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healthy land. sustainable future. SE PT E MBER / OCT OBER 20 11




The Power of One


by Blain Hjertaas


n these days of faceless bureaucracy, it is easy to say to ourselves that I can’t make a difference. Sometimes it happens. Here’s one story that demonstrates my point. Jo-Lene Gardener and her husband have been farming holistically in southern Manitoba for several years. Jo-Lene works off the farm at the local government agricultural extension office. With reshuffling and position changing, Jo-Lene was offered a chance to further her education. Last fall she enrolled at the University of Manitoba in the school of agriculture. After getting accustomed to university life, she asked the Dean of Agriculture, Gary Martens, why there was no Holistic Management being taught at the university level. Being a very open minded and progressive Dean, he said that sounded like an interesting idea. Jo-Lene got in touch with Ann Adams, Director of Education at Holistic Management International in Albuquerque, New Mexico to see what could be done. Ann sent Jo-Lene and Gary a possible curriculum to use for an introductory course. The question of who could teach this came up. Since I was the closest Certified Educator to Winnipeg, I was asked if I would be interested in teaching this course. I was excited to be offered a job like this and said yes immediately In December, Gary and I met to go over how we could make it work. We revised the curriculum to fit our needs. Gary would meet with the students weekly to collect last week’s assignments and answer any questions and talk about the new assignment. I did a full day at the beginning of the session, explaining the basic concepts of Holistic Management and going over the course and what I expected them to do. Gary then met weekly with the students and he sent the assignments to me for grading. Early March I went to Winnipeg for another full day. We reviewed the concepts they had learned, did some testing of decisions and answered questions. Each student completed a personal holistic goal and learned how to test decisions using the testing questions. Each student also learned about the four ecosystem processes. 18 students enrolled in the course, mostly from the school of agriculture, but three were from environmental studies. This was offered as a full three-credit course as any other course on campus. From a personal perspective, it was very refreshing to teach these young people. They weren’t necessarily convinced that this was the answer, but they were willing to give it a good analysis. Most of the students believe that the industrial model of farming is flawed and are looking for a solution to replace it. Two students dropped out, but the rest all passed with no difficulties. To conclude the course they came to my farm in mid-June for a tour to see how we manage or farm holistically This is the first time in Canada that Holistic Management has been offered at a post-secondary institution. It would not have happened if Jo-Lene hadn’t asked the question to get the process started. It is important we all keep sowing seeds. A few will come to harvest in the future. Blain Hjertaas is a grass farmer and Certified Educator in Redvers, Saskatchewan, Canada. He can be reached at

Professor Gary Martens and student Jennifer McComb from the Introduction to Holistic Management class at University of Manitoba

Holistic grazing planning has made a huge difference socially, economically, and environmentally for many producers. Read how Cody Holmes has integrated holistic planned grazing in his article on page 5.

FEATURE STORIES The Love Letter Technique TONY MCQUAIL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Data Mine: The Serengeti Series— Grazing ungulates, plant biomass concentrations, and nutrient cycling FRANK ARAGONA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Phoenix Farm—Learning Whole Farm Planning KATE KERMAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


LAND and LIVESTOCK Lessons From the Field— Adapting to New Management Practices CODY HOLMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Grazing Planning Basics DON CAMPBELL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Grazing Planning for the Farmer/Rancher HMI Grazing Planning Software RANDY HOLMQUIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Lucky Country— The Worms that Turned Around a Farm JOHN KING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


NEWS and NETWORK Annual Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Kids On the Land Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Development Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Grapevine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 GenNext Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Product Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Certified Educators/Affiliates . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

healthy land. sustainable future.

The Serengeti Series— Grazing ungulates, plant biomass concentrations, and nutrient cycling by Frank Aragona

Holistic Management International exists to educate people to manage land for a sustainable future.

STAFF Peter Holter . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chief Executive Officer Tracy Favre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chief Operating Officer Kelly King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chief Financial Officer Ann Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Managing Editor, IN PRACTICE and

Director of Education Sandy Langelier . . . . . . . . Director, Communications

and Outreach Frank Aragona . . . . . . . . . . Director, Research and

Development Amy Normand . . . . . . . . . . . Development Advisor Tom Levine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Senior Development Advisor Donna Torrez . . . . . . . . . . . Manager: Administration & Executive Support Peggy Cole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Project Manager, Texas Brady Gibbons . . . . . . . . . . Field Advisor Mary Girsch-Bock . . . . . Grants Manager Valerie Grubbs . . . . . . . . . Controller Carrie Nelson . . . . . . . . . . . Education Associate

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Sallie Calhoun, Chair Ben Bartlett, Past Chair Gail Hammack, Vice-Chair John Hackley, Secretary Christopher Peck, Treasurer Ron Chapman Judi Earl Jim McMullan Jim Shelton

Lee Dueringer Clint Josey Jim Parker Kelly Sidoryk

The David West Station for Holistic Management Tel: 325/392-2292 • Cel: 325/226-3042 Joe & Peggy Maddox, Ranch Managers

HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT IN PRACTICE (ISSN: 1098-8157) is published six times a year by: Holistic Management International 5941 Jefferson St. NE, Suite B Albuquerque, NM 87109 505/842-5252, fax: 505/843-7900; email:; website: COPYRIGHT © 2011

HMI was originally founded in 1984 by Allan Savory and Jody Butterfield. They have since left to pursue other ventures.



his installment of the Data Mine begins a several part series that looks at grazing research in unmanaged grasslands. Although we can never expect a managed ranch to perfectly mimic wild grasslands, we would be wise to look to ecological research to inform our understanding of natural processes and our management philosophy. The best empirical and statistical research that we have on unmanaged grasslands comes from the African Serengeti, thanks in large part to the work of Dr. Samuel McNaughton. The African Serengeti is home to three million head of over 25 species of herbivorous ungulates, and is one of the last remaining wild grassland ecosystems in the world. Therefore, McNaughton’s research provides key insights into the natural functioning of grassland

ecosystems in the absence of massive human interventions like fencing and domestic livestock. Through the years, McNaughton’s research has been empirically thorough and statistically rigorous. His general methodological approach has also been simple and straightforward. Through the use of fencing exclosures in Serengeti National Park, he has been able to measure and compare the effects of grazing on vegetation, soil, water, and nutrient cycling.

Grazing Efficiency In one of his research papers, McNaughton explores the idea that

The Love Letter Technique


fter last February’s Western Canada Holistic Management Conference I wanted to share a couple of resources which I have found very helpful in my own life. The presentations by Kier Barker and Elaine Dembe reminded me of them. One is the “Love Letter” technique from the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray PhD. One of the best ways to release negativity and then communicate in a more loving fashion is to use the Love Letter Technique. To write a Love Letter, find a private spot and write a letter to your partner. In each Love Letter express your feelings, of anger, sadness, fear, regret, and then love. This format allows you to fully express and understand all your feelings. As a result of understanding all your feelings you will then be able to communicate to your partner in a more loving and centered way. When we are upset we generally have many feelings at once. To find our loving feelings, many times we need to first feel all our negative feelings. After expressing these four levels of negative feelings (anger, sadness, fear, and regret), we can fully feel and express our loving feelings. Writing Love Letters automatically

 September / October 2011

…gregariousness in grazing animals may increase foraging efficiency by modifying

by Tony McQuail lessens the intensity of our negative feelings and allows us to experience more fully our positive feelings. Here are some guidelines for writing a basic Love Letter: 1. Address the letter to your partner. Pretend that he or she is listening to you with love and understanding. 2. Start with anger, then sadness, then fear, then regret and then love. Include all five sections in each letter. 3. Write a few sentences about each feeling; keep each section approximately the same length. Speak in simple terms. (Keep it short, 3 to 5 minutes per feeling, 2 or 3 sentences per feeling.) 4. After each section, pause and notice the next feeling coming up. Write about that feeling. 5. Do not stop your letter until you get to the love. Be patient and wait for the love to come out. 6. Sign your name at the end. Take a few moments to think about what you need or want. Write it in as a P.S. (The whole process takes about 20 minutes) Love Letters work because they assist you in telling the complete truth. Merely to explore a part of your feelings does not bring about the desired healing. If you focus on only one or two of your feelings you may get stuck in that

vegetation structure to increase food yield per bite to the individual grazer in a herd. 1

In this research, he compares biomass concentration data from exclosures and the natural surrounding grasslands. His measurements reveal that biomass concentration “was consistently higher outside exclosures (0.44 mg/cc) than inside them (.34 mg/cc)”. And “the maximum biomass concentration of grazed vegetation was achieved only when the canopy height was arrested at very short statures, i.e., in grazing lawns.” 2 These research results have implications for both land managers and ecologists: …low plant biomass concentrations, even if total standing crop is high, can result in forage consumption rates insufficient to meet herbivore energy and nutritional requirements, leading to declining herbivore condition amid high plant biomasses. Below a bite size of about 0.3 g, a cow-sized animal is food limited…cow bite size will fall below that level at plant biomass concentrations below 0.8 mg/cc. 3

feeling. Love Letters guide you in writing out the complete truth about all your feelings. We must feel each of the four primary aspects of emotional pain, Anger, Sadness, Fear and Regret to heal our inner pain. Love Letters do not have to be shared to be helpful. The PS “what I would like now” at the end can be very helpful in clarifying for yourself what you want and how you might go about helping your partner meet that want. You can write a Love Letter to an intimate partner, a friend, child, parent, family member, business associate, yourself, God and more. Note: In most cases Gray would not recommend sharing these letters with others. There are times when it may be useful to use an emotion other than anger as the starting point—we may feel guilty, upset, confused or disappointed. All of these can serve as a starting point for a “love letter” that explores the complexity of our feelings about an issue. Tony McQuail is a Certified Educator near Lucknow, Ontario, Canada. He can be reached at: Next year’s Holistic Management Canadian Conference will be February 21st-22nd in Yorktown, Saskatchewan, Canada. For more information, contact Don Campbell at

As noted above, what is required to maintain high biomass concentrations are “large dense animal aggregations [that] create and maintain vegetation of high biomass concentration and quality…” Moreover, “individual grazers obtain a foraging advantage by membership in a herd because of the greater forage yield per bite from grazing lawns compared with lightly grazed vegetation.” In this case, biomass concentration was measured as the weight per volume of green forage (milligrams per cubic centimeter). McNaughton’s research demonstrates that biomass concentration could in fact be used as a key measure of grazing efficiency as a function of plant productivity; as a rule of thumb, biomass concentrations at 0.8 mg/cc and above could be considered optimal for superior animal performance. In other words, McNaughton was noting that the bigger the mouthful, the better the animal performance. Likewise, grazing efficiency is a result of more volume of grass in density even more so than height. He also implies that severe grazing also yields more grazing efficiency than does skim grazing. These observations are separate from the needs of the plants and the amount of recovery necessary from such a grazing.

