel us because they are undoable as well as incomplete. “People can dampen down their relationship to the world by allowing lots of undecided things to mount up into a fortress around them.” Even at a beginner level with this discipline, I am finding that my thinking has become less repetitive, with increased self-awareness of mental processes. It has improved my concentration, as I have confidence that I am keeping track of my commitments. Even if I am not moving ahead on some of them, I know what I’m not doing, so these don’t cause as much stress as they used to. In beginning a pasture-raised turkey enterprise this summer, the workflow processing skills I learned from GTD were invaluable. I liken it to the Holistic Management® Financial Planning process, where you plan your profit before you plan your expenses. For anything that comes up, either internal or external, you decide on your outcomes and next actions first (even if the next action is thinking about it some more, or researching it). Then you can choose whether to worry about it or not. “Most people don’t need discipline, they need a disciplined way of working . . . working hard is not really what they need. They need simply to be doing, in a careful and concerned way, without care or concern.” It sounds paradoxical, but it does work. It’s a discipline that synergizes well with Holistic Management, which tends to start from the top down (whole and holisticgoal). In order to manage and make decisions toward a holisticgoal, you must have confidence in the implementation levels, and this is where GTD shines, lessening the resistance, friction, and undue stress that often accompanies putting plans into reality.

The problem . . . People keep stuff in their head. They don’t decide what they need to do about stuff they know they need to do something about. They don’t organize action reminders and support materials in functional categories. They don’t maintain and review a complete and objective inventory of their commitments. Then they waste energy and burn out, allowing their busyness to be driven by what’s latest and loudest, hoping it’s the right thing to do but never feeling the relief that it is. —David Allen, Ready for Anything

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



Bill Burrows 12250 Colyear Springs Road Red Bluff, CA 96080 530/529-1535 • 530/200-2419 (c) Richard King 1675 Adobe Rd. Petaluma, CA 94954 707/769-1490 707/794-8692(w) Christopher Peck 6364 Starr Rd. Windsor, CA 95492 707/758-0171 * Rob Rutherford CA Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 805/756-1475

Constance Neely 1160 Twelve Oaks Circle Watkinsville, GA 30677 706/310-0678 39-348-210-6214 (Italy)

COLORADO Joel Benson P.O. Box 4924 Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-6119 Cindy Dvergsten 17702 County Rd. 23 Dolores, CO 81323 970/882-4222 Daniela and Jim Howell P.O. Box 67 Cimarron, CO 81220-0067 970/249-0353 Craig Leggett 2078 County Rd. 234 Durango, CO 81301 970/259-8998 Byron Shelton 33900 Surrey Lane Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-8157 Tom Walther P.O. Box 1158 Longmont, CO 80502-1158 510/499-7479



IOWA * Margaret Smith Iowa State University, CES Sustainable Agriculture 972 110th St., Hampton, IA 50441-7578 515/294-0887 • LOUISIANA Tina Pilione P.O. 923, Eunice, LA 70535 phone: 337/580-0068 MAINE Vivianne Holmes 239 E. Buckfield Rd. Buckfield, ME 04220-4209 207/336-2484 Tobey Williamson 52 Center St., Portland, ME 04101 207/774-2458 x115 MICHIGAN Ben Bartlett N4632 ET Road, Chatham, MI 49891 906/439-5210 (h) • 906/439-5880 (w) Larry Dyer 13434 E. Baseline Rd. Hickory Corners, MI 49060-9513 269/671-4653 MINNESOTA Gretchen Blank 4625 Cottonwood Lane N Plymouth, MN 55442-2902 612/670-9606

July / August 2007



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

* Wayne Berry Williston State College, P.O. Box 1326 Williston, ND 58802 701/774-4277



Terry Gompert P.O. Box 45 Center, NE 68724-0045 402/288-5611 (w)

Christina Allday-Bondy 2703 Grennock Dr. Austin, TX 78745 512/441-2019 Guy Glosson 6717 Hwy 380, Snyder, TX 79549 806/237-2554 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 106 Thunderbird Rd., Fredericksburg, TX 78624 830/990-2529 Elizabeth Williams 4106 Avenue B Austin, TX 78751-4220 512/323-2858

NEW HAMPSHIRE * Seth Wilner 24 Main Street, Newport, NH 03773 603/863-4497 (h) • 603/863-9200 (w) NEW MEXICO * Ann Adams Holistic Management International 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 505/842-5252 Kirk Gadzia P.O. Box 1100, Bernalillo, NM 87004 505/867-4685 • (f) 505/867-9952 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 • Kelly White No. 4 El Nido Amado SW Albuquerque, NM 87121-7300 505/873-1324 (h) • 505/379-1866 (c)

