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healthy land. sustainable future.

March 2007 2006 January/ April / February

Number 112 Number 105

Community Dynamics–



Holistic Management in Southern Africa


ommunity Dynamics was established in 2001 as an association of independent Holistic Management® Certified Educators and provides a coordinating body for Holistic Management® Certified Educators and community facilitators in Southern Africa in conjunction with Holistic Management International’s efforts. Through Community Dynamics, Holistic Management® educators / community facilitators provide an organized, effective, collaborative effort to achieve their statement of purpose, reaching and providing effective training for all sectors of society. Prior to 1995, Holistic Management® training in Southern Africa was offered by Holistic Management® Certified Educators from the U.S. coming to South Africa on invitation to present courses. In 1995, the first Certified Educator Program in Africa started in Zimbabwe and the first Southern African educators were trained. Since that time thousands of people have attended Holistic Management® practitioner training in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. In particular, the work of Dick and Judy Richardson was instrumental in the development of Community Dynamics and the demand for those training services. The demand for this training is growing annually. In addition, Certified Community Facilitators have trained thousands more through village-based practitioner training. There are currently about 20 Certified Educators and community facilitators in Southern Africa. Community Dynamics serves to provide a network of professionals for the promotion of Holistic Management and to ensure that the quality of training provided by members complies with the standards required by Holistic Management International. In line with their values, Community

Southern Africa Gathering See details on page 15

Dynamics manages its business by using the Holistic Management® framework. During the Annual Gathering Meeting they start by revisiting their Statement of Purpose and Holisticgoal. All actions and strategies are tested and written up on a testing matrix. They also use the Holistic Management® Financial Planning procedure to plan finances and have a paid secretary that handles the day to day management of the Association. This person also assists the President and Vice President with the organization. Collaboration, peer review, and the adaptation of the Holistic Management curriculum is key to extending the practice of Holistic Management in an environment where there is such diversity. This team of educators has massive experience in so many different fields including commercial ranching and farming in hugely diverse environments, community development in urban and rural settings, and involvement in scientific and academic circles. Through that collaboration they are able to ensure that the best qualified and experienced educator is able to assist in whatever situation arises. They also provide a cohesive body in their collaboration with HMI. Between the Certified Educator members they also have the potential to provide significant Holistic Management learning sites. Most members are also actively involved in the development of Holistic Management through their own personal practice and their involvement with many long-standing practitioners. As a team they are able to develop effective training materials for many situations and provide training in six or more languages. The commitment to Community Dynamics by many of the members is fantastic, and they are extremely encouraged and motivated by the direction and efforts of HMI. They are confident that with encouragement and support from HMI, and commitment by the members, that Community Dynamics will continue to grow from strength to strength and achieve its statement of purpose, developing and extending the practice of Holistic Management in Southern Africa.

With over 20 years of Holistic Management practice in Southern Africa, there is much learning and success to report. The going hasn’t always been easy, but with perseverance, many educators and practitioners are creating healthy land and improving their quality of life. The challenges of improving infrastructure to increase watering capability is one of the challenges being addressed in a Namibia holistic range management project you can read about on page three.

FEATURE STORIES Holistic Management and Food Gardens . . . . 2 Jozua Lambrechts

Going Beyond Sustainable Management of Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Colin Nott

The Africa Centre–– Working Toward SelfSufficiency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Jody Butterfield

A South African Family–– Lessons Learned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Wayne Knight

LAND & LIVESTOCK A Broader Look at the Grazing Debate . . . . . . 9 Jim Howell

Returning the Land to Productivity–– Kriegerskraal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Ann Adams

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

healthy land. sustainable future.

Holistic Management and Food Gardens by Jozua Lambrechts

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


Jody Butterfield

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

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

ADVISORY COUNCIL Robert Anderson, Corrales, NM Michael Bowman,Wray, CO Sam Brown, Austin, TX Sallie Calhoun, Paicines, CA Lee Dueringer, Scottsdale, AZ Gretel Ehrlich, Gaviota, CA Cynthia Harris, Albuquerque, NM Edward Jackson, San Carlos, CA Clint Josey, Dallas, TX Doug McDaniel, Lostine, OR Guillermo Osuna, Coahuila, Mexico York Schueller, Ventura, CA Africa Centre for Holistic Management Private Bag 5950, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Tel: (263) (11) 404 979; email: Huggins Matanga, Director HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT IN PRACTICE (ISSN: 1098-8157) is published six times a year by Holistic Management International, 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505/842-5252, fax: 505/843-7900; email:; website: Copyright © 2007.





• Feed the soil with compost and organic teas to hen Certified Educator Dick enhance the water and mineral cycle. Richardson and his wife Judy asked We started the training with Dick taking us out me to come and do Food Garden on the range and facilitating a very practical training for them and their discussion on how and why they manage the employees on their ranch in South Africa, I was cattle and, thereby, the land in a certain way and intrigued by the challenge of taking what I know how these actions enhance the ecosystem about Food Gardens and integrating it with ® processes. This experience created a rich context someone’s existing Holistic Management practice. for all of us for the rest of In Dick and the course, and we could Judy’s case, I knew tie the new knowledge that they use the back to what they do on Holistic ® the ranch. Management The course went very framework on well and generated a lot of their ranch on a enthusiasm among the daily basis, and staff for growing their own that they will be food. Despite the very able to follow the harsh climate of the area, underlying ideas they soon had some fresh, in Food Gardens organic veggies to eat. very easily, but Obviously they went what about their Dick Richardson harvesting vegetables from the through a learning curve employees? Some Food Garden created by his staff. and some veggies were of them are growing better illiterate, and the than others, course would not be taught in their which means mother tongue. Moreover, their culture that the feedback is not one of growing their own loop was used to veggies. But, I realized that the address employees have a very practical problems. understanding of the ecosystem We all have processes and what they do on the experiences of ranch to enhance the ecosystem. Thus, facilitating a I needed to connect the theory and course and then practice of creating a Food Garden to afterwards those basic underlying principles. From that perspective they would Dick and staff digging the first of many realizing that your own learn: vegetable beds and learning how knowledge has gardening, like ranching, depends on grown and that • To build soil by adding organic highly functioning ecosystem processes. you have some matter and, therefore, enhance the new insights. This certainly happened to me mineral cycle, water cycle, energy flow, and during this course. Back at home (we live in a community dynamics. town) it dawned on me that we can look at our • Add mulch to enhance the mineral and water own non-food gardens also through the lenses of cycle. the ecosystem processes and also use the • Plant a variety of plants and practice crop ecosystem tools to create the garden that we want rotation thereby enhancing community in terms of our holisticgoal. dynamics. • Plant as densely as possible to harvest as much Jozua Lambrechts is a Certified Educator sunlight as possible. who lives in Somerset West, Western Cape, South • Enhance community dynamics by not Africa. He can be reached at: or 27-21-851spraying chemical insecticides and herbicides. 5669.