Nutrient Cycling Other similar research conducted by McNaughton demonstrates the importance that large animal herds have for nutrient cycling. Through the course of 20 years of observation, he noticed that animals tend to concentrate in some areas and not in others. To test the hypothesis that soil nutrients are higher at areas of animal concentration, McNaughton extracted soil cores at these sites and paired them with similar sites where animal concentrations are not common. In terms of Nitrogen (N), results were noteworthy: …the net N mineralization rate in soils supporting dense resident animal populations was over twice that of areas where animals are uncommon…[and grazing] leads to increased leaf N concentration and therefore to litter of greater decomposability. In addition, urination enriches soil with N from urea, leading to a burst of organic matter mineralization that produces greater available mineral N in the soil than is added as urea. 4

Similarly noteworthy were the results for sodium (Na) concentrations. Standing stocks of extractable Na concentrations were universally, and substantially, higher in soils of animal concentration areas…[and] grazing increased the Na supply from Serengeti soils by an order of magnitude. 5

Sodium is an essential element for animals but required at best in very small concentrations by plants. Also, “Serengeti grazers tangibly accelerate the mineralization of two minerals of considerable importance in animal nutrition.” This means that “habitat deterioration is not an inescapable consequence of increased density of organisms.” On the contrary, in some cases it would seem that dense animal herds are in fact responsible for maintaining resilient and productive grassland ecosystems. Other research by McNaughton provides further insight into the nature of biological organisms as the lynch pin for nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystems. McNaughton has observed that “freshly deposited dung was more likely to be adjacent to other fresh dung with an active dung beetle fauna than to older dung.” While the mechanisms for this are not well understood, it seems that grazing ungulates deliberately deposit their dung in areas where it will be quickly recycled by localized dung beetle populations. 6 Finally, McNaughton recognizes the role of grazing ungulates as nutrient recyclers in their own right: …a major contributor to the stimulatory effect of grazing on growth of the Serengeti grasslands likely is nutrient recycling through dung and urine, emphasizing the importance of large grazing mammals in the dynamics of grassland ecosystems. 7

In summary, ecosystems in which grazers, grasses, and other biota have coevolved are enmeshed in a complex and interrelated web of symbiosis and mutualism; understanding the dynamics of these relationships will help land managers to more effectively mimic the natural processes at work in these ecosystems. Utilization of standing forage is a topic of critical importance often discussed by range managers. How do grazing ungulates utilize forage in unmanaged ecosystems? In our next installment, we’ll look more closely at measurements of forage utilization by grazing ungulates in the African Serengeti. 1 Grazing Lawns: Animals in herds, plant form, and

coevolution. McNaughton, S.J. 1984. The American Naturalist, Vol. 124. No. 6 pp. 863-886. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 Promotion of the Cycling of Diet-Enhancing Nutrients by African Grazers. McNaughton, S.J. Banyikwa, F.F. McNaughton, M.M. 1997. Science Vol 278. 5 Ibid. 6 McNaughton, S.J. 1985. Ecology of a Grazing Ecosystem: The Serengeti. Ecological Monographs, 55(3) 1985, pp. 259294 7 Ibid.

Number 139


Phoenix Farm— Learning Whole Farm Planning by Kate Kerman


n October of 2009 I became the state coordinator for HMI’s Beginning Women Farmer Whole Farm Planning Program in New Hampshire that was funded by a USDA/NIFA grant. This program was designed to teach women the principles of Holistic Management, a process originally developed to help farmers and ranchers work on improving their land and learn to be good stewards. It also encourage families to work together on their farms and ranches, and to create a way the upcoming generations can work on and with these places. I was in charge of recruiting women farmers with ten or less years of experience and finding a place to meet, food to serve and generally making sure things ran smoothly. One of the perks of this position was that I sat in on the classes. I got a taste of Holistic Management during those classes. I found it interesting, confusing and hopeful. It asked for a number of changes in thinking. I skimmed through the classes with my mind on serving lunch and cleaning up after others left, but I began to absorb the ideas. I was intrigued and interested in learning more. So when a call went out for people wanting to take a Certified Educator course in Holistic Management, I consulted my family and applied. The materials arrived in August 2010 along with a daunting list of requirements for getting through a slew of Holistic Management practices before we started meeting almost every other weekend from late October to mid December. I attempted to plunge in to this work. It was a

difficult and perfect time to be doing this, because I had quit a job that was becoming very unsatisfactory and was launching a new business at the same time. I began reading the book Holistic Management and found it to be a fascinating story of Allan Savory’s developing realization that our environmental issues, including desertification throughout the world, are attributable to human management systems. Not just one management system or another, but by the fact that people make decisions which do not take the health of the planet and their own personal happiness into consideration. For me, it is always helpful to understand where a system came from, and this book gave me that grounding. Of great help in the holistic goal setting process was looking at the forms of production. Once you have written down your quality of life statements, the next question is “What processes and systems do you need to have in place to achieve these

Temporary Holistic Goal for Phoenix Farm Learning Center Revised February 5, 2011 ■ Statement

of purpose: Phoenix Farm Learning Center’s vision is of restoring connections … to the earth and how food is grown and processed, to each other, to our own inner wisdom, to a greater spirit, through democratic, peaceful, sustainable practices. We work with people of all ages because we believe it is natural to learn from and support each other in multi-generational communities.

■ Holistic

Goal: The adults on the farm have meaningful, grounded work that leads us to feeling connected to the earth, the landscape and animals under our care, to our inner wisdom, to Spirit and family, friends and the wider community. The farm has healthy mineral and water cycles and doesn’t use fossil fuels. We are able collectively to provide not only the necessities of life but to donate money to others and to enjoy some luxuries in terms of travel, entertainment and eating out. We are strong and healthy and working towards sustainable health habits. Our environment is in reasonable order. Our family and our wider community are healthy and excited about life. The area has a good infrastructure to support local food producers and buyers and to incubate new farmers; an excellent educational system including many publicly funded alternative approaches; a thriving local economy, including banking; a wide variety of ways for people to connect with and help each other, including a thriving mediation community and many forms of healthy entertainment for people of all ages. 4 IN PRACTICE

 September / October 2011

values? This is not the nitty-gritty how-to section. This is still looking at the whole from a very general viewpoint. Here is a partial list of what these processes and systems might be: • A good communication system • A record keeping system for farm activities • An accounting system • A way to produce income from meaningful work • A time management system • Professional development • A way to resolve conflicts In terms of planning, these “forms of production” are a way of keeping track of what needs to be planned. They are not the plan itself. Take the communication system. The plan could be: “we are going to have notebooks in each area of the farm to jot down notes about things we have done, number of eggs collected, etc” or it could be “we will have a management team meeting once a month.” Or it could be both, with other provisions for ways to communicate on a daily basis. The first form of production we have in our holistic goal is “Profit from work we find meaningful, engaging, consistent with our values, and including elements of farming as well as our other areas of expertise and passion.” Most of the rest of our list involves time management and good communication. During my first year of contact with Holistic Management I realized that we absolutely had to start keeping records in order to see where we had been and where we wanted to go, even if our main goal remained to raise our own meat and eggs. It needed to be a really easy system in order to have us actually start using it. So we decided to write our egg collection stats on the calendar. “8 C (chicken) 2 D (duck)” When slaughter time came around, I wrote down the weights of each bird on the same calendar. It hangs in our kitchen, our main center of operations. Now I will be able to total these things up as part of our financial planning for next year. We have integrated this much record keeping into our daily habits and may now be ready to tackle some of the more complex records such as notes on health issues. Kate Kerman lives near Jaffrey, New Hampshire and can be reached at

& Lessons From the Field— Adapting to New Management Practices by Cody Holmes


uring my presentation to a group of ranchers and farmers about planned grazing the conversation eventually becomes interactive. That is, after listening to my spiel about all the benefits of Holistic Systems, they begin to visualize what their farm practices would look like should they choose to implement such principles and practices. I believe what gets them discouraged right from the start is the idea that they will need many, many different paddocks, which require lots of new fencing, and it is hard for them to fathom all this movement of livestock on a regular or irregular basis because of the perceived time involved. This practice can sound overwhelming to the rancher or farmer who is already working long days and is trying to put fires out all over the farm or ranch and working diligently to keep the wolf away from his door.

Freeing Up Valuable Time I would be remiss to say that a change from the traditional livestock management, as we see it here in the U.S., to a more holistic approach is anything less than a major change. It is definitely a change in paradigms. When I first started reading about some of these grazing systems, which were then, “new to me,” they looked like a lot of work that I just didn’t have time for. This is one of the reasons I designed the Time Pyramid to help redirect us to begin a better job of managing our daily time and to begin a process to see how a different system might actually free up our most valuable time. This Time Pyramid demonstrates how under planned grazing much of the time consuming jobs we were doing in our old systems were very unproductive and most unnecessary. By first establishing our holistic goal we can begin a process to help us become better decision makers in our businesses. At the base of my Time Pyramid I have Education and then Pasture and Soil Management. I make decisions each day that I feel can move me toward my holistic goal more effectively by spending more time learning about the details and promotion of greater levels of forage growth and soil regeneration than spending time working on machinery. The item Vet Care is way up towards the top of the Pyramid, meaning little of my time is spent there. This is because I have found when I spend more time on those issues listed towards the bottom of the Pyramid, the health of the livestock increase to such a high level the high cost and time spent with Vet Care diminishes a great deal. Improving solar collection is much less time consuming than chasing down a wild cow to repair her prolapsed uterus.