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) John Thurgood 17 Spruce St., Oneonta, NY 13820 607/432-8714

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

WASHINGTON Craig Madsen P.O. Box 148, Edwall, WA 99008 509/236-2451 Sandra Matheson 228 E. Smith Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226 360/398-7866 Doug Warnock 1880 SE Larch Ave. College Place, WA 99324 509/525-3389 (w) • 509/525-3295 (h) 509/856-7101 (c) • WEST VIRGINIA Fred Hays P.O. Box 241, Elkview, WV 25071 304/548-7117



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UNITED STATES WISCONSIN Heather Flashinski 16294 250th St., Cadott, WI 54727 715/289-4896 Andy Hager W. 3597 Pine Ave., Stetsonville, WI 54480-9559 715/678-2465 • * Laura Paine Wisconsin DATCP N893 Kranz Rd., Columbus, WI 53925 608/224-5120 (w) • 920/623-4407 (h) WYOMING Andrea & Tony Malmberg 768 Twin Creek Road, Lander, WY 82520 307/335-7485 (w) • 307/332-5073 (h) 307/349-8624 (c) •

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

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

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



John King P.O. Box 12011, Beckenham, Christchurch 8242 64-3-338-5506

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) Miguel Aguirre Camacho SAGARPA Delegación Estatal en Tlaxcala Libramiento Poniente Número 2 Colonia Unitlax, San Diego Metepec Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala 90110 52-246-465-0700 Adrian Vega Lopez Calle Norte 80 #5913 Col. Gertrudis Sanchez, 2a. Sección Delegación Gustavo A. Madero, México, D.F. 07890 Jorge Efrain Morales Martinez Calle Primero de Mayo #578-A Col. Centro Histórico, Morelia, Michoacán, 58000 52-443-317-4389 Jose Angel Montaño Morales Calle Samuel Arias #111 Fraccionamiento Forjadores de Pachuca Mineral de la Reforma, Hidalgo 42083

Len Pigott Box 222, Dysart, SK, SOH 1HO 306/432-4583

Alejandro Miranda Sanchez Calle Cerro Macuiltepec No 23 Col. Campestre Churubusco, Delegación Coyoacán México, D.F. 04200

Kelly Sidoryk P.O. Box 374, Lloydminster, AB S9V 0Y4 780/875-9806 (h) 780/875-4418 (c)

Jose Ramon “Moncho” Villar Av. Las Americas #1178 Fracc. Cumbres Saltillo, Coahuila 25270 52-844-415-1557

KENYA Christine C. Jost International Livestock Research Institute Box 30709, Nairobi 00100 254-20-422-3000 254-736-715-417 (c)


Steve Hailstone “Niwajiri,” 5 Lampert Rd., Crafers, SA 5152 61-4-1882-2212;

Ivan A. Aguirre Ibarra P.O. Box 304 Hermosillo, Sonora 83000 522-637-935-2804 (c)

Helen Lewis P.O. Box 1263, Warwick, QLD 4370 61-7-46617393 61-7-46670835

Arturo Mora Benitez San Juan Bosco 169 Fracc., La Misión Celaya, Guanajuato 38016 52-461-615-7632

Silverio Rojas Villegas SAGARPA Avenida Irrigación s/n, Col. Monte de Camargo Celaya, Guanajuato, 38030 52-461-612-0305

SOUTH AFRICA Jozua Lambrechts P.O. Box 5070, Helderberg, Somerset West, Western Cape 7135 27-21-851-5669; 27-21-851-2430 (w) Ian Mitchell-Innes P.O. Box 52, Elandslaagte 2900 27-36-421-1747 Dick Richardson P.O. Box 1806, Vryburg 8600 tel/fax: 27-53-927-4367 Colleen Todd P.O. Box 20, Bergbron 1712 27-82-335-3901 (cell)

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

UNITED KINGDOM Philip Bubb 32 Dart Close, St. Ives, Cambridge, PE27 3JB 44-1480-496295

ZIMBABWE NAMIBIA Gero Diekmann Ecoso Dynamics CC P.O. Box 363, Okahandja 264-62-518-091 (h) 264-612-51861 (w) 264-812-440-501 (c) Colin Nott P.O. Box 11977, Windhoek 264-61-225085 Wiebke Volkmann P.O. Box 182, Otavi 264-67-234-557 or 264-81-127-0081