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Going Beyond Sustainable Management Of Wildlife by Colin Nott


ntegrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) has been dedicated to the management of natural resources on communal land in Namibia for over 20 years. The program focus has been to ensure the future of wildlife in communal areas by creating a sense of community ownership in wildlife populations and meaningful benefits from that ownership. For example, a strategy of involving local leadership stopped the illegal poaching of elephant, rhino, and other game. As a result, wildlife numbers continue to grow in the communal areas and more and more conservancies are being formed throughout the country. Conservation is once again becoming a norm in the communal areas with photographic tourism and consumptive use opportunities expanding and rural economies benefiting. However, the intention has always been to move beyond the management of wildlife to the management of other resources such as rangeland because people’s livestock, as well as wildlife, depend on this resource. Many years of reflection and planning have resulted in the sourcing of funds to undertake the IRDNC rangeland program called the Holistic Range Management project started in November 2003. Three Kunene conservancies are the focus of these activities, and we currently have five local staff and four vehicles to support the efforts. The project goal is to : “To contribute to an improved quality of life for members of the three target conservancies by improving rangeland productivity and biodiversity and thereby improving livelihood security using local cultural and conservancy bodies as holistic decisionmaking structures.” In this first phase we expected to introduce the concept of improved range management, impart an understanding of this to farmers and support agencies, and begin implementation. Rainfall is about 10 inches (250mm) and erratic, fencing of large areas (eg. grazing paddocks or grazing areas or conservancies) is illegal, and people have the constitutional right to move from one place to another, thus complicating resource management. We first discussed the problem of deteriorating rangeland with the leadership of the region–the traditional authorities, Regional Council, and Ministry of Agriculture and received support for the program. We then selected trial areas using criteria such as social cohesion, strong and proactive leadership, enough livestock, and sufficient water delivery. Lastly, we conducted field extension visits in these areas with youth, women, leaders,

stock owners, government officials, etc and discussed environmental change. Everyone agreed that degradation was occurring at a large scale and that most perennial grasses have been lost. Once it was understood how grasses grow and the importance of a recovery period, a whole new world opened for farmers. The farmers agreed that the root cause of the degradation was the fact that various owners’ livestock moved at will from a single water point. Moreover, degradation had only seriously started occurring since farmers ceased their old practice of moving and herding. People were motivated

The close relationship between farmers and stock allowed herds of over a 1,000 head of cattle in Erora to be herded with relative ease. away from their current behavior as they realized it would result in the end of their culture. Now, they could see a new future with better grassland and healthier cattle. We then obtained commitment from grazing unit groups to attempt to reverse the degradation. So we facilitated visits to successful Holistic Management farmers in South Africa and later Zimbabwe (The Africa Centre for Holistic Management) with a cross section of residents, leaders and government officials. This resulted in powerful learning experiences. After each visit we discussed the principles of sound management and what needed to be in place. On returning home, these principles were discussed at the local level and a way forward mapped out. Each conservancy (wildlife management unit) was divided up into grazing areas. These smaller areas have been mapped, and the farmers of several areas have developed a land plan and grazing plan for each area. Herders have been appointed, and planned grazing has started in five areas. Six additional boreholes have been drilled and are being installed giving added flexibility and increased access to new grazing areas. Herd size varies from 250 animals in some grazing areas to over 1,000 animals in others. A precondition for becoming a part of this program is for all livestock

owners to combine their herds into one herd that is herded daily–allowing for planned grazing. Holistic Management has not been introduced as something new to the farmers. To a large extent, it is adapting the old way of farming with cattle, before people became settled and stopped herding. The combination of the traditional and the scientific in a socially acceptable way has been the key to progress so far resulting in traditional leaders engaging with the program and taking credit for successes. We are trialling planned grazing through three mechanisms: 1) A water tanker and trailer driving water to grazing areas without water; 2) Herding from existing homesteads or from new boreholes where homesteads have been established close together, facilitating easier combining of animals; 3) The use of daily grazing camps using game capture nets as fencing, which are moved daily. In the first two seasons we have had positive anecdotal results with farmers indicating that: 1) Grasses have started growing in places where they previously did not and annual plant density has increased considerably. Moribund grass has also been removed or trampled and ground cover has improved. 2) Livestock losses due to predators, theft, and calf mortalities are virtually zero now that herders accompany stock. 3) Crop damage is reduced because livestock do not enter fields once elephants have broken the perimeter fences. 4) Animal performance is as good, if not better, than adjacent un-herded animals. In these remote areas we have encountered some challenges that we must continue to address including keeping herders motivated, managing internal community conflicts that impact on combining herds, and addressing unwanted fire that has effectively stopped activities in two grazing areas. The project has been well received by government, regional council and farmers, and we have obtained good cooperation and support from stakeholders and support organizations because they see this planned grazing approach as socially and culturally compatible with past practices. While we are pleased with the results achieved, we will be embarking on a more rigorous research monitoring component to evaluate the progress of this project. Colin Nott is the IRDNC Assistant Director and Holistic Range Management Project Co-ordinator. He can be reached at N u m b e r 112



The Africa Centre– Working Toward Self-Sufficiency by Jody Butterfield


ver the past year we’ve devoted a number of pages in IN PRACTICE to our work with the Africa Centre for Holistic Management on our USAIDfunded pilot program in the Hwange Communal Lands of Zimbabwe. But there’s more to tell about the Africa Centre, and a newly-completed strategic plan that meshes with HMI’s own plan. The Africa Centre is made up of three sections, all overseen by Director Huggins Matanga: • Administration–six staff led by Huggins; • Dimbangombe Ranch, a working ranch and learning site located 20 miles south of Victoria Falls, with 53 staff led by Ranch Manager Shane Bartlett and his wife, Ranch Administrator Rose Bartlett; and • Dimbangombe College (of Wildlife, Agriculture and Conservation Management), based on the ranch, with 9 fulltime staff led by Sunny Moyo, who manage the pilot program in the Hwange community and special training programs.

• An excellent example of Holistic Management in practice (including in the Hwange pilot communities); • Clean, clear data and documentation (financial, biological, social) • A site that can host Holistic Management training or special visitor groups The key overall objectives aim to achieve all this, and monitoring systems are already in place to make sure they do. Assisting the Africa Centre staff in the process will be HMI’s new Director of Learning Sites, Data & Documentation Craig Leggett. HMI’s objective in having him take on this new role overseeing the Africa Centre and our other HMI Learning

and Rose Bartlett (see sidebar) lead this diverse team with Shane in charge of overall management and Rose responsible for catering, lodging, and keeping the books. The ranch has for many years generated some revenue from tourism and hunting, with minimal infusions of capital, but both HMI’s investment level and ranch revenues are planned to increase over the three years of the strategic plan. Hunting, which has previously been leased out to local safari operators, will come in house, and by 2009 is planned to be offered only to bow hunters. Livestock meat sales will eventually be a major revenue earner.

Growing Herd Size & Quality

Dimbangombe doesn’t have enough animals to keep up with the forage–even in drought years. Parts of its 6,500 acres (2,600 hectares) are showing the typical signs of overrest–patches of gray grass, a thickening up of the brush, and patches of ground that have remained bare. We currently have just over 300 cattle and need a 1,000 to be fully stocked. One objective in the plan is to build cattle numbers up to that level, and The HMI Board of Directors another addresses the quality viewed the development of a and condition of the cattle strategic plan for the Africa Centre as while we’re doing it. For years, critical and invested the funds any spare funds went to buying needed in 2006 for two separate a few cattle at a time, usually planning sessions at Dimbangombe cull animals from the nearby led by Executive Director Shannon Hwange Communal Lands. Horst, with HMI Board members Dojiwe, soon after she was found wandering on her own on Dimbangombe. Ron Chapman, Ben Bartlett She has quadrupled in size in the four years since, but still requires a handler Then in 2004 we were able to create an endowment herd (an and Ian Mitchell-Innes donating to accompany her as she grazes each day due to lions. endowment fund invested in their time to participate in at least Site, the West Ranch, is to replace the key roles cattle) through a generous grant made by the one of those sessions. Key outcomes of those currently played by Allan Savory at both sites Norbury Fund for Animals. That more than sessions was a plan and objectives that will and myself in Africa. By 2009, our plan is that doubled our herd size–to over 100 animals. We enable the Africa Centre to meet its stated Allan and I will be there to advise the Africa took in village cattle suffering from a lack of purpose in spades, and clarity on the level of investment required by HMI in the Africa Centre Centre staff, but no longer involved in day to day forage and grew the herd up to nearly 600, which management. dropped down once the rains came. to achieve those objectives. Just as importantly Currently, the endowment herd claims 72 HMI could measure the return on that Dimbangombe Ranch cattle (which we track separately to measure investment over each of the next three years as The ranch includes: 25 herders; 6 game growth of the endowment), the villagers own the Africa Centre moves further down its path to scouts, who make up an anti-poaching team, just over 100 and the ranch owns the rest. In self sufficiency. and two of whom also serve as game guides; 6 August 2006 Shane used hunting profits to buy Because Dimbangombe Ranch and catering / lodging staff; 11 maintenance two Nguni bulls (a well-known local breed), and Dimbangombe College operate as an HMI workers; 3 gardeners; 2 workshop assistants, traded two poor-doing bulls for some heifers. At Learning Site, the Africa Centre needs to plus up to 6 contract workers at times. Shane the very end of the year, HMI invested funds in produce: 4