More Time for Moving Here on the Rockin H Ranch we graze about 1,000 acres (400 ha). Our permanent and temporary paddocks number about 150 or more. If we were to move into a new paddock once each day it would take about 151 days to come back around to re-graze that first paddock once again. With very few exceptions, all the 1,200 or so head of livestock are in this same planned grazing of daily moves in one mob. However, during certain times of growth periods, and while in certain paddocks, the duration, or the stay in each paddock, and or the size we delegate that paddock to today can vary quite a bit. I often make a very generalized statement that I move cattle once per day to a new paddock. I also add, but only in a generalized statement, I desire to have 90 days recovery in the paddock before I turn into it once again. As a new student to planned grazing, these kind of statements can be very confusing and almost frustrating. As American farmers we have been taught to simply ride the tractor around the field until all the hay has been cut down. Then we are taught to get on the tractor and bale up all the hay until there are no windrows remaining. This type of “simpleton” farming creates little reasoning or thought processing. It also produces little efficiency in profits or ecological regeneration, both of which go hand in hand. What I mean is, if the farm is not profitable it may be degrading to soils, ground water, air, and or probably to the livestock and the people consuming food from that farm.

Adaptive Management I cannot simply arrive at someone else’s farm and design a grazing plan that depicts where the herd of livestock will be each day and for how long throughout the entire year. Learning to determine the grazing interval or period of stay for the herd in a particular paddock is a great part of developing an efficient grazing program and understanding its benefits. It is not practical to make statements such as, “graze your pastures down to one inch of growth” or “always leave six inches of stubble in your paddocks before going to the next.” These generalized statements only have a place, if those actions have been tested toward the holistic goal of that farm or ranch. If those actions lead toward the desired outcome in their future resource base and improves the quality of life, then it is an appropriate practice. If we turn our large herd into a three-acre (1.2 ha) paddock of very good high quality forage at 7:00 a.m. in the morning, we may have determined CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

Number 139

Land & Livestock


Lessons from the Field

continued from page five

ahead of time that the amount of forage contained in that paddock measured enough for 24 hours of feed. If we see that the cattle begin to become restless and begin bawling by 5:00 p.m. we will inspect the condition of the forage and we may move that herd into another paddock on the spot. We may have underestimated total forage. On the other hand, if we have moved that same mob into the same sized paddock but it had a great deal of brush and woody species that was in bad need of stomping down, we may force that mob to extend their stay in order to extend their herd effect for corrective measures beyond the typical paddock stay. In either case, we are only talking about less than 20 minutes worth of work to move this mob. And since we no longer spend all summer long baling up hay, and all winter long feeding out this stored forage, moving the mob one and sometimes three or four times per day can be an enjoyable opportunity to get out of the house. And these days my wife is always looking for excuses to get me out of the house.

Achieving Quality of Life The title of my book is Ranching Full Time on Three Hours a Day. Ranching must be profitable, enjoyable and allow plenty of time to enjoy life (to achieve that quality of life statement I have created). I take this title literally. I have no desire, nor do I see it necessary, to seldom spend more than three hours per day managing a mob. Moving the mob from one paddock to the next soon becomes the primary daily chore. The period of stay in each paddock and the frequency of moves the mob makes are highly variable. However, under planned grazing, this activity will be extremely insignificant compared to the time involved in the more traditional livestock systems practiced in the Midwest where I live. And for the last several years I have been traveling from Mexico to Canada and many

Time Management Pyramid


Land & Livestock

September / October 2011

places in between visiting farms and ranches, and I see the same problems repeated for the same set of excuses. The right kind of cow, sheep, goat, milk cow, or whatever, has enough feet on the bottom of each leg to get her and him where they need to go for food and water. If it is a mile back to good water most will only be healthier for the exercise. Moving livestock each day or even a few times a day will always require less time than managing stored forages. Under planned grazing we eventually realize that for the land to function effectively the forages must be based around a perennial system. The cumulative benefits of a permanent, perennial, highly evolving multi-species plant density or “community dynamics,” cannot be achieved by constantly turning the soil and replanting with the most popular modern seed varieties sold by today’s seed salesman. At the same time, most of humankind, at least in America, has the wrong idea about what tastes good to a cow, what she performs on most efficiently, and how long she can live a productive healthy life if we simply quit imposing our stubborn, modern-archaic agricultural practices on her. I often say to a group of ranchers and farmers who come to listen to me speak, “If what you are currently doing is working well for you, you might want to continue. But since I am in the same boat many of you are in, I know it isn’t working very well for everyone. I encourage you to visit the Rockin H Ranch to see my Holistic Planned Grazing in operation.” Sometimes seeing is believing, even in our rocky Ozark Mountains with thin soils and never ending dry summers. Cody Holmes is a rancher, consultant and author of Ranching Full Time on Three Hours a Day (see book review on page 18). He can be reached at: 417-259-2333 or

Grazing Planning Basics

by Don Campbell

Resource Conversion

Product Conversion






he growing grazing season is an exciting time of the year, and I want to focus on ideas to grow more grass. Since Holistic Management is a goal-oriented, decision-making process, I think it is important to review the basics before we jump into the actual steps to grow more grass. If your focus is on growing more grass, the question is how did you arrive at that decision? Hopefully the answer is that you analyzed your financial weak link and concluded that resource conversion or growing grass was your weak link for the year. Once we have identified resource conversion as our weak link, we then focus our efforts on strengthening that link. We will use our animals to help create the landscape description that we have in our holistic goal. The quality of life portion is also important at this stage. How much time do we want to spend grazing and how much do we need for other activities (family, holidays etc.)? The best way to grow more grass and achieve your goal is to follow the steps outlined in the Holistic Management Handbook or the Grazing Planning Manual. We sometimes talk about advanced Holistic Management. To me advanced Holistic Management is to know and understand the basics. You then need to apply the principles more effectively.

Financial Weak Link Livestock properly managed are beneficial to the land and the plants. You have the knowledge and skill to do this. The results will be more growth, more drought resistance, healthier land, increased profit, and a sustainable business for future generations. I am confident that we will do the best job ever of managing our grazing each year. This will set the stage for doing an even better job in the next year and each year thereafter. I challenge you to adopt the same attitude. If you improve a little each year, you will be guaranteed success. Don Campbell is a Certified Educator and rancher who lives near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. He can be reached at

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS Q. Is it worthwhile or necessary to do a grazing plan? A. Definitely. If you are serious about reaching

monitoring the re-growth of the plants that were grazed in the first pasture. Full recovery is essential!

your landscape description and if you want to do a better job of grazing, a grazing plan will help you. The steps to planned grazing are designed to focus on one variable at a time knowing that at the end you will have covered everything.

Q. What indicated full recovery? A. Full recovery has occurred when the plant

Q. What is planned grazing? A. Planned grazing is a grazing method developed by Allan Savory. It is designed to help you achieve your landscape description. Planned grazing uses the animals to improve the ecosystem processes. The result is healthier land and increased grass production.

Q. Define graze period. A. The graze period is the number of days the animals are in a pasture at one time. The graze period must be short enough to prevent overgrazing. (3 to 5 days). The shorter the graze period the better.

Q. What is the recovery period? A. The recovery period is the number of days between grazings. In most cases the recovery period should be in the range of 60 to 90 days. In some cases it could be longer (the entire growing season). The recovery period varies according to the growing season. The recovery period is determined by

is ready to flower. At this stage the root supplies are fully replenished and the plant is healthy. Grazing at full recovery is beneficial to the plants and the land.

Q. What is rest? A. Rest is having no animals on the land. Q. What is stock density? A. Stock density is the number of head per acre for the graze period.

Q. What is stocking rate? A. Stocking rate is the number of animals on a given piece of land for the growing season.

Q. What is severe grazing? A. The severity of the graze is determined by the amount of residual grass left in a pasture when the animals are moved. The more grass that is left the less severe the graze was.

Q. How much grass should you leave behind? A. You should leave as much grass behind as possible when you move. The more you leave the better. You need to ensure full recovery. This is

accomplished by increasing or decreasing the severity of the graze.

Q. Define overgrazing. A. Overgrazing is staying in a pasture too long at one time (graze period) or returning to a pasture before the plants have fully recovered from the last graze (recovery period).

Q. What is mirror image? A. This is a term used to describe that what you see above the ground in volume of grass is mirrored beneath the ground in root mass and volume. When grass is grazed, the roots die to establish new growth. The mirror image is maintained. The roots that die increase the organic matter and the porosity of the soil.

Q. How tall should the grass be before I start grazing in the spring? A. Cattle properly managed are beneficial to the soil and to the plants, therefore they should be on the land 365 days a year. Depending on the grass available, you will be on full feed, supplemental feed, or using stock piled forage. These practices are beneficial to the land. Once growth starts (green leaves) you begin to move the cattle to prevent overgrazing. If you follow these principles, the livestock will be beneficial to the land and the plants. There is no magic height that the grass should be when you start to graze.