Amanda Atwood 27 Rowland Square, Milton Park, Harare 263-23-233-760 Huggins Matanga Africa Centre for Holistic Management P. Bag 5950, Victoria Falls 263-13-42199 (w) 263-11-404-979 (c) Elias Ncube Africa Centre for Holistic Management P. Bag 5950, Victoria Falls 263-13-42199 (w) 263-11-214-584 (c)

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Proudly serving Holistic Management Practitioners since 1978! En Mexico: Tele y fax: 1-800-640-3156 20


July / August 2007

800 527-0990



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HMI International Gathering 2007 NOVEMBER 1-4,2007 Albuquerque, N.M. The Hotel Albuquerque

— Keynotes —


From the Ground Up: Practical Solutions to Complex Problems

505/842-5252 or Register online at: NEAL KINSEY— Maximizing

IAN MITCHELL INNES & JIM HOWELL—Taking it to the Next Level:

Estate Planning: Preparing for the Next Generation

Holistic Management



JOEL SALATIN—Developing Your

Farm to Pay a White Collar Wage

Management Clubs & Mentoring: Keeping the Momentum Going

Maximizing Pasture and Animal Productivity: Multi-Species Grazing





Sustainable Genetics: Working with Nature

Land, Animals, People: The 21st Century Ranch

Healthy Profits: Effective Small Business Planning




Livestock & Cropping JON FRANK—Animal Nutrition:


Joel Salatin

Allan Savory

Land Chi: Reading the Land

Creating a Legacy


Pulling Together: Getting Results as a Team

Your Income Stream



Public: Ecotourism as an Enterprise

to Conservation Easements

KEN JACOBSON—Creating Change

DAVID TREW—Designing as If the Planet Mattered: Holistic Management & Permaculture

with Holistic Management


A Living Soil: Why We Want to be Outnumbered

Temple Grandin

Making the Switch: Conventional to Grass-based Dairies

GEORGE WORK—Profits from the

KIRK GADZIA—Holistic Management: 10 Principles for Creating a Healthy Environment

Thom Hartmann


Complex Grazing Planning

Animal & Soil Health


Value-based Finances for the Conscious Consumer


Non-violent Communication & Holistic Management


Bringing Kids to the Land




s part of this program, we visit a farm that has been on our program for five or more years. From 1,000+ to 2,000+ acres, principal crops include corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, and rice.The Using Soil Tests and Understanding Key Nutrient Relationships course includes soil tests and their use, liming, N-P-K needs and materials, sulfur, trace elements, and compaction.



CALL 573/683-3880 TO REGISTER

2007 FARM TOUR & SOIL FERTILITY REVIEW Sikeston, Missouri July 16-18, 2007

For consulting or educational services contact:

Kinsey Agricultural Services, Inc. 297 County Highway 357, Charleston, Missouri 63834 Phone: 573/683-3880; Fax: 573/683-6227, CREDIT CARD ORDERS (VISA, MC) CAN BE FAXED OR CALLED IN.

Number 114





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Kirk Gadzia Certified Educator


La Inmaculada I

F YOU ARE LOOKING for bilingual (Spanish/ English) Holistic Management training and education, Rancho La Inmaculada is the place.This flourishing desert ranch, nestled in the brittle plains of Sonora, Mexico, welcomes you to the learning opportunity of a lifetime. For more than 20 years, we have transformed our resources and developed a highly productive ranch.

Come visit this living example of regenerative bio-grazing, financial, and infrastructure development.

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



Holistic Management® Certified Educator, IVAN AGUIRRE IBARRA • 915-613-4282

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


Kirk Gadzia has over 15 years experience conducting Holistic Management training sessions worldwide and assisting people on the land in solving real problems. With his hands-on, results-oriented approach, Kirk is uniquely qualified to help your organization achieve its goals. Introduction to Holistic Management Courses February 4-9, 2008 Albuquerque, New Mexico

Contact: Kirk Gadzia P.O. Box 1100 Bernalillo, NM 87004 Ph: 505/867-4685

Fax: 505/867-9952

FREE CHOICE ENTERPRISES, LTD A Nutritional Consulting Firm

Laboratory Services Free Choice Cafeteria Mineral Program Energy Supplements SPECIALIZING IN NUTRITION FOR THE GRAZING ANIMAL AND THE LAND WHERE THEY GRAZE —— C O N T A C T ——

MARK BADER, Free Choice Enterprises, LTD 10055 County K Lancaster, WI 53813




July / August 2007



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Holistic Management Handbook HEALTHY LAND, HEALTHY PROFITS By Jody Butterfield, Sam Bingham, and Allan Savory, Holistic Management International




The Holistic Management Handbook gives you step-by-step guidance for managing a ranch or farm holistically. It is essential reading for anyone involved with land management and stewardship.