March/ April 2 0 07

Dimbangombe’s environment that produce a while also breeding the ideal animals for 50 Nguni heifers, and in 2008 will invest in 50 Dimbangombe: more. Shane will then close the herd. The cattle healthy calf every year without any supplementation. Within the herd there is an A herd of January 2007 is already looking very • First cut is those that did not produce a good and B herd. Each year 20 percent of the cows are different from the herd of two years ago. calf for any reason. The ranch runs goats as well, • Second cut is those producing a currently over 650 of them. Close to very poor calf 130 belong to the pension fund, and • Third cut is those calving late in over 450 more are being held for loans the calving period. to the next goats-as-currency banks in The reason for a cow going if the Hwange Community pilot there’s no calf for any reason is that if program. Another 30 belong to she had lost her calf to a snake, Hwange villagers and a dozen to the leopard, or lion we would not know if ranch. Goats and cattle run in a single she was a consistently good breeder as herd year round, are herded according she would be favored by not having to a grazing plan from sunup to been lactating. The reason for culling sundown and spend the night in a late calvers is that we want calves lion-proof kraal (corral). falling in a confined period at the While still working to build herd onset of the rains, or just before, and size, the ranch is producing very little we have bulls in the herd year round. meat for sale. Most male calves are not By culling any that calve at the end of sold as steers, but as “value-added” trained oxen that fetch a much higher Cattle condition is much improved due to good grazing planning the period we gradually get them all calving when the forage is best. Since price. The culling policy now in effect and management and an infusion of Nguni bloodlines. the ranch doesn’t supplement, cows allows the ranch to keep numbers up that produce a calf every year without it are while still identifying the animals that will culled from the A herd into the B herd, which most desirable. If the ranch were to supplement, make up the ideal cow herd–cows adapted to allows the ranch to keep increasing herd size, then all we would be doing is selecting for animals that calve well when supplemented, since we would be tending to keep those that dominated the supplement.

Meet Shane & Rose Bartlett


hane and Rose took over management of Dimbangombe Ranch in May 2006. Shane was born in Zimbabwe, but left after high school for South Africa where he qualified as a diesel mechanic and met and married Rose. They moved to Zimbabwe several years later where they had three children and managed two sizable ranches with multiple enterprises–cattle, ostriches, lion-breeding, safari hunting, and more–before joining the Africa Centre. Ian Mitchell-Innes, a Certified Educator who serves as the southern African representative on HMI’s Board, donated two seats to Shane and Rose on a course he was offering in South Africa that gave them a thorough grounding in Holistic Management. Since then he has volunteered his time to mentor them both through the ups and downs of their learning, enabling them to become increasingly confident. Ian’s generosity has been immensely appreciated. Shane is in love with the cattle at Dimbangombe. He is up at dawn as they leave the kraal to graze, and often there again each evening. He’s excited by the challenge of creating an exceptional herd, and enhancing the land’s productivity while he does it. Rose revels in the challenge of creating menus for guests and then finding substitutes for half the ingredients, even the main ones, when they’re unobtainable. She has planted herb gardens all over the place and has the vegetable gardens producing like never before. Dimbangombe runs more smoothly because of them.

Restoring the Land and Documenting the Change We’ve used photos to illustrate some of the land improvements in earlier issues of IN PRACTICE: the Dimbangombe River, now appears to be a perennial river once again; vleis (meadows) that were once studded with widelyspaced, fibrous grasses, after annual burns and years of partial rest, are now carpeted with nutritious grasses so thick, you can’t measure the plant spacing. And there are areas where we’ve done mini-trials of animal impact–moving the portable kraal to a bare ground site for a week where the dung, urine and trampling alters that piece of land dramatically in the following wet season and thereafter. What has been missing is a compilation of all the data taken from each of the transects starting in the mid 1990s. There were some years when the monitoring wasn’t done–there were so few livestock, there wasn’t much change to monitor, or there was no one present who could do the monitoring. A strategic plan objective for 2007 is to do that compilation, and compare the data gathered to date so we can show fixed-point photos of the change, and provide some continued on page 8 N u m b e r 112



A South African Family– Lessons Learned by Wayne Knight


y parents have run the family farm since the early ’60s, and in 1969 they bought the property from my father’s aunts. Initially they ran a beef herd and grew cash crops–dry-land maize, wheat, sunflower, cotton, and all sorts of other crops. They also grew irrigated cotton and seed crops. But in 1997, they stopped all crop production and turned all their attention to beef production. In the 1970s, my parents used Allan Savory and Stan Parsons as consultants. At that point there was a lot of untested, radical thinking happening–back then there wasn’t the knowledge base and experience that exists now within the Holistic Management network. My parents did very well for a while with the grazing management side of things, but like many people who embrace new information, the ideas were too radical, and it was easy to slip back into the usual practice and paradigms. Even when we all took Holistic Management training, we experienced the same problem. When we have actually managed holistically, things have shifted for the better, and fortunately the positive side of our involvement with Holistic Management has far outweighed the negative with our struggles to actually practice it. Our financial position is vastly improved. We continue to see good ecological improvement. We have worked together more harmoniously than many other father-son businesses, thanks to our combined holisticgoal. I’ve battled a bit with writing up this article, but there is a lot I want to say about my realities with trying to practice Holistic Management in a multi-generational farming business so that others can learn from our experience.

Getting On the Same Page I arrived back on the farm in 1995 having completed my studies and a stint of overseas travel. Things were difficult on the farm at that time. We had purchased a new farm when interest rates climbed from 8 percent to 24 percent. We couldn’t keep up with the monthly interest payments. As a result we decided to destock to survive. In retrospect this was a very poor decision, but one does crazy things when the pressure is on, and there didn’t appear to be any change in interest rates at that time. I arrived back on the farm having experienced American ranch operations that 6



were running, what for me, were, very large, herds of over 700 cow-calf pairs. It had all looked very easy to me. I convinced my parents that we needed to do the same. With very little planning or experience I proceeded to make a series of very large and costly mistakes! I didn’t adequately plan water supply. I didn’t take into account the stress and adaptation the cows would need to settle down into a totally new herd structure. I was so stupid that I didn’t

Wayne Knight adequately allocate bulls for the breeding season. You can imagine the result–a complete production disaster! To my parents’ credit, they let me make the mistakes and never rubbed my nose in it. It was a very good first lesson! The cattle management reverted to cow herds of 150 in size. We were battling on, watching all sorts of frustrations escalate. Our cash flow was terrible. We struggled to maintain our herd size. Bush encroachment was a huge cause for concern. We had patches of our property devoid of vegetation that were steadily expanding. We simply didn’t have the cash flow to fight all the problems! The relationship between my father and I was also extremely strained. Increasingly, we were defending positions and disagreeing on principle.