Number 139

Land & Livestock


Grazing Planning for the Farmer/Rancher HMI Grazing Planning Software by Randy Holmquist


ick up any current farm publication today and most articles are devoted to new technologies that can help increase yields, increase efficiency, cut production costs and maximize production. Some of the tools that farmers use are gps technology, auto steer on their equipment, soil tests, satellite imagery, genetically modified seed, crop consultants… the list is endless. It seems as if farmers are willing to adapt any new technology that will increase production and profit. The same farmer that has used the technology to grow 200 bushel per acre corn may have a small beef herd right across the fence continuously overgrazing the same pasture, at the same time of year, with no understanding of how to manage this pasture for maximum health and production. Lack of diversity, poor water and mineral cycling, one or two species of introduced grass interspersed with undesirable forbs and noxious weeds are typically the result of this type of management. How often do you hear ranchers and farmers brag about pounds of beef or forage per acre or how they have managed their land in a way that increased their stocking rate due to increased forage production? I do not blame farmers and ranchers for not focusing on managing their rangelands; the tools are available but not widely advertised. My question is not whether the tools of technology are good or bad for crop production, but why are the tools for managing our grazing lands so misunderstood and underutilized? The mismanagement of our ecosystem around the world has exacerbated the problem of desertification, erosion, droughts, floods, erratic weather phenomenon, far more than the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil-fuel burning contributes only about 3% of the annual global flow of carbon dioxide into the environment. Carbon is not a problem. It is a biologically driven cycle using green plants to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. We often hear how the burning of fossil fuel is causing global climate change due to green house gases, but seldom is the mismanagement of our crop and rangelands

around the world blamed for the increasing desertification of once healthy savannas and grasslands. Nearly 75% of the earth’s land surface consists of a brittle environment. Yet, the solution to this seemingly difficult problem lies in a relatively easy and inexpensive solution. Holistic Management® Grazing Planning can help minimize overgrazing of plants, reduce or eliminate overrested plants and soil surfaces, speed the essential biological decay of dead and dying plant material and the cycling of mineral nutrients into the soil to promote the buildup of carbon. Because the human brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time, the step by step process recorded on the grazing chart builds confidence and peace of mind. Unfortunately, in the farming and ranching community there seems to be an adversity to planning. Most farmers and ranchers want their land managed in a way that is financially, environmentally and socially sound, but when confronted with the tedious and time consuming chore of creating a grazing plan, they often fall short in accomplishing this important task. After all, there are numerous calculations required to determine animal units, animal days, animal days per acre, grazing periods, recovery periods, drought reserves, stocking rates, and the list goes on. I have seen eyes glaze over and minds go numb during a two-day grazing planning class. The fact that there are so many factors to consider reinforces the rationale for creating and implementing a grazing plan.

Planning Made Easy Ralph Tate, a Holistic Management® Certified Educator from Nebraska, has developed software based on the Holistic Management grazing planning and control chart form. The software uses an Excel format and is very simple to use. It allows land managers to spend more time actually planning and less time doing all the calculations since this is done for you as you enter in the data. Another important advantage is that it eliminates errors that can easily

Planned grazing is marked with the dotted green line and the actual grazing in red plotted with the total SAU’s for each day. The actual ADA figures are automatically totaled and recorded in column 1 of the grazing chart.


Land & Livestock

September / October 2011

occur when calculating numbers on the paper form. When creating a plan you can run several different scenarios by simply changing the numbers. By estimating available forage or using historical grazing records you can maximize the amount of forage grown, change the class of livestock, and adjust for drought or above average forage production. For example, say you had excess forage due to above average rainfall; based on your monitoring you could quickly make the decision to add more livestock to maximize utilization and animal impact. By the same token, when the rain stops you can also quickly determine if your plan will work or if and how many animals need to be destocked. When monitoring and implementing the plan, you can quickly replan if unforeseen events such as fire, drought or floods occur. In the past, I have used the Grazing Planning & Control Chart to plan and monitor progress continuously, and control any deviation as soon as possible. But, I often didn’t put enough time into planning and monitoring the grazing plan simply because of the time involved. With major changes or times when replanning was necessary I would sometimes have to create a new chart as the old one became very messy and almost unreadable because of new calculations, erasures and overwrites. HMI’s e-Grazing Software has simplified the process and saved countless hours. I have made it a habit to update the actual grazing days from my pocket field notebook periodically during the growing and non growing season. After entering the standard animal units each day in the row for that paddock, the animal days per acre are automatically tabulated.

One-Hour Grazing Plan While teaching a two-day grazing planning class I like to allow enough time to introduce the students to the Grazing Planning Software. Once the principles of grazing planning are clearly understood they quickly learn how to use the software. Students use the data from the classroom example and can prepare a grazing plan with the software in less than an hour. I have also helped other ranchers create their own grazing plans with very complicated

scenarios involving multiple cells and herds. Once the people in the planning session have put together a seasonal plan, depending on the complexity of the seasonal big picture, I can usually prepare the plan using the Grazing Planning software in less than an hour as well. Most of the busy work involving the calculations is annotated on the grazing plan simply by entering the data. The only detail left is to monitor the grazing plan and record the actual grazing events. The main purpose for recording actual events is to help make future management decisions. The two tabs titled Actual Paddock Quality and Historical Data are tools you can use to track actual paddock quality to help guide future planning. The time it takes to put together a grazing plan using the software version can be for most producers the difference between actually creating a plan or not. While this software will do the calculations, it is necessary for the user to have an understanding of the Holistic Management grazing principles and employed in the populating of the spreadsheet. The steps are the same as listed step by step in the Holistic Management Handbook or HMI’s Grazing Planning Manual. Notice the tabs at the bottom of the screen labeled Grazing Plan, Calculations, Rainfall, Actual Paddock Quality, Historical Data, Grazing Manual References and Livestock Land Performance. Step 1 is open to the calculations tab and is illustrated below. Once a grazer learns how easy and flexible this software is to use, the planning and recording become fun. Ralph Tate has made several new features and updates to this software since the first version, including being able to plan 100 paddocks, keep actual data of forage consumed that is then automatically tabulated, and a number of additional features. He welcomes any suggestions to incorporate into future updates. The software can be purchased from HMI for $99 by calling 505/842-5252 (see ad on page 23) or going to the online store at Randy Holmquist is a Certified Educator trainee who lives near Reliance, South Dakota. He can be reached at:

Total Animal Days supplied by a paddock are calculated for you once paddock sizes and quality are entered.

Number 139

Land & Livestock


Lucky Country— The Worms that Turned Around a Farm by John King


ustralia is known as the lucky country and you would certainly think that listening to Bruce and Heidi Davison. However, the story of this modest couple is not one of carefree serendipity but of diligence, thoughtfulness, and thrift. Their journey shows fortune benefits those who can link ecology to productivity by building biological capital and saving cash.

Costly History The Davisons bought their southern New South Wales coastal rolling downs property in 1997. Its long sheep and beef history and short stint as a dairy run off had created an unforeseen problem; soil pH of 4.6 resulting from 60 years of superphosphate and herbicide. Its long fertilizer history was the very point used to sell the 380 acre (155 ha) property. In 2004 they started managing the farm and as experienced organic farmers the first thing they did was stop superphosphates and herbicides. Weeds exploded across the property, mainly African lovegrass and blackberry. The farm became a basket case. A local consultant calculated 2,000lb/acre (2.25 t/ha) of 60% dolomite and 40% lime to get their fertility back on track. The cost was US$33,000 to the gate, and with their property barely running 40 beef cows, their operating budget was zilch. It was here the Davisons drew on their 18 years growing organic flowers for the Sydney market.

Worm Power Bruce recalls how reading a primary school book (Worms Downunder Downunder by Allan Windust) changed their flower business. He began experimenting with vermicast and saw results overnight. Flowers were brighter, more upright, and developed a shelf life 30% longer than before. Within weeks competition between florists drove up their flower price 20% and their fertilizer bill dropped by half. How could they do something similar with a grass farm? Their problems stemmed from a damaged mineral cycle as evident by the long time pasture litter took to breakdown. Getting biology working became a priority but how could they get proof worms could do the trick? Bruce did an experiment comparing the consultant’s lime mix and worm juice on two 1/4-acre (0.1 ha) plots. The worm juice was applied at 2.25

gal/acre (20 liters/ha) in spring and autumn. In 12 months soil pH under lime hadn’t changed and a faint layer remained on the soil surface. But pH under worm juice was 6.5 and legumes were starting to grow. That observation was all it took to scale up the idea. This next bit sounds so crazy it’s unbelievable. Bruce set up worm farms using an old car trailer deck, a bath tub, and a 3 x 10 feet (1 x 3 meter) box from steel framing and corrugated iron lined with plastic sheet. These slap-stick vessels generate enough quality fertilizer to lift the farm’s fertility. Feeding worms cow dung and kitchen scraps keeps input costs at nil. Fermenting worm juice produces fungi and this is the secret to success. Initially Bruce applied 1.125 gal/acre (10 liters/ha) of fermented worm juice to seed the microbiology in the soil. He did this only once across the farm but discovered more applications lower soil pH as fermented worm juice is pH 4. He now uses only non-fermented worm juice. According to Bruce 62 acre (25 ha) of pasture needs just 11 ft2 (1 square meter) of worm farm to supply juice to lift vigor. Initially he tried a two applications (spring/autumn) of 2.25 gal/acre (20 liter/ha) of worm juice with 9 gal/acre (80 liter/ha) of water and watched soil pH move to 7 in 12 months. Now he applies 1.125 gal/acre (10 liter/ha) of worm juice with 10.125 gal/acre (90 liter/ha) of water annually and soil pH is steady at 6.5.

The Payoff What did the worm farm save the Davisons financially? Soil tests show the amount of calcium improved by 456 lb/acre (512 kg/ha), and magnesium by 81 lb/acre (91kg/ha) over 12 months. Using local fine lime and fine dolomite prices as the market value for plant available calcium and magnesium (NZ Sept. 2010 prices), worm juice generated US$ 128/acre ($321/ha) of minerals, or the equivalent of US$49,820 across the whole property. That’s a great return on any annual investment. The only purchase was a 110-gallon (400-liter) sprayer (US$2,700) with boomless nozzles to form large droplets so not to destroy the microbiology. The first positive sign applying the brew was lovegrass brix climbing from 1 to 5 within a month and then peaking at 7-10 inside 12 months. Lifting pasture energy levels means animals consume less grass to perform. Then legumes started re-establishing in areas with pH over 6. They grew up through the lovegrass without being sown, another cost saving. Furthermore, in the last 18 months Bruce uses fish emulsion which doubles lovegrass brix to 15 and up to 20 with bamboo grass. The fish offal from a local processor is free and only costs freight to the gate. 1,100lb (1/2 tonne) of fish is topped up with water to seep for 3 months in an 500 gallon (1,800 liter) stainless steel milk vat that cost US$400. Bruce estimates the cost of making and applying his pasture brew at US$4.00/acre (A$10/ha).