The Science of Nature Over A Decade of Proven Results in Soil and Water Management Around the World, Growing Healthier, Nutrient-dense Vegetation and Higher Yields ✧ Customized Radionic (ELF Scanning) Soil and Plant Testing and Monitoring of Biology, Chemistry and Physics (Energy) ✧ Adjusting the Environment to Express the Energetic Life Force of Plants and Animals ✧ Customized In-House Manufacturing, Blending and Product Applications ✧ Athletic Fields, Sports Complexes, Golf Courses, Vineyards, Nurseries, Orchards and Gardens ✧ Balancing and Restoring Soil Through Re-Mineralization ✧ Guaranteed Results ✧ 40%-60% Water Saving Programs ✧ Commercial and Residential Turf and Landscapes ®

Learn how to create healthy land and healthy profits.

Call 505/842-5252 or order online at!

Holistic Management ® Financial Planning Software ORDER NOW! only $249 ■

Eliminates the drudgery of doing all calculations by hand

Reduces math errors and allows you to “experiment” with a variety of planning scenarios, quickly and easily

Automates the “Annual Income & Expense Plan,” including all supporting “Worksheets” (including the Livestock Production worksheet)

Spreadsheet software—works with Office ‘95, ‘97, 2000, XP, and 2003.

Call 505/842-5252

Biological Inoculants & Soil Conditioners Bio/Organic Nutrients, Dry & Liquid Blends Educational Seminars – Soil & Plant Nutrition

13017-B Central SE #118 • Albuquerque, NM 87123 505.291.1100 • • Fax: 505.271.1600


LIVESTOCK 5 Bar Beef Harvesting the Deserts of the World



Advertise in. . . Low Rates International Audience Contact Ann Adams at 505/842-5252 or


FREE book! (Hardback value, $39.95) Full color, fabulous photos, with 3-year subscription to RANGE magazine. Sub $49.95 plus $5 s&h for book. They are great gifts! Choose Spirit or Portrait of the West. Send $54.95 to RANGE books, P.O. Box 639, Carson City, NV 89702 or call 1-800-RANGE-4-U for VISA/MC orders. HRM7

Number 114





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Subscribe to IN PRACTICE


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

A bimonthly journal for Holistic Management practitioners Subscribe for 1 year for only $30/U.S. ($35/International) 2 years ($55/U.S.; $65/International) 3 years ($80/U.S.; $90/International)

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

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

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

Planning and Monitoring Guides

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

_Financial Planning


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

_Aide Memoire for Grazing Planning


CD of Back Issues: #71 - 89 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25

May 2000, 44 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$15

Please indicate issue numbers desired: ___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___

May 2000, 46 pages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$15

_Early Warning Biological Monitoring— Croplands April 2000, 26 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$14

Books & Multimedia

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

_Early Warning Biological Monitoring—Rangelands and Grasslands

Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision-Making,

January 1999, 32 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$14

Second Edition, by Allan Savory with Jody Butterfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30 Hardcover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $55 15-set CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $99 One month rental of CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35

_Land Planning—For The Rancher or Farmer Running Livestock January 1999, 36 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17

Spanish Version (soft) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 Holistic Management Handbook, by Butterfield, Bingham, Savory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25

Planning Forms (All forms are padded - 25 sheets per pad) _Annual Income & Expense Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 _Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 7 _Livestock Production Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 _Control Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 5 _Grazing Plan & Control Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$15

At Home With Holistic Management, by Ann Adams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20 Holistic Management: A New Environmental Intelligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10 Improving Whole Farm Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10 Video: Creating a Sustainable Civilization— An Introduction to Holistic Decision-Making, based on a lecture given by Allan Savory. (VHS/DVD/PAL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30 Stockmanship, by Steve Cote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35

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


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

Questions? 505/842-5252 or

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

healthy land. sustainable future. a publication of Holistic Management International 1010 Tijeras NW Albuquerque, NM 87102 USA

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#114, In Practice, July/Aug 2007  
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