March/ April 2 0 07

In 1998, my father encouraged my then fiancé and I to attend a Holistic Management course. This was a wonderful breakthrough. A lot of the ecological information I had picked up through my parents was re-enforced. Added to the ecological information was a step-by-step guide on how to start up and manage our cattle operation. At the same time we were introduced to holisticgoal setting and decision-making. The structure of the financial planning process was desperately needed, too. Hilary, now my wife, and I arrived home very excited and determined after our first training session. We eagerly created a holisticgoal as a couple and then encouraged my parents to set up a combined holisticgoal for the business. Obviously we ran into difficulties immediately. They had not done the training and didn’t see the relevance. After attending the Holistic Financial Planning session we once again arrived home eager to put together a financial plan and encouraged my parents to become involved with the process. We all landed up very frustrated and confused. We simply were not “on the same page.” To my parents’ credit, they sat through the process, but did not enjoy or understand the relevance. Back then our business was bleeding. Our debt was high, our cash flow was poor. When we went through the cost cutting exercises in the holistic financial planning my father in particular could not accept that there was room to cut expenses. But, that first financial plan we put together was the most significant and mood changing exercise we had ever done. It changed our perspective of what was possible. The reassurance it gave us when we managed to stick to the plan was also fantastic. Despite the breakthrough, there where still huge misunderstandings between what Hilary and I were aiming for and my parents’ reading of the situation. We had a logjam. The only way forward was for my parents to go to a Holistic Management training program, too. They did attend the training, and enjoyed it very much. After their training we all had great energy and focus. Our combined holisticgoal worked well for us. My father’s and my relationship improved tremendously. We were no longer defending territory; we didn’t need to. The holisticgoal was driving us. The decisionmaking process made difficult decisions so

much easier. We could use our usual decisionmaking process, then put any number of alternatives through the testing questions to clarify information and make our final choice far more objectively. That made collaboration a reality, rather than “my way versus your way.” I was also amazed how with detailed planning, our family was able to turn around what appeared to be a hopeless financial situation into a positive one over a relatively short time period. Soon, we also began seeing improvement in veld condition. Hard ground began to soften as we more gradually increased herd size, hence density. We developed a long-term land plan and started implementing improvement and changes as we went along. Run-off from the veld has been greatly reduced, so much so that our catchments dams hardly fill anymore. They used to fill with even moderate rainfall. What used to be a brown expanse of sediment-filled water covering about 17.5 acres (7 ha) is now at most a small pool of clear water.

not recieved the full benefit of the process–no group buy in, restricted opportunity for creativity, one-sided slant on what is going on because I am the one who completes the process of allocating costs, monitoring, and giving feedback rather than sharing feedback. Despite this challenge, the holistic financial planning process has given me great confidence and peace of mind, even though there are discrepancies in our plans from unexpected capital purchases and emergency items. On the regular expense items, we have things well under control, and with experience, accuracy has improved. I believe that many of these slack areas would have been largely eliminated by us being part of an effective management club. The shared energy, the outside perspective and the peer pressure would have kept our energy and our pride focused on what the real issues are. I also think that the outside perspective and pressure will force one to engage those prickly

Losing Momentum

they would not have been on the radar under “normal” conditions.

Balance & Discipline I have learned that for every action I take without using the appropriate decision making, grazing planning, or financial planning tools, I have regretted not doing so. The tools are so sound and so simple if you allow them to be. Maintaining the discipline, making the time, marketing the process to the rest of the family is hugely important. Planning the time and making sure that the venue is appropriate have also been very important in getting the job done. Trying to get the planning done at home has been very challenging with getting everyone to the table with crises, different business ventures, and vastly divergent priorities. As a result we plan time away from phones, home, and our young children to get through the planning process. Although we have not been part of a management club, we have made an effort to attend Holistic Management gatherings and information days. We have also been involved with Community Dynamics, the Southern African educator group. This has all helped with motivation– energizing and encouraging us to do more and aim for better practice. Without this exposure, I don’t think we would have maintained the level of practice that we have. I will be joining a well established management club later in the year and am looking forward to that very much. As a family we have made very significant changes to our lives since getting actively involved with Holistic Management eight years ago. There are undoubtedly many things we could have done better. Paradigms take time to change. Many of the concepts we grow up with are more deeply fixed in our minds than I would like to believe. Changes in these areas have only come through re-exposure to these new ideas. The fact that high herd density is not damaging to land, provided that recovery time is sufficient, is a simple example of this. I have witnessed the positive effects of herd density hundreds of times on my own and other people’s properties, yet I still find myself caught in the old paradigm from time to time. Time and determination to improve is all that will cause a paradigm shift to stick. Besides my family, my greatest joy in life is being on our veld–watching the plant spacing

My father’s and my relationship improved tremendously. We were no longer defending territory; we didn’t need to. The holisticgoal was driving us.

Since the great start in the late 1990s things have not always gone smoothly. We have had some significant setbacks and challenges along the way. We have also fallen back into some bad old habits. Our combined holisticgoal inevitably changed with time, and we did not keep up with the changes, so it became less relevant for the family group. Hilary has become very involved with her own off-farm businesses. My parents have aged and are less involved with the business. They want stability and security. I have taken over much of the management and am wanting to expand the business more aggressively. Our altered goals where not reflected in our vision of our combined preferred future. Likewise, when venereal disease killed off our conception rates, and we were frantically trying to contain the spread of the disease and minimize its negative economic effect, grazing planning fell off the boat. That lack of a grazing plan has had negative repercussions with increased bush encroachment and decreased grass species mix. It was also very stressful not to have the plan in place. I can’t say how much money we have lost as a result, but I’m sure it is significant. As a family we have mostly gone through the preliminary planning steps of holistic financial planning, but have not made full use of the process as a group. It has meant that we have

family/emotional issues that all too often get swept under the carpet, with the excuse that they will be attended to at some point in the future. They often, in my case at least, have been left there only to grow and fester into very difficult issues. Dealing with it soon and well is essential. A large part of losing our focus on Holistic Management has been the hugely demoralizing effect of the South African government’s land redistribution process. The murkiness of the “rules” of the process, the uncertainty and emotional roller-coaster that we have found ourselves on has been very distracting. Because we know there is a land claim, but don’t know how valid it is, or if the claim will be effected (if we will be bought out by the government and at what price), we have been actively investing off the farm, in non-agricultural ventures. This would not have happened if there were no land claims. This has left us getting involved in things that where not necessarily part of our holisticgoal, but which seemed to make sense from a risk management point of view. Our holisticgoal has at least helped guide our choices into more desirable investments, even if

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The Africa Centre

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numbers to go with them. Of course, making sure the transects are sampled this year, and each year thereafter, is also part of the plan. For several years, HMI and the Africa Centre have had an informal relationship with Tufts University (Massachusetts) School of Veterinary Medicine that makes Dimbangombe available to students in their International Conservation program, who need a site on which to do their research, as well as a place to stay. The ranch benefits because the research results in information the ranch can use in management, or at least tells something of the land’s condition. This information will become part of the monitoring record kept both on Dimbangombe and here at HMI.

A Memorable Learning Experience The ranch will move away from marketing its lodging and catering services and wildliferelated activities to tourists from Victoria Falls, and focus instead on serving those who come to Dimbangombe for training and/or to learn more about Holistic Management. A number of our readers have paid a visit to Dimbangombe and know that it’s a special place for learning, made that much better by the comfortable lodgings, home-cooked meals, and gracious staff, including Rose and Shane who make strangers immediately feel welcome. But the wildlife are also a big part of it, starting with Dojiwe, the orphaned elephant who joined us four years ago and has become family, and

moving on to the troops of baboons, the buffalo and elephant herds, the sable, kudu, bushbuck, lions, hyenas, and birds too numerous to list. Over the next three years, the ranch will be engaged in an ambitious building plan, including more staff housing, a new tented camp, refurbishing another camp for hunters, completing a dining hall and lounge, and the final phases of an office block built last year.

Dimbangombe College The college staff include College Director Sunny Moyo, training facilitators Elias Ncube and John Nylika, community trainer Nicholas Ncube and administrative assistant Precious Phiri. A couple of drivers, who are themselves increasingly well-versed in Holistic Management, round out the team. All of the trainers speak at least three or four languages, and some speak five or six. They are a committed group, passionate about the Hwange Community pilot program that has kept them so heavily occupied since early 2005, and equally determined that it succeed. The strategic plan will have them doing more of what they’re already doing in the pilot program, which extends into mid-2009–adding one or two additional communities in 2007, the number dependent on funds raised. The College staff devotes a few days each year to facilitating introduction Holistic Management training sessions for local nonprofits, government agency and extension people. They

also run a 12-week game scout training program that gives opportunities for young men in the community to develop skills that are in demand by potential employers. Sunny, who once provided the same sort of training for National Parks staff, leads this program and, with Elias, provides the Holistic Management segments of the training. But other faculty are contracted to provide the rest. The strategic plan will see us continuing this program, but working to ensure that it becomes self-financing by augmenting tuition (usually paid in livestock) with grants or donations. Staff will also continue to develop the game guide training component that takes the most promising students to the next level. Finally, the College hosts interns from universities in the Matabeleland provinces. Two to three of them stay from 3 to 12 months, learning Holistic Management by working with the staff–on the ranch and in the Hwange communities. The plan is to continue this program because it is expected of the college (which is an accredited institution), but to work toward making it pay for itself. Both the HMI board and staff, and the Centre board and staff, are enthusiastic about this strategic plan, which is more comprehensive than anything attempted before. And even though so much of Zimbabwe’s future is unknown, the plan goes a long way toward making the Africa Centre’s future sustainable.