Old truck beds make good worm juice stations. With almost $50,000 in worm juice fertilizer generated out of one truck bed, these stations are veritable gold mines.


Land & Livestock

September / October 2011

Soil Fertility Strategies Bruce checks when to spray worm juice by spraying a test plot first. If brix doesn’t rise within an hour, it means applying the brew at another time of the month. The best time is after a full moon in spring or autumn when sap heads down the plant and open stomata drink in the brew. Ideally, spray very late evening (about 30 minutes after sunset) in heavy dew or fine drizzle and when the pasture is 38 inches (15cm) high (during the growing season). There are no problems about spray drift and needing dry conditions. But drought proofing a property takes more than worm juice. Set stocking is what encourages lovegrass. Cattle perform poorly during drought where African lovegrass dominates pastures. It matures quickly and loses quality as nutrients move into the roots. Changing to planned grazing lowers costs and lifts farm performance by addressing these issues. During the 2009/10 summer drought an expert agronomist visited the Davison property to check their claim of maintaining stock numbers on lovegrass unlike the district norm. The combination of planned grazing, worm juice, and lovegrass at 15 brix allows the Davison’s heifers to grow at 3.1 lb/day (1.4 kg/day) in drought conditions. The expert took photos of stock and pastures and was deeply impressed with the grazing of lovegrass. At the height of drought the number of livestock on the property was equivalent to 120 cows, 200% above what they started with in 2004. Bruce observes lovegrass out performs species like ryegrass, fescue, cocksfoot and clover throughout the dry because they all require constant moisture. Lovegrass’s tussock shape funnels any moisture down to the plant base and deep fibrous roots which absorb it quickly. As a result it will grow up to 10 inches (25cm) after a thunderstorm whereas most species barely grow 1/4-inch (1cm) in the same time. It also responds very quickly from a low grazing residual and therefore suits planned grazing and high stock densities. Pasture renovation, spraying herbicide, and burning to remove lovegrass is what drives down profitability. This is where another experiment signalled a new direction. Bruce mowed rank pasture and piled litter into a heap to decompose into the soil. In 12 months that spot was free of lovegrass with other species like clovers, medics, philaris, prairie grass, and paspalum establishing. There was no sowing as seeds were already there. To Bruce it seems low organic matter encourages bulky lovegrass to grow.

As a result of this observation and their exposure to Holistic Management they now lengthen recovery periods, increase stock density, and lift postgrazing residuals. They have noticed how their animals, soils, and plants respond to these changes despite always having to deal with summer drought; the very wet 2010/11 season being the exception. Longer recovery times allow pasture to mature resulting in a better protein/carbohydrate balance and less animal health issues. They no longer drench or vaccinate and breed using genetics that suit this kind of system. Increasing stock density crushes more pasture to the soil surface to feed soil microbes. Combined with worm juice, this practice helps lift soil fertility by keeping soil life active. Post-grazing residual is around a DM of 2,700 lb/acre (3,000 kg/ha) even during drought. A high residual insulates soil and lengthens moisture retention. Greater solar surface area increases pasture growth rates. As a result lovegrass is being replaced by other C3 and C4 species. By observing ecosystem processes and then designing management to compliment nature the Davisons are building biological capital without the added stress of debt. Worm farms have been an extremely cost effective tool to strengthen the mineral cycle by establishing and feeding soil biology. An important part of this adventure is Bruce’s monitoring to ensure soil conditions are right and altering application rates once soil pH reached 7. Then by changing grazing management to produce and crush more litter on the soil surface, the Davisons are ensuring a steady food source to energize organisms and maintain soil fertility. In practicing principles of Holistic Management they’ve used livestock to change soil surface conditions and cheaply initiate a shift in pasture ecology to lift the performance of the property. As a result they are now part of a Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water pair-trialled site with their neighbour. This 20-year experiment started in 2008 and involves taking cross boundary soil samples every 5 years to monitor changes from different management practices. They also have regular field days on their property to educate farmers about their journey and show their achievements. Once soluble mineral fertilizers and herbicides stripped bare the soil biology of this property, yet the reintroduction of soil life through worm juice signalled a turning point and a new direction. The worm farm generates the Davisons a small fortune and allows them to enjoy and share their slice of the lucky country. John King is a Holistic Management Certified Educator living in Christchurch, New Zealand. You can contact him through Bruce and Heidi Davison live near Candelo, NSW, Australia. They can be contacted at

Cattle respond well to the higher brix in the forage that is a result of planned grazing and worm juice.

With improved grazing management, there is less selective grazing which in the past has reduced the carrying capacity of the farm. Number 139

Land & Livestock



Message from CEO & Board Chair Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible … and suddenly you will be doing what you thought impossible”


his famous quote best sums up the positive transformation which got underway at Holistic Management International, (HMI) in 2010. It’s an exciting time as the organization enters the next chapter, establishing itself as missiondriven—an entity clearly defined by the needs of the people and land we serve. In 2010, a new team spirit and culture of collaboration emerged, as HMI took the lead in reaching out to many individuals, groups, and other organizations with a philosophy of “doing together what we cannot do alone.” As a result, today’s HMI has designed a suite of specific

measurable educational programs to serve the needs of various communities and groups. • Kids on the Land—We engage, educate, and inspire students, in grades K-6 to learn different aspects of life on the land and how that land in turn sustains life • Gen Next—HMI integrates Holistic Management principles and ideas into the curriculum at schools and universities with agricultural/ecological programs • Beginning Farmers and Ranchers— We educate and empower beginning farmers and ranchers so that they are positioned to apply Holistic Management principles and practices in

2010 Summarized Statement of Activities

Summarized Statement of Financial Position (AS OF DEC. 31, 2010)

Revenue Training and Education Learning Sites Philanthropy and Grants Publications Royalties from Assets Other

Assets Cash & cash equivalents Accounts receivable Prepaid expenses Prepaid taxes Inventory Property & equipment, net Other assets


180,534 308,971 356,514 80,849 786,956 76,101 1,789,925

Total Expenses Training and Education Learning Sites Philanthropy and Grants Publications Royalties Assets Related Cost Publication Education & Awareness General Administrative Total

244,169 436,129 353,395 85,071 164,023 170,636 499,831

Liabilities Accounts payable Accrued liabilities Deferred revenue Line of Credit Current portion LTD Long-term debt Total


101,148 22,939 17,607 0 22,501 56,324

In addition to developing our programs, we also honed our strategic vision: • Become the premier provider of education and training in Holistic Management methods in specific U.S. regions and select international areas • Create a demonstrable track record of improved client performance as a result of Holistic Management training • Position HMI as a trusted and reliable provider of educational and consulting services • Grow a sustainable enterprise that will make a real difference for the people it serves Financially, in 2010, HMI’s cash operating position was stable and positive. Diverse revenue streams, including grants and donations; fees for service; and mineral royalties carried the organization through challenging economic conditions. Cash and cash reserves remain stable, with forecasts and planning in place for prudent management through 2011. We continue to support our HMI Community—including thousands of practitioners and our network of over 50 Holistic Management® Certified Educators, with a variety of tools including the HMI In Practice journal; teleconferences; webinars; an expanded web site; participation on Facebook, Twitter, and regional gatherings. Thank you for your continued interest, participation and support. HMI is now positioned to maximize its effectiveness! We are excited by the opportunities ahead and hope you are too.



Change in Net Assets


Net Assets Unrestricted Temporarily restricted Permanently restricted Total Total Liabilities & Net Assets


566,189 191,743 17,242 0 10,289 1,823,478 2,118,441

order to build successful businesses • Ag Town Turnaround—Our newest program is dedicated to revitalizing depressed agricultural communities by providing Holistic Management training to community members

 September / October 2011

Sallie Calhoun, Board Chair 3,220,173 1,286,690 0 4,506,863 4,727,382

Peter Holter, Chief Executive Officer P.S. For a full copy of this report, please visit HMI’s website at stories/Annual%20Report-HMI-2010.v3.2.pdf or call us at 505/842-5252 for a copy.

Kids On the Land Update— Jacksboro, Texas


n May, the Hackley family of Jacksboro, Texas, gave 4th and 5th graders the opportunity to participate in the Kids On the Land (KOL) program at their ranch for a second year. Peggy Maddox, Director of Education for the Kids On the Land program, gathered the volunteers at Richards Ranch for planning sessions the day before students arrived. Jacksboro volunteers included NRCS agents, Ricky Linex, Tony Dean, and Nathan Haile; three members of Texas Forest Service, Dr. Paul Martin of Seguin, Bryon Haney of Whitney; local Jacksboro retired teachers, Margaret Johnson, Vanita Bundy, Lana Moxley, Melinda Perkins; and other volunteers which included Kathy Dickson, Martha Salmon, Peggy Cole, Johnnie Johnson, Brent Hackley, and John Hackley. The 154 students were involved with these volunteers as they learned about native plants of Western Cross Timbers Region, forests of the Cross Timbers, the water cycle and Trinity/Brazos Rivers’ water catchment areas, and Holistic Management grazing management. The Richards Ranch is a family-owned enterprise and has practiced Holistic Management since the early ‘80s. The 15,000-acre (6,000 ha) ranch is a perfect location for all the activities. The family members, John and Brent Hackley and Martha Salmon, not only donate their land and facilities, but they are all active participants in the program when the students arrive. The evaluations were very positive and teachers have asked that the program be expanded to include the 3rd grade next year. “Our students mostly live in town and have never been exposed to thinking of our environment or having the thought of being stewards of our land and water,” stated 5th grade teacher, Barbara Clark. “The activities were on a level that both gave the students information and held their attention. Activities that are hands-on teach much more than lecture. I am a science teacher and this is a great field trip.” When Peggy Maddox developed the program at the David West Station for Holistic Management, she envisioned that the program could be expanded to other eco-regions. The expansion from the Trans-Pecos Region to the Western Cross Timbers has successfully demonstrated that the concept works. “KOL is unique among environmental programs because it is designed to teach children about their place where they live, using the property of local land stewards,” stated Peggy, and “since children have an innate need to be in nature and nature needs a new generation who are reconnected to the land to take us to a more sustainable future, we hope to see the program continue to evolve as it adapts to meet new environments.” The next session will be held on Katherine Dickson’s 69 Ranch in the Rolling Plains Eco-Region of Texas in September. Holistic Management International offers the Kids on the Land booklets, including a planning guide and the K-6 programs for Trans-Pecos Eco-Region, on their website as free downloads. Peggy Maddox can be reached at or 325/392-2292.