A South African Family

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improve, the soil surface get softer-looking at how certain plant species that have widely been regarded as “poor” have changed their growth form to become more palatable. Watching new species of birds arrive on the property. In the more densely stocked areas of the farm, we have invasive brush dying back as grass growth flourishes and carrying capacity of the land improves dramatically. There were times, particularly early on, where my focus was not holistic–it was heavily slanted towards environmental improvement. I have lost our business a lot of money by focusing on the veld alone instead of balancing veld, livestock, and social factors. The end result has been slower progression on all fronts.

I have been frustrated by the decisionmaking process. It is such a powerful tool, but it has been very difficult to make use of

used the decision-making process to resolve disagreement, but it has proven to be very helpful whenever we use it. We have had great success with Holistic Management in the eight years that we have been learning and practicing– achieving many ambitious short term goals. The learning and success we have achieved as a result of the balanced approach inherent within Holistic Management have given me confidence and fulfillment. Life is still a juggling act, but the reasons, aims, and choices are much clearer to me, and I am wealthy as a result.

The learning and success we have achieved as a result of the balanced approach inherent within Holistic Management have given me confidence and fulfillment.




habitually! Testing decisions does not come naturally to me. I appreciate the process when I use it, but the discipline of getting myself into the habit has been challenging! We have mostly

March/ April 2 0 07

Wayne Knight can be reached at: 27-15-491-3451 or



A Broader Look at the Grazing Debate by Jim Howell

Author’s note: In the process of interacting with various anti-grazing activists over the past five years, I’ve become aware of a scientific paper regarded as the “final word” on the grazing debate in the North American West. This paper, titled “Evolution in Steppe with Few, Large-hooved Mammals,” was authored by Richard N. Mack and John N. Thompson, from Washington State University, and was originally published in the June 1982 edition of The American Naturalist. Because of the frequency with which this paper is cited, and its apparent influence on the thinking and conclusions reached by resource managers and environmental activists around the West, I’ve long felt that a closer examination of the paper’s assertions was warranted and necessary. The paper’s core assertion is that the plants west of the Great Divide, and particularly those of the Great Basin steppelands and deserts, did not evolve with large grazing herbivores, and therefore should be protected from grazing by introduced European livestock. East of the divide, on the Great Plains, cattle and sheep are fine, since that’s where the bison used to be. The argument sounds solid, and without closer perusal, I can see how most would automatically accept its thesis. But, based on my experience, it’s full of holes. The following is my attempt to reveal those holes and fill them in.


he grazing question in the Intermountain West continues to be a highly charged issue. Both sides seem more convinced than ever that their “story” is the one that stands up most convincingly to scientific scrutiny. The following is not a definitive examination of the evidence by any means, but the on-the-ground perspective of an Intermountain rancher trying his best to do the right thing for the land. First and foremost, there is an amazing range of perspective on what constitutes “ecological health.” To me this is hard to understand. In a nutshell, one side looks almost exclusively at species composition, while the other tends to focus on the functionality of ecosystem processes. The “species composition” camp wants to know if what’s there is “native,” be that grass, shrubs, trees, forbs, cryptobiotic soils, mammals, birds, reptiles, or insects. The “ecosystem process” camp (many of whom are longtime Holistic Management practitioners) wants to know if water is soaking into the soil and recharging springs and aquifers (as opposed to running off or evaporating), how effectively minerals are cycling from soils and air through plants and animals and back to the soil again, how efficiently sunlight energy is being captured relative to the photosynthetic capacity of a specific ecotype, and the overall diversity of life. They look closely at soil surface condition, noting percentage of bare ground relative to plant density and prostate decaying

litter. They look at the vigor, age distribution, diversity, and production of grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees. If plants are decadent and dying, bare ground is rampant, signs of soil erosion are everywhere, and community dynamics are more simple than complex, they see that as bad. It’s bad because it indicates the landscape is deteriorating, and since the only real source of wealth and sustenance originates with healthy land, they feel compelled to do something about it. So they monitor these things in the process of relating to their landscapes, and adjust their actions to ensure movement toward ever more functional water cycles, mineral cycles, energy flow, and biological diversity. The “species composition” side might look at all these ecosystem functions as well, and are likely to agree with their “adversaries” on what constitutes healthy and functional, to a point. The big differences seem to crop up when tools and species enter the discussion. If the ecosystem processes are functioning superbly, but the diversity of species includes some non-native elements, then it’s automatically bad, no matter how good it is. If the grazing and disturbance of non-native cattle or sheep or goats were the primary tools employed to produce that superb condition, then the result is automatically bad, even if the plant species composition is 100 percent native and the native grazers are thriving. continued on page 10

I have seen huge expanses of country in places like Canyonlands National Park, in eastern Utah, covered in dead bunchgrasses, while the same exact species of grasses just outside the park boundary are all living and vigorous. I, personally, will take living and vigorous over dead and decadent any day.

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According to the authors, the rhizomatous grasses are supposedly adapted to heavy grazing pressure because they can regenerate new tillers asexually from underground rhizomes, and because they can assume a prostrate growth habit, keeping sufficient leaf area out of the range of a grazing herbivore. The bunchgrasses are not adapted to grazing because of their upright growing habit and their inability to spread asexually via rhizomes, and their reliance on sexual seed production for dispersal. If the authors’ broad-sweeping conclusion is tied to these specific plant types, then it’s immediately possible to shoot down their hypothesis by citing rampant exceptions to their argument. First, there are lots and lots of bunchgrasses (supposedly not adapted to grazing) in the Bouteloua province (where grazing is supposed to happen), and lots and lots of rhizomatous grasses (supposedly more adapted to grazing) in the Agropyron province (where grazing isn’t supposed to happen). The examples are far too numerous and ubiquitous to even begin to point out, but I’ll give a couple of glaring examples anyway. Pascopyrum smithii, or western Grazing isn’t just Grazing wheatgrass, is strongly rhizomatous and one If “Evolution in Steppe with Few, Largeof the most common grasses across the hooved Mammals,” published way back in Intermountain West, and is highly tolerant of 1982, is the definitive, be-all and end-all take continuous grazing pressure. And Bouteloua gracilis, or blue grama, the famous species on the grazing issue, then we’re in trouble. from the Bouteloua province that is so wellFirst, it is so overly simplistic and makes such adapted to continuous grazing, is an broad-reaching conclusions that its credibility, to me, is close to zero. Anyone who has spent exceedingly common species across much of any amount of time working out on the land the Southwest and northern Mexico, where knows that our western landscapes are grazing supposedly never happened at a incredibly, chaotically diverse. So to label two significant level. Elymus elymoides huge, huge swaths of country according to (bottlebrush squirreltail), Stipa comata one genus of one type of plant (that is, the (needleandthread needlegrass), Nassella Bouteloa province east of the Great Divide, viridula (green needlegrass), and Koeleria and the Agropyron province, west of the cristata (prairie junegrass) are examples of divide), as this paper does, strikes me as “grazing intolerant” bunchgrasses that are immensely unsatisfying. I’ll address that extremely common and widespread across the more below. grazing tolerant Bouteloua province. Second, the term “grazing” is never Some of the upright growing bunchgrass species in the What does the Grass Say? presented as a tool that can be used to build Intermountain West, when allowed to completely rest, up or tear down. It is referred to simply as On top of that, my experience tells me that eventually die in their centers and can be easily pulled grazing, no more and no less. So what does most upright growing bunchgrasses, as out of the ground, such as these grasses of the Festuca that mean– A hammer has no context unless genus in western Colorado dependent on well-timed opposed to being intolerant of grazing, are we know how it is being used. A hammer, of instead incredibly reliant on grazing, but defoliation. course, can be used skillfully to build a house, again, we have to define grazing. Continuous, or recklessly to tear a house down. As long time practitioners of holistic season-long grazing at high stocking rates definitely do tend to displace grazing planning have realized for years, the same applies to the tool of bunchgrasses. This has happened to greater and lesser extents all over the grazing and its associated disturbance of the soil surface. Within the variables Great Basin and the Intermountain West, as the authors correctly point out. of timing, frequency, and intensity, grazing and animal impact are tools that It happened on my family’s intermountain ranch in Colorado. Due to can be applied in an infinite range of permutations, some of which can have decades of season-long grazing at a high stocking rate, our native huge negative consequences and some amazingly positive. So if I read a bunchgrasses were nearly eliminated from our high altitude meadows and paper that does not define how grazing is being applied, my tendency is to replaced by introduced, grazing-tolerant Kentucky bluegrass and dandelions. discard it as irrelevant. “Evolution in Steppe with Few, Large-hooved There is no question this happens. Herbivores” does not define grazing, but only refers to its presence or absence. But what about the other end of the grazing spectrum? There are three And, the argument is that significant grazing pressure has historically variables of grazing that are entirely under our control. They are timing (the been a formative part of the scene east of the Rockies, in the Bouteloua time of year a plant is grazed), frequency (the length of time a plant has had province, and has occurred very sparsely in the Great Basin, or the Agropyron to recover, or regrow, since it was last grazed), and intensity (the degree of province. The Bouteloua province is dominated by rhizomatous grasses utilization). In my experience, and that of many other holistic managers in (mainly blue grama and buffalo grass) and the Agropyron by bunchgrasses the “bunchgrass” province, long recovery periods between grazing periods (of of the common wheatgrass genus. up to a year or more), variable timing (i.e. not grazing plants at the same On the other hand, if plant diversity and vigor is pathetic (but native) and exposed bare ground the predominant condition, everything is wonderful, as long as Eurasian livestock haven’t caused it. If livestock cause degradation, degraded landscapes are bad; if long-term rest and lack of disturbance cause degradation, then the same degraded landscape is good. This is what’s hard for me to understand. I see the native/non-native issue as totally academic. Plants and animals from other corners of the globe (including humans, from recent Europeans to the first immigrants from Siberia) have been making huge impacts on the North American scene for at least 10,000 years. Since European settlement, huge levels of fragmentation have also taken place. It’s not even remotely possible to expect the West to return to any idealistic virgin state. But we, as keystone elements in the current mix, can manage toward healthy ecosystem processes. Until we all agree on that, and on what actually constitutes healthy ecosystem function, it’s hard to see how we’ll get anywhere.


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In the “grazing-adapted” country east of the Rockies, poor grazing point in their life cycle in consecutive years), and variable intensity (i.e. management has many of the same negative effects as it does west of the grazing lightly to moderately most years, and heavily only occasionally) is mountains. More simplified plant communities, weakened plants, the spread totally compatible in rangelands dominated by upright growing of invasive species, bare ground, erosion, and unhealthy wildlife populations bunchgrasses. I’ll go further than that, and suggest that this type of all result. I would agree that this country is grazing-adapted, but it’s not management is not only compatible, but essential to healthy, vigorous adapted to destructive grazing patterns any more than anywhere else. bunchgrasses, and creates ecosystem processes far superior than the Mack and Thompson love cryptobiotic soil crusts. It is true that these conditions created by long term rest. In 10 years of holistically planning our grazing, and thus controlling the variables of timing, frequency, and intensity crusts have positive effects on soil fertility and stability, and it is true that the disturbance caused by grazing herbivores destroys these crusts. But what’s of grazing (and actually increasing our stocking rate in the process), native better: a diverse plant community, including nitrogen-fixing legumes, with bunchgrasses have returned to dominate our mountain meadows. prostrate, decaying litter adding carbon back into the topsoil, or a Many of the native bunchgrasses become decadent, or “overrested,” after community of sparse, decadent and dead bunchgrasses, surrounded by years of not being defoliated, and many eventually simply die. This is cryptobiotic soil crusts? From the point of view of energy flow and mineral because, over time, an overburden of dead material develops in the center of these plants, shading the growth points at their base. As new tillers emerge in cycling, biodiversity and water cycling, which is better? From the point of view of a mule deer, deer mouse, bighorn the spring, this overburden seems to inhibit sheep, elk, ground squirrel, or chipmunk, and oftentimes halt their development. These which is better? My years of experience and dead plant centers can typically be effortlessly observation tell me that, most definitely, the pulled out of the ground, as their root systems former is the winner. have all succumbed as well. Cryptobiotic soil crusts are nature’s way of In all National Parks across the covering and protecting soil when there is a Intermountain West, where bunchgrasses long term complete absence of soil surface have been protected from grazing for decades, disturbance. But, if we can create a little wellthe overwhelming majority of plants are in timed disturbance and can cycle a little this decadent, overrested condition, and there carbon (with well-managed herbivores), are essentially no seedlings. I have seen huge nature springs back to life. That’s just the way expanses of country in places like it works, and ranchers and land managers Canyonlands National Park, in eastern Utah, trained in Holistic Management have been covered in dead bunchgrasses, while the same proving this for years. exact species of grasses just outside the park boundary are all living and vigorous. I, Misperceptions and personally, will take living and vigorous over Misinformation dead and decadent any day. This consumption of plant material is not Think about the fact that about 98.5 “tissue damaging,” as the authors assert, if it percent of Americans are city or suburbanhappens when the above ground plant parts based and have no connection with the have died and the plant is essentially production of the food they consume. Only dormant. Some tissue damage does occur if 1.5 percent of the American population has grazed when the plant is green and growing, anything to do with producing food, and the but after this material has died, it eventually The tendency for many upright growing bunchgrasses to vast majority of them are immersed in some becomes a liability to the plant. And as long die from a lack of grazing and disturbance is not only a form of industrial agriculture, whether that be as those growing-season grazing events are monoculture corn, soybean, or wheat phenomenon of the Intermountain West. These plants planned to ensure full recovery from farming, confinement pork, poultry, or dairy from the Stipa (needlegrass) genus have died in their defoliation and are variable in terms of production, or finishing beef cattle in feedlots. centers and are weathering away and oxidizing, way timing, frequency, and intensity, they have no down in the highly brittle province of Santa Cruz, in All of these forms of agriculture indirectly or negative long term effects on the plants either. Argentine Patagonia. directly create massive soil erosion, huge The reproductive success of native biodiversity loss, a dead zone in the Gulf of bunchgrasses also seems to be tied to the presence of grazing, or more Mexico, massive flood events, groundwater and watercourse contamination, specifically, the animal impact associated with grazing. The hooves of and horrific animal waste handling challenges. herbivores are nature’s way of planting seed. It is almost impossible, in my What’s the one form of food production that preserves huge tracts of experience, for a perennial bunchgrass seed to germinate in the arid West if it essentially native vegetation and diverse wildlife habitat? It’s the ranching has not been planted by something. Cattle and sheep hooves are good at that. industry, specifically the cow/calf segment, which is overwhelmingly They are also good at getting any overburden of material (that has dominated by family ranches and deep cultural ties to place. With just a few accumulated since the last grazing period) onto the ground where it can tweaks, most of these ranches are very close to being not only ecologically protect the soil and do some good. This litter, once it is on the ground, also sustainable, but ecologically regenerative. Of the 1.5 percent of our improves the chances for seedling success, because it creates moist microsites population that produces food, a tiny fraction includes western lands for germination. This litter also improves the water cycle by slowing ranchers. So, this nearly miniscule segment of our population, which is evaporation from bare soil surfaces, and by diminishing and dissipating the producing food closer to a truly sound ecological model than anyone else in energy of flowing water. This gives the moisture a better chance of slowing country, and preserving possibly our last earthbound culture, gets the brunt down and soaking in, rather than running off into gullies, full of eroding of the blame for ecosystem deterioration. Doesn’t seem right, does it? soil. continued on page 12 N u m b e r 112