The Hackley family: John and Brent Hackley and Martha Salmon.

A 4th grade group ends the day with reflection time with the three Texas Forest Service volunteers.

4th graders collect native plants to record in their nature journals.

5th graders study the Trinity and Brazos water catchment areas on the Richards Ranch. Number 139



Beginning Women Farmer Whole Farm Planning Program Survey Results


s part of HMI’s three-year Beginning Women Farmer program in the Northeast funded by NIFA/USDA, we created an online survey and queried the participants from the first year of the program. We received a 68% return rate from the 90 women trained the first year which included many powerful testimonials about how this program has impacted their lives. Of particular interest for HMI was the number of women who were actually implementing what they learned in the first year of training. What we found was that 84% had developed a whole farm goal and 43% had developed a financial plan. 88% felt that their decision making had improved. HMI was very pleased to see the changed behavior (see chart below). Also of great import was that 85% of the women felt they had developed relationships through this program that positively impacted their farms. A key component of this program is to create farmer networks and mentoring to offer peer support and guidance. This aspect of the program was highly successful. A few comments we selected from the survey reflects the importance in those relationships for the women in the program. • The network of women farmers from the class is very powerful. This support system is so valuable and helpful. • Meeting the other women in the course, gave me more confidence that I was capable of running my own farm, successfully. It was inspiring to see what everyone else was doing. • One of the most powerful tools of HM is defining the decision makers. This opens up a

whole new world of communication--defining goals, having a decision-making process, keeping track of the numbers, keeping track of the work on a daily basis. • My husband and I have been accepted into the Success on Farms program and are currently working together to create a joint business plan that allows our enterprises to support one another. When asked how their participation in the program has impacted them as farmers, some of the answers were: • We now have a financial plan and whole farm goal. Before the training we took whatever profit there was at the end of the year. If we wanted more profit we would add more animals. NOW, we plan for our profit. We know what is making money, what isn't and what is barely making it. This allows us to change how we do things, maybe get rid of that enterprise or figure out how to make it profitable. We sold our 26 acre farm this past December after over a year for sale. We now are working on purchasing a 100 acre farm. • My participation in the Beginning Women Farmer Whole Farm Planning Program has impacted me on how I think about farming. When we sit down and discuss our farm and how we are going to proceed from step to step, we frequently refer back to class notes, the manual we used in class and the texts. • It has helped me plan for the future. I have been able to look at my operation as a whole and also look at each enterprise separately. I am able to identify what part of my operation is profitable. If it is not profitable I am able to analyze the enterprise through the testing questions to determine what

Which of the following have you completed on your farm as a result of your participation in this training? (Please check all that apply) Answer Options

Developed a whole farm goal Defined the resources available to manage my farm Developed a financial Plan Developed a land plan Developed a grazing plan Improved my decision making skills Other (please specify)


 September / October 2011

Response Percent

Response Count

83.7% 65.3% 42.9% 34.7% 24.5% 87.8%

41 32 21 17 12 43 19

answered question skipped question

49 6

changes need to be made. I have become aware of how important communication is to the success of a business. Making sure the needs of all the parties involved are being met and if not how to come to a common ground. I have developed a Holistic Goal which helps direct my farm’s vision and goals. I have a working business and marketing plan which helps guide my business to success. Overall the program has helped me make sound educated decisions which has aided in the success of my first year in business. • Have had serious, as opposed to the previous casual semi-serious, conversations with my spouse regarding our life goals as well as goals for the farm. Long term planning discussions have been most helpful. We did take a much needed vacation — first one in 10 years that was more than one day! • The program provided me with resources, networks, and confidence that I really can start my own farm business! Teasing out a holistic goal and putting it on paper has made decision making much more straight forward. Rather than constantly putting out fires and spinning in circles, I seem to be starting to work towards my goal. • As a direct result of the material we covered AND the networking with our mentors, I have cut my kid (goat) loses from parasites by over 80%. We have also used multi-species grazing as a way to cut the parasite load on the pastures. As a way to cut labor and at the same time improve our soil, we grazed the last cutting from our hay fields with portable electric fencing instead of harvesting the hay and feeding it in a depleted pasture. • I am immensely grateful for the HMI course. The budget planning that we did at the beginning of the season set me and my husband on a solid path for our first season of farming: we exceeded our planned profit, in part thanks to the decision making and budgeting tools that I learned from HMI. • Increased profitability in our poultry enterprise. We had a $9,000 PROFIT last year!!!! It was planned and actually came in $1500 over the planned amount. • My animals are so much healthier now and I have more knowledge in how to maintain their good health, my land is improving in soil quality and diversity of species. • We have signed both capital and operating lines of credit (total $50,000) as a result of our business plan. • This training helped me get accepted into the NOFA-VT Journey Farmer program because by the end of the training I had already fleshed out the goals and plans for my farm. This training also helped me with my pricing structure and allowed me to secure a couple of new, local markets. To learn more about this program, contact Project Director Dr. Ann Adams at 505/842-5252 or

Year Two Beginning Women Farmer Update


he second year of the Beginning Farmer Program is drawing to a close and Project Director, Dr. Ann Adams, went back to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire the end of May to meet with two different beginning farmer groups in the program as well as hold the annual Coordinators’ Meeting. Almost all of the classes for the six states have been completed as of August and we are in the process of evaluating this year’s program. Overall the program went even better this year with greater interest in the program and greater attendance. HMI will be revising the curriculum based on the evaluation and feedback from the coordinators, mentors, and instructors.

The grazing planning session for this year’s Beginning Women Farmer class in Connecticut took place at Katherine Bogli’s Maple View Farm near Simsbury, Connecticut.

Caroline Pam of Kitchen Garden Farm near Sunderland, Massachusetts shared information about her farm and the land planning issues she’s addressing on her farm as part of the recent land planning session held for the Beginning Women Farmer group in Massachusetts.

Management Clubs in the Northeast

partners and family members joined the gathering. Discussion included how Holistic Management is influencing their farm planning and areas where they would like to continue the learning. The gatherings will continue quarterly, with plans to explore season extension using testing questions in September and annual financial planning in December.

the numbers for each enterprise on their farm and the group watched as Roland diagramed them one-by-one for each farm. It was an eye-opener to see that increasing production can increase losses as well as profits. Next up for this group is another webinar with Certified Educators Ann Adams and Ben Bartlett in August, followed by Land Planning and a general review with Seth Wilner in September.

2011 Vermont Beginning Women Farmer program participants

Rappahannock Future Farms Program

Women in Texas Seminars


s part of HMI’s Beginning Women Farmer Program, participants who have completed the program are beginning to start management clubs (or learning circles as they are sometimes called) in each of the states (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New York, and Connecticut). Most recently Vermont held their mid-summer learning circle. In early July, participants from the past two year's Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers classes in Vermont gathered at Fat Toad Farm in Brookfield, Vermont. As the network of farmers interested in Holistic Management practices grows, partnering organization University of Vermont Extension is working to create opportunities for the farmers to stay connected and continue their learning. The gathering a Fat Toad included a farm tour of their goat milk dairy and caramel processing facility, potluck, and discussion. In addition to the farmers who participated in the classes, several farm


MI Certified Educator Roland Kroos flew in June from Montana to add his expertise in Holistic Financial Planning to the growing body of Holistic Management knowledge accumulating in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Nine farms, represented by 13 individuals, are committed to the year of training offered by Rappahannock County and HMI as part of a larger three-year program. Roland focused primarily on teaching the group to use the profit tree as a tool to quickly evaluate the contribution of an enterprise toward overhead of the whole. This method is a bit more visual than the full planning chart and is a shortcut in that only the major income and expenses are included. Each participant brought

As part of HMI’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers efforts, HMI has developed collaborations and raised funds for four introductory workshops to be held in Texas called Empowering Texas Women in Agriculture Seminars. These one-day sessions, held in the fall of 2011, will provide an overview for 100-150 people in four different areas of Texas. The dates and locations are: • September 19, McKinney Roughs Nature Park, Dining Hall, Cedar Creek, Texas near Austin, Texas • September 27, Texas Tech University, Office of International Affairs, Hall of Nations, Lubbock, Texas • October 11, Dallas Farmers Market, Dallas, Texas • October 25, The University of TexasPan American, Edinburg, Texas To learn more about these programs, contact HMI at 505/842-5252 or hmi@ Number 139


New Certified Educator

T he


news from holistic management international

 people, programs & projects

ongratulations to Owen Hablutzel, HMI’s newest Certified Educator! Owen began HMI’s Certified Educator Training Program in the spring of 2009 and was mentored by Kirk Gadzia as part of the program. On July 18th, he successfully completed his exit review at HMI’s headquarters. HMI looks forward to working with Owen in this new capacity.

Grapevine IN PRACTICE Reader Survey


MI would like to thank the 182 readers who took the time to fill out our reader’s survey. Comments were very positive about our publication (“How can you improve a five star publication?”) and there were lots of great suggestions we will work to incorporate. Starting in this issue, for those of you receiving this publication electronically, you’ll see we have increased the resolution and added color photographs. Thanks to all our readers for supporting HMI’s efforts to share the exciting news of what people are doing with Holistic Management. Highlights of the survey results are: • The vast majority of readers (66%) have been reading the publication for more than 20 years. • 46% of our readers are Ranchers with 25% being small scale farmers (1-50 acres) and 23.3% being large scale farmers (50+ acres). 21% are educators and 20.6% are active citizens. • Over 67% of our readers share IN PRACTICE with someone else. • The favorite section of the majority of the readers is “Land & Livestock” (53.4%) followed by “Feature Stories” (42.6%) • 66% of our readers read all 6 issues/year. • 87.6% save their back issues • 64% of our readers prefer to read IN PRACTICE in hard copy.


 September / October 2011

Ann Adams and Owen Hablutzel at the post exit review party for Owen at HMI’s new offices.

Country Natural Beef Celebrates 25 Years


years ago, Country Natural Beef began by shipping two head of beef to Portland, Oregon for processing and sale. Today, Country Natural Beef is one of the nation’s leaders in natural beef production. The cooperative consists of 120 family ranches located in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Texas, Montana, Arizona and Hawaii. These families own more than 100,000 mother cows managed on 6.3 million acres of private and public lands. And, they have developed important working relationships with leading restaurateurs and retailers across the nation. To celebrate this milestone, long-time Holistic Management practitioners, Doc and Connie Hatfield, hosted a 25th Anniversary Celebration. The early meetings for this cooperative were held at the Hatfield’s High Desert Ranch near Brothers, Oregon. They were one of the 14 founding ranches for Country Natural Beef. Congratulations to the Hatfields and to Country Natural Beef!

GenNext Prescott College and Holistic Decision-Making by Michael Thomas Needham


hen I started out at Prescott College I only knew I was very interested in Sustainable Community Development and land conservation, and I had a desire to work in beautiful natural places with people who care about people of today and of the future. My interest continued to evolve as I began to understand what was important to me. I was learning how important the Earth is, how it is degrading, and all the vast problems in society that cause the degradation. I began to study poverty, which led me to the connection of how the future will look as the Earth degrades. It is not a very pretty picture to imagine a place where the future generations, my future grandchildren or even my children could live in third world poverty because the small amount of productive land is degrading quickly and it is our means to provide food, oxygen, and removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. During my course of study I wanted to understand the concepts and theories of sustainable land use planning such as planning processes that integrate environmental consideration to satisfy ecologically and natural resource sustainable management objectives, and environmental impact assessment. I was mostly interested in ecosystems and their accelerated soil erosion, and rapid loss of habitat and genetic diversity, as well as the widespread poverty among mountain inhabitants and loss of indigenous knowledge. Through my studies I am gaining an understanding of the different forms of soils, forest, water use, crop, plant and animal resources of mountain ecosystems. I am learning solutions that include the use of appropriate technologies such as agriculture-forestry to encourage mountain ecosystem regeneration and sustainable development.

Finding A Mentor My search for mentors led me to HMI, where Dr. Ann Adams, Director of Education, introduced me to Jeff Goebel, a Holistic Management® Certified Educator. Jeff has amazed me with the amount of understanding he has in my area of interest given his experience with using the Holistic Management process integrated with community development, which he has used successfully in a broad spectrum of settings and ethnicities around the globe. Prescott College, my college where I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, has made it possible for me to learn more creatively. Other universities I have attended have narrowed creative learning within a classroom, where a typical class asks for you to define a research topic, and write a paper. Prescott College, however, opens the learning and

creativity further, by asking students to define the research topic before deciding on a course. The core faculty works with the student to help guide learning, but requires student creativity in designing courses that will fulfill a student’s learning objective. Prescott College requires students to locate and work with mentors with expertise in student designed courses. Prescott College provides me the opportunity to achieve my goals of academics and work with a fantastic mentor, in my area of professional interest, from HMI. This makes for every course to have hands on experience and academic rigor. Dr. Adams offered HMI’s college accredited curriculum as a framework for my initial course with Jeff Goebel and he was the instructor for my independent study. Faculty at Prescott College reviewed the course of work and approved it. The title for that course was Environmental Management and Decision Making.

Results on the Ground That was just the beginning. Jeff has since mentored me in three courses. First, he gave me a thorough understanding of Holistic Management, where I learned about holistic decision-making, CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

When looking directly at the bordering fence between National Park (left) and the Navajo Reservation (right) it looks green and diverse on the National Park side and overgrazed on the Navajo Reservation side.

Chaco Canyon National Park (above) excludes livestock. Due to overrest there is more bare ground than the Navajo Reservation next door and more grasses oxidizing. Navajo Reservation (left), adjacent to Chaco Canyon National Park, actually has more ground cover and more productive grasses than Chaco does based on Mike’s monitoring. Number 139



fter working with Cody on his article that appears in this issue of IN PRACTICE, I was curious about what more his book, Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours a Day, had to offer so I got a copy. While Cody’s many years of experience as a cattleman provides plenty of credibility for this book, Greg Judy’s foreword added the additional signature of approval to seal the deal and sets the stage. Greg writes: “If you want to move your ranching operation into the profit column, I believe the knowledge that Cody shares with you in this book will put you on the right path. Cody and I come from a similar background. I grew up poor as well. Nobody knew what was in my heart. I had a dream and a goal from a very young age of owning my own ranch . . . I believe Cody’s book can turn your dreams into reality!” So how does a book help turn dreams into reality? By sharing key principles for success, some very important how to’s, and a great photo tour of the Rockin H Ranch. I’ve been to presentations that cost a lot more than this book and didn’t give near the information. Cody and Dawnell Holmes and their children run the Rockin H Ranch, a diversified ranch, on-farm market (featuring beef, pork, lamb, eggs, milk and seasonal produce), and agri-tourism business. They run as many as 900 head on their 3,400 acres (1,360 ha).

Book Review by Ann Adams Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours a Day By Cody Holmes, ACRES USA • 187 pages

Cody starts off his book with what may be his number one concept he wants to get across to his reader: “The perfect cow is only perfect because of the management of selection, matching of forages and climates, and the willingness to spend what in most cases is a lifetime commitment to planned growth and improvement.” Of course, the devil is in the detail, and Cody gives ample examples of what to look for and how to develop a herd that matches that description and creates the production and profit desired. The subtitle of this book is “Real-World Validation of Holistic Systems for Stockmen.” Likewise, Cody speaks and writes about his holistic, grass-based ranching approach. Cody credits his key shift in thinking from management intensive grazing to holistic planned grazing as occurring when he read Holistic Management. He spends time explaining the difference between various terms so that a beginning farmer or rancher can


Wi$e Money: The Town of Financial Literacy


t HMI we’re always looking for ways to get the whole family involved in learning skills that will help improve quality of life and financial and natural resources. We recently came across a fun game that ages 1399+ can play called Wi$e Money: The Town of Financial Literacy. This team-based game focuses on the secrets of money management including: Banking and Investing, Budgeting and Payday, Identity Protection, Financing and Credit, Financial Responsibility, and Financial Situations you may face. The game comes with a gameboard, a spin card, dice, game pieces and 8 piles of cards that are color-coded to match the key areas of money management. Teams take turn answering questions in order to collect cards from each category and be the first to reach the finish. At only $34.95, this game will offer hours of entertainment and valuable knowledge for children and adults alike. While this game is not agriculturally focused, it does provide necessary information to successfully navigate the financial waters in the 21st century. If after playing this game you have ideas on how it could be tailored more to an agricultural audience, we’d love to hear from you. You can direct comments to or call us at 505/842-5252. To order this game, go to the HMI online store at or call in your order at 505/842-5252.

learn and understand the difference between stocking rate and stock density. Likewise, he discusses the pros and cons of various soil types as a consideration when you are looking at pasture land to lease or own. But ultimately, he notes, it comes down to organic matter and how you can build it. That engine is influenced by grazing management practices and affects production and economics—manure fresh from the animal is still the cheapest way to apply fertilizer and good grazing management practices will give you the gross profit necessary to sustain a ranch. What I particularly liked about Cody’s writing was that he moved easily from providing context by discussing ranching within the big picture while also providing some pretty concrete recommendations and benchmarks to aim toward. For example, he talks about how with continuous grazing you achieve maybe 20-30% grazing efficiency. With planned grazing at higher stock densities you can get above 80% efficiency. He also suggests a pasture walk of every paddock at least once a week. I don’t know if every producer would find the marginal reaction test passing on that recommendation, but seeing it in print makes you sit back and consider what you do and what might be a better practice. There’s nothing like a good story or a wellwritten book from someone who is actually sharing their experiences from the “trenches” and has done enough analysis to help soften the learning curve for those who are starting out. Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours A Day not only validates a holistic approach to ranching, it motivates and inspires you to take a look at how to continue to fine tune and improve the process you may already have in place.

Prescott College continued from page seventeen and the concepts of land management in brittle and non-brittle environments. During this semester, Jeff is mentoring me in a General Ecology course, and Range Land Assessment, where I am learning about land degradation, and biodiversity more clearly. For example, I toured a number of biological sites in New Mexico including Holistic Management practitioners Tom and Mimi Sidwell's ranch, El Morro, and Chaco Canyon. I also had a great time on the Indian Reservation visiting during the Cochiti Feast Day. The biological studies were essential to my degree program and career path. We performed three transects on the Sidwell’s ranch, one on Chaco Canyon National Park (NP), and one on the CONTINUED ON PAGE 20


 September / October 2011


Certified Educators

Jeff Goebel 5105 Guadalupe Trail NW Albuquerque, NM 87107 • 541/610-7084

The following Certified Educators listed have been trained to teach and coach individuals in Holistic Management. 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 and to seek out opportunities for staying current with the latest developments in Holistic Management. For more information about or application forms for the HMI’s Certified Educator Training Programs, contact Ann Adams or visit our website at:


These associate educators provide educational services to their communities and peer groups.