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The authors have several other points that don’t stand up to scrutiny. One the number and distribution of the bison herds by the time Europeans showed up. In the Plains states the picture is reasonably clear (the Indian is the statement that large bovines, with their long gestation lengths and horse culture was a huge blow to the bison herds), but (from what I’ve been spring calving dates, aren’t adapted to Intermountain bunchgrass country. able to find), the picture in the Northwest is less well-documented, but likely The argument is that these grasses, with a spring growing season spike followed a similar chain of events. Based on their heavy presence in the resulting from stored soil moisture carried over from the winter, lose most of their quality as they dry out into the summer. In the blue grama country east Snake River Plain in the early 1800s, there is no reason bison and all the other native American large herbivores couldn’t have thrived all across the of the Rockies, they argue that the typical pattern of spring and summer rest of the Great Basin and the cold steppes of the Northwest. moisture creates a longer period of availability of high quality green forage. Here’s another pro-grazing argument. John Mionczynski, a Rocky The fact is that cattle do exceptionally well in climates with cool-season Mountain bighorn sheep researcher from Atlantic City, Wyoming, postulates growing seasons, despite a fairly brief green season. These grasses are mostly that it is highly likely that bighorn sheep were a major component of the characterized by the C3 photosynthetic pathway, and even when dry and herbivore mix of pre-Columbian western North America and Mexico. But as dormant, retain an excellent level of palatability and ratio of protein to energy. The warm season active C4 grasses, which are more predominant east close relatives of the domestic sheep brought to the New World by the of the Rockies, actually contain a lower level of digestible protein and energy Spaniards, they were highly susceptible to the Old World sheep diseases, just relative to the cool season grasses, especially when dormant. Cattle always do as the Native Americans were highly susceptible to Old World human diseases. These human diseases better in country dominated by spread out ahead of European cool-season grasses than they do expansion and eradicated huge in country dominated by warmnumbers of Native Americans season grasses. before the Europeans ever came Moreover, there actually were on the scene (up to 95% by thousands of bison in various some estimates). parts of the Intermountain West It is highly likely that the that did just fine under these same fate befell the bighorn climatic and ecological sheep. Those populations that conditions. Osborne Russell kept survived held on at the tops of a journal of his trapping years geographically isolated from 1834 to 1843. He trapped mountain ranges. In the from the current area of Salt mountains in and around Lake City, Utah, up through the Yellowstone, and in the Wasatch Snake River Plain country of Range just east of Salt Lake City, Idaho, on through Jackson Hole and Yellowstone in Wyoming, Out on the shortgrass prairie of eastern Colorado, the authors claim it’s okay to have Russell describes wild sheep in quantities difficult to believe and into the Yellowstone and cows, since they’re merely replacing bison. But, poorly managed cattle can have given modern day numbers. Bighorn River country of negative impacts here as well as anyplace. It’s not the tool, but how the tool is used. present day Montana. All of this These cattle are from the famous Foundation Herd of Beefmaster cattle on the Lasater Strong evidence of former sheep area is dominated by C3 Ranch, near Matheson, Colorado. These cattle are fat and slick, and the soil is nearly hunting cultures exists all across bunchgrasses, and Russell 100% covered, even in the midst of last spring’s difficult drought. These cattle are not the Southwest and Great Basin. And, based on assemblages describes massive herds of only replacing bison, but mimicking their migratory behavior patterns as well. of large herbivore populations game, including prodigious and their associated pack hunting predators that survived into modern times numbers of bison (as well as pronghorn, elk, mule deer, and bighorn sheep) (and the careful observations of Allan Savory), we have a good idea of how all throughout it. Nature expects wild grazers to behave. As a defense mechanism against The authors argue that bluebunch wheatgrass, their signature predation, herbivores stay in gregarious, cohesive herds. As they graze and bunchgrass species of the Intermountain West, is absolutely maladapted to trample, the landscape is fouled by their dung and urine, and they grazing. Well, the country that Russell traveled through is absolutely full of bluebunch wheatgrass. It’s definitely true that bluebunch wheatgrass is easily continuously move on to fresh pasture. Long migrations are the norm, especially in low-production steppe country, and these migrations are never displaced by heavy continuous grazing, but under carefully managed the same from one year to the next. In terms of the three variables of timing, grazing, ranchers across the northwest have proved that it can thrive. frequency, and intensity, grazing pressure in a natural context is never static When the Europeans arrived in much of the Intermountain and Great or predictable. By the time the herds return to graze again, plants have Basin area, it’s true that large numbers of native herbivores were scarce. But that doesn’t mean they found the landscape in a naturally functioning state. typically had ample opportunity for recovery. Through the holistic grazing planning procedure we can mimic these Since the early 1700s, the Native Americans were in a state of major cultural transition as they integrated the horse into their economies. The Nez Perce of chaotic natural grazing patterns with our domestic herbivores, create highly effective ecosystem processes, and preserve our ranching heritage in the the northwest were superb horsemen, with massive herds of equines, as were process. We can do this, and we are doing this. From my perspective, this the Snake, Flathead, Blackfoot, etc. The presence of these huge herds of argument needs to be put to bed. The West is blessed with a rich natural and horses kept by the Indians, in addition to millions of escaped horses, represented a very significant grazing presence. We really don’t know how the cultural history. For the sake of our land, let’s carry that legacy into the future, put down our defenses, and work together.. presence of the horse, and the evolving horse hunting culture, had affected 12

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Returning the Land to Productivity–

Kriegerskraal by Ann Adams


renly Spence is a fourth generation farmer, the third on their farm, Kriegerskraal, which his grandfather, Trenly, began farming in 1918. He farmed for 38 years with Angora goats, Merino and Persian sheep, and horses for carting, stocking the farm at about 1 SAU/7.5 acres (1 LSU/3 ha). Trenly’s father started farming in 1956, with Angoras and Merinos at a stocking rate of approximately 1 SAU/20 acres (1 LSU/8 ha). By the time Trenly assumed management in 1991, the vegetation had deteriorated to the point that the stocking rate was 1 SAU/70 acres (1 LSU/28 ha)–an almost 1000 percent decrease in land productivity in 70 years. But with Holistic Management, Trenly was able in 10 years to return the land productivity back to the level his father had experienced in the ’50s.