* Tim McGaffic P.O. Box 1903, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 808/936-5749 • CALIFORNIA Owen Hablutzel 4235 W. 63rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90043 310/567-6862 • Richard King 1675 Adobe Rd., Petaluma, CA 94954 707/769-1490• 707/794-8692(w) * Christopher Peck 1330 Gumview Road, Windsor, CA 95492 707/758-0171 ◆ Rob Rutherford CA Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 805/756-1475 •

Cindy Dvergsten 17702 County Rd. 23, Dolores, CO 81323 970/882-4222 * Katherine Belle Rosing 22755 E. Garrett, Calhan, CO 80808 970/310-0852

MONTANA 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 •

Paul Swanson 5155 West 12th St., Hastings, NE 68901 402/463-8507 Ralph Tate 1109 Timber Dr., Papillion, NE 68046 402/932-3405 NEW HAMPSHIRE

GEORGIA Constance Neely 1421 Rockinwood Dr., Athens, GA 30606 706/540-2878 • IOWA

* Mae Rose Petrehn

P.O. Box 1802, Ames, IA 50010 913/707-7723 MAINE

Vivianne Holmes 239 E Buckfield Road Buckfield, ME 04220-4209 207/336-2484 • * Tobey Williamson 52 Center Street, Portland, ME 04101 c: 207-332-9941 •


Wayne Berry 1611 11th Ave. West, Williston, ND 58801 701/572-9183 • Joshua Dukart 2539 Clover Place, Bismarck, ND 58503 701/870-1184 •

Sandra Matheson 228 E. Smith Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226 360/398-7866 • ◆ Don Nelson Department of Animal Sciences 116 Clark Hall, Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-6310 509/335-2922 • Doug Warnock 1880 SE Larch Ave., College Place, WA 99324 509/540-5771 • 509/856-7101 (c)





* Ben Bartlett N4632 ET Road, Traunik, MI 49891 906/439-5210 (h) • 906/439-5880 (w) * Larry Dyer 1113 Klondike Ave, Petoskey, MI 49770-3233 231/439-8982 (w) • 231/347-7162 (h)


NEW YORK Erica Frenay 454 Old 76 Road, Brooktondale, NY 14817 607/539-3246 •

◆ These educators provide Holistic Management instruction on behalf of the institutions they represent.

Peggy Sechrist 106 Thunderbird Ranch Road, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 (C)830/456-5587 •

◆ 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 Kelly Boney 4865 Quay Road L, San Jon, NM 88434 575/268-1162 Kirk Gadzia P.O. Box 1100, Bernalillo, NM 87004 505/867-4685, (f) 505/867-9952

Jim Weaver 428 Copp Hollow Road, Wellsboro, PA 16901 570/724-4955 • TEXAS Guy Glosson 6717 Hwy. 380, Snyder, TX 79549 806/237-2554 • Peggy Maddox P.O. Box 694, Ozona, TX 76943-0694 325/392-2292 •

Larry Johnson, 608/455-1685 W886 State Rd. 92, Brooklyn, WI 53521 * Laura Paine Wisconsin DATCP N893 Kranz Rd., Columbus, WI 53925 608/224-5120 (w) • 920/623-4407 (h)

INTERNATIONAL AUSTRALIA Judi Earl “Glen Orton” 3843 Warialda Rd., Coolatai NSW 2402 61-2- 0409-151-969 George Gundry Willeroo, Tarago, NSW 2580 61-2-4844-6223 • Graeme Hand 150 Caroona Lane, Branxholme, VIC 3302 61-3-5578-6272 (h) 61-4-1853-2130 (c) Dick Richardson Frogmore Boorowa NSW 2586 61-0-263853217 (w) 61-0-263856224 (h) 61-0-429069001 (c) Brian Wehlburg Pine Scrub Creek, Kindee, NSW, 2446 61-2-6587-4353 CANADA Don Campbell Box 817 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y6 306/236-6088

Linda & Ralph Corcoran Box 36, Langbank, SK S0G 2X0 306/532-4778

* Allison Guichon

Box 10, Quilchena, BC V0E 2R0 250/378-4535 Blain Hjertaas Box 760, Redvers, Saskatchewan SOC 2HO 306/452-3882 Brian Luce RR #4, Ponoka, AB T4J 1R4 403/783-6518 Tony McQuail 86016 Creek Line, RR#1, Lucknow, ON N0G 2H0 519/528-2493 Len Pigott Box 222, Dysart, SK, SOH 1HO 306/432-4583 Kelly Sidoryk P.O. Box 374, Lloydminster, AB S9V 0Y4 780/875-9806 (h) 780/875-4418 (c)

Number 139


INTERNATIONAL KENYA Richard Hatfield P.O. Box 10091-00100, Nairobi 254-0723-506-331; Christine C. Jost International Livestock Research Institute Box 30709, Nairobi 00100 254-20-422-3000; 254-736-715-417 (c) * Belinda Low P.O. Box 15109, Langata, Nairobi 254-727-288-039; MEXICO Ivan A. Aguirre Ibarra P.O. Box 304, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000 52-1-662-281-0990 (from U.S.) 51-1-662-281-0901 NAMIBIA Usiel Kandjii P.O. Box 23319, Windhoek 264-61-205-2324 • Colin Nott P.O. Box 11977, Windhoek 264/61-225085 (h) 264/81-2418778 Wiebke Volkmann P.O. Box 9285, Windhoek 264-61-225183 or 264-81-127-0081

Prescott College


* John King

P.O. Box 12011 Beckenham, Christchurch 8242 64-276-737-885

HRM of Arizona Norm Lowe 2660 E. Hemberg Flagstaff, AZ 86004 928/214-0040

SOUTH AFRICA Jozua Lambrechts P.O. Box 5070 Helderberg, Somerset West Western Cape 7135 27-83-310-1940 • 27-21-851-2430 (w) Wayne Knight Solar Addicts PO Box 537, Mokopane, 0600 South Africa 27-0-15-491-5286 Ian Mitchell-Innes P.O. Box 52 Elandslaagte 2900 27-36-421-1747 UNITED KINGDOM

* Philip Bubb 32 Dart Close, St. Ives, Cambridge, PE27 3JB 44-1480-496-2925 (h) +44 7837 405483 (w)

OKLAHOMA Oklahoma Land Stewardship Alliance Kim Barker, contact person 35878 Cimarron Road Waynoka, OK 73860 580/732-0244 580/732-0244

COLORADO Colorado Branch For Holistic Management® P.O. Box 218, Lewis, CO 81327 Cindy Dvergsten, webmaster 970/882-4222

PENNSYLVANIA Northern Penn Network Jim Weaver, contact person 428 Copp Hollow Road Wellsboro, PA 16901 570/724-4955 •

NEW YORK Central NY RC&D Phil Metzger 99 North Broad Street Norwich, NY 13815 607/334-3231 ext 4

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

NORTHWEST Managing Wholes Peter Donovan PO Box 393 Enterprise, OR 97828 541/426-5783

continued from page eighteen

Navajo Reservation (NR). The results are startling, and I am amazed at the illusion of visual appearance. When looking directly at the bordering fence between NP and the NR it looks green and diverse on the NP side and overgrazed on the NR side. The looks were definitely deceiving. When looking directly down on the land I could see the difference: NP has oxidizing plants, and an average of 13 inches of bare ground between plants, while the NR side has little to no oxidizing plants, and an average of 3 inches of bare ground between plants. After visiting the Sidwell Ranch, I had finally seen it with my own eyes, the Carbon Ranch that removes carbon from the atmosphere. The biodiversity was amazing. During the transects, Tom was very helpful in identifying plants. We counted an average of 7 different perennial plants during each transect, where a perennial was identified within an average of 2.66 inches of each monitoring point. The Sidwell Ranch has very little bare ground and an outstanding biodiversity. When comparing the three ranges: NP, NR, and the Sidwell Ranch, I saw how planned grazing will increase biodiversity, and improve ground cover, and it could be the link to reverse desertification. I have yet to finish my own research paper on this topic, as well as answer many other questions I have. I am excited and encouraged to watch the Sidwells’ progress, as well as work on projects of my own to learn more.

Learning, Creativity, and Values In my academic program working with mentors like Jeff, I have learned how to think, and be creative! I have always been kind of a rebel 20 IN PRACTICE


 September / October 2011

in that I want my independence, to think, and be creative from the inside. About 12 years ago I was discouraged by typical educational environments, and I felt that by going to school I would be brainwashed to be uncreative—that we are taught methods, values, and rules about how this world functions. I would learn how to master a discipline of the world economic system, and be ready for plug in once I completed my degree. I believe that creativity comes from breaking methods and rules, and possibly being able to realign values. Working with Jeff, and learning holistic decision-making has especially been an outside of the box learning experience that I was looking for. I have learned a framework in decision-making that is central to the Triple Bottom Line when measuring sustainable community development. This framework ensures that each of the three measures improve together, and that one will not be sacrificed for the others benefit. Other great tools I learned in holistic decision-making are the testing questions and management guidelines, which are essential to achieve the goal you set out to achieve. Now that I have had this experience in my education, I am excited for the possibility that future generations will begin to have more opportunities to experience within their learning, to really achieve their quality of life they expect. There is a lot of work to be done to build a thriving resilient world, and we need creative, open-minded people to fulfill this expectation! Mike Needham is a student at Prescott College. He can be reached at:




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_ Policy/Project Analysis & Design August 2008, 61 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17

_ Introduction to Holistic Management

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

August 2007, 128 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25

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_ CD of Back Issues: #71 - 130 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25

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

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

Books & Multimedia

_ Early Warning Biological Monitoring— Croplands

Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision-Making,

_ Second Edition, by Allan Savory with Jody Butterfield. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $50 _ Spanish Version (soft) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $40 _ Holistic Management Handbook, by Butterfield, Bingham, Savory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30 _ At Home With Holistic Management, by Ann Adams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20 _ Holistic Management: A New Environmental Intelligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10 _ Improving Whole Farm Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $13 _ Video: Creating a Sustainable Civilization—An Introduction to Holistic Decision-Making, based on a lecture given by Allan Savory. (DVD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $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 (DVD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30 _ PBS Video—The First Millimeter: Healing the Earth (DVD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 TO ORDER

Planning and Monitoring Guides

April 2000, 26 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$15

_ Early Warning Biological Monitoring—Rangelands and Grasslands August 2007, 59 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17

_ Land Planning—For The Rancher or Farmer Running Livestock August 2007, 31 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$15

Planning Forms (All forms are padded – 25 sheets per pad) _ Annual Income & Expense Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 _ Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 7 _ Livestock Production Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 _ Grazing Plan & Control Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION Amount $_____________ Please designate program you would like us to apply contribution toward _________________________________________

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#139, In Practice, Sep/Oct 2011  

The Love Letter Technique The Data Mine: The Serengeti Series— Grazing ungulates, plant biomass concentrations, and nutrient cycling Phoenix...

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