something didn’t change. The first place to start was his management. He started looking around, going to farmer days, information days, reading–anything to help him better manage the land. After about two years, he identified 10 of the most successful farmers in his district based on his criteria of success–they seemed to be financially secure, their livestock looked good, and their vegetation was better than most properties. The common denominator was that they were all practicing some form of Holistic Management. So in 1994, Trenly read the book Holistic Resource Management by Allan Savory. It all made sense to him and seemed to be commonsense, so he started implementing some of the principles. Then in 1996, he took the plunge, got married to his wife, Wilmari, and took the first Holistic A Battle for Survival Management Training Module with Kriegerskraal is 8,250 acres (3,300 Dick and Judy Richardson in Graaffha) in size, divided into 87 paddocks Reinet, Eastern Cape. and situated 17 miles (28 km) west of Trenly’s wife, Wilmari, has a Graaff-Reinet in the Camdeboo Valley Business Communication degree, so she of South Africa. The average rainfall is began helping with the financial and 13 inches (325 mm) a year with very marketing aspects of the business hot summers and cold winters. The including bookkeeping, financial vegetation consists of mixed sweet statements, taxes, website, ads, Karoo veld at an elevation of 700 to pamphlets, business cards and other 1,500 feet (210-450 m). In the past 30 marketing duties. The Spences years, the rainfall has increased from currently have an average staff of five the historical trend of 13 inches (325 men with their families living on the mm) to 14.5 inches (360 mm). farm. During shearing of the Angoras Trenly returned to the farm at a very they employ an additional 20 people young age in 1988 due to his father’s twice yearly for three weeks. The Spence Family: Trenly, Wilmari, Caitrin, and Caerwyn health. This was a very difficult The official carrying capacity of the decision at the time, as he was studying Horticulture. But, it was a decision farm is 1 SAU/35 acres (1LSU/14 ha). Presently, they are at 1 SAU/20 acres he has never regretted because for him the quality of life is so much better (1LSU/8 ha), a 350% increase in stocking rate since he first took over the on a farm than in a city–no smog, traffic jams or queues, and his farm. For the past two years they have been hiring an additional farm of children have space to play. When his father passed away in November 9,500 acres (3,800 ha) with approximately 36 paddocks, thereby more 1991, the farm was on the verge of bankruptcy due to a combination of than doubling the size of their operation. They now run approximately factors–one of the worst droughts in memory, low commodity prices, stock 2,000 Angora wethers for their mohair, 1,500 Dorper ewes (a South African theft, and his father’s health. At that stage it was a battle for survival. mutton breed) for lamb production, and 150 Nguni cows (indigenous With the inherited stocking rate of 1 SAU/70 acres (1 LSU/28 ha), it cattle) for beef. They also own an abattoir in their local town to add value was virtually impossible to survive. Trenly obviously had to do something, to their product and to supply a service to local butchers. so he looked at things that could generate an income almost immediately. In 1996, when Trenly took the course with Dick, the farm’s income He planted approximately 75 acres (30 ha) of Lucerne as a cash crop and consisted of 50 percent Lucerne, 20 percent hunting, 20 percent mohair started hunting game in winter. This was a short-term solution, but it gave and 10 percent mutton/beef. him time to improve the farm. This has changed to 10 percent Lucerne, 3 percent hunting, 30 percent mohair and 57 percent mutton/beef. This shift in production makes the Looking for Role Models Spences less vulnerable in droughts. Trenly has never had to feed his In 1993, Trenly started looking for an answer to veld (pasture) animals even in a drought, making the Spences more financially secure, management because he believed that one can do better on good pastures which is part of their holisticgoal. with average animals than with good animals on poor grazing. One of Rising to the Challenge Trenly’s well-educated friends made the comment, “It is frightening that after every drought, the clay pans get bigger.” This comment made Trenly It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. One of the first steps Trenly took after realize that the present course meant all the veld would become a desert if continued on page 14 N u m b e r 112


Land & Livestock


Returning the Land to Productivity his Holistic Management training was combining some of the flocks on the farm. This led to problems with the infrastructure not being able to cope. Water supply in that area is a major problem-they do not have enough wind for windmills, there are no natural springs, and distances are long. They solved the problem by laying approximately 18 miles (30 km) of 11/4-inch (32-mm) pipeline and pumping the water from the homestead. He also installed two solar pumps, each capable of delivering 3,900 gallons/day (15,000 liters/day) and built 90 miles (150 km) of electrical fencing with 13 centers and improved the accessibility of the farm by building an additional 12 miles (20 km) of roads in the mountains. He had the theory that he first had to learn how to make money on the farm before borrowing any. So all the work was done as cash became available, which took him about seven years. Initially Trenly’s stock did not adapt well to the higher densities. Conception rate, weight of carcasses, and fiber These two production decreased photos are when he combined the taken of stock into one flerd with the same only 11 paddocks monitoring available. Conception transect on rate dropped to approximately 60 percent Kriegerskraal, from his previous 80 in November percent. Previously, his 1993 (above) lambs were ready for and ending market at six months, April 1999. but with the change in (right) You herd management they can see the weren’t ready until they transformation were nine months old, of the land and the mohair from much decreased by about 20 bare ground percent. Financially it and brush was a disaster, but they survived and the pastures encroachment benefited. The Spences to a landscape also began selecting dominated by animals that could cope grasses. better with the densities, and they changed from an Angora ewe operation to an Angora wether operation. The animals also began to adapt to the changes with the small stock starting to drink water early in the morning before the cattle and all 14

Land & Livestock


March / April 2 0 07

continued from page thirteen the livestock realizing that new paddock moves meant there was no time for dainty nibbles. “They all learned eat or be left behind,” says Trenly. But Trenly also realized he had expected a lot out of the animals and there was a need for balance. Trenly notes, “A very wise neighbor, Norman Kroon, said to me one day, “Trenly, remember you must be on your farm to be a good Holistic Manager.’ I came back to commonsense and realized I had to respond to what was happening on my farm. The first thing I did was to divide the flock into two–a dry flock and one lambing flock. Things then went much better. As recently as 18 month ago, I went one step further and created a third flock consisting of young animals.” With more of a balanced approach to improvement rate for land and infrastructure, production improved enormously. The conception of the Dorpers is now between 93-97 percent. Trenly mates his maiden ewes at six months of age to start lambing at 11 months. The ewes are scanned after mating with only the maiden ewes getting a second chance. All mature ewes that do not conceive are immediately sold. And, a year ago the Spences’ Nguni stud was just under the 10 most fertile Nguni studs of 50 + cows in the country with a conception rate of 90 percent. “That is all achieved with no licks, no supplementation, no hormonal treatment, just good old nature,” says Trenly. “The heifers now calve at 28 months, down from 36 months. I now achieve 88 lbs (40 kg) at fourmonth weaning for the lambs. With the cattle the weights have stayed the same, but as the pastures have improved, I have increased their numbers. I don’t think the transition is over yet. We do not actually know what the pastures are capable of producing, only time will tell, but the

a year. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm has waned after 10 years perhaps due to the fact that farming is doing very well in South Africa at this stage. “Most human beings are unsure when they do something so different from the norm, so the moral support we gave each other helped a great deal. It was also comforting to have a sounding board for all the new radical ideas. Initially there were many practical problems to solve with our bigger flerds and all the infrastructure development. We also formed buying groups for bargaining power and, therefore, better prices. I personally would often phone a member of our club who was achieving Into the Future better results in something specific than I for advice. We would compare Initially when Trenly production figures to started, there were many In these two see if we were still on negative comments from the photos you can track.” more conservative members see the transChanges on the of the community about formation land have also been what the Spences were of a riparian encouraging. The trying. Luckily, most of the area in just Spences now have Spences’ direct neighbors are two years seedlings of trees holistic managers, and their with proper such as Shepherds district probably has the livestock tree, Karee, Wild highest number of management. plum, Wild olive, practitioners in South and Spekboom that Africa–28 within a 60-mile (100-km) radius. had not survived Trenly notes: “Action, of course, speaks louder under traditional than words. As our farm improved, the management negative comments decreased. We also have a practices. Climax management club that gets together six times grasses such as Blue Buffalo grass, Finger grass, Guinea grass, Common Bristle grass, Bushveld Dropseed, and Rooigras have started re-appearing, thus allowing the Spences to run cattle again on land that in 1991 could support no cattle. They also have records of the indigenous Low Stress Livestock Handling people having farmed with ® Taught by Guy Glosson, Holistic Management Certified Educator great numbers of cattle in and Low Stress Livestock Handling Trainer from the USA. this area about 250 years ago so they are aware of the A tour of Southern Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe land’s productivity Ian Mitchell-Innes in Kwazulu-Natal, SA capability. Trenly noted, De Wet Coetzee in the Free State, SA “The thing I am most Dick Richardson in the North West Province, SA proud of is the fact that we Wayne Knight in Limpopo Province, SA are healing the scars of Dimbangombe Ranch, Zimbabwe nature due to my ancestors’ mismanagement.” To learn more about this event and register contact: Ian Mitchell-Innes at: or 27-36-421-1747 Trenly Spence can be Dick Richardson at: or 27-53-927-4367 reached at: 049-8917009 / Wiebke Volkmann at: or 264-67-234-557 082 898 4960 or

initial transition probably took about three years. “From 1994, when I read Holistic Management to around 2006, the gross income of the business went up 3233%, excluding the abattoirs income. I don’t like telling non-Holistic Management farmers these figures, as they think it is a quick fix to their financial problems. But I do tell them the money I spent on taking the course with Dick was definitely money very well spent.”

MAY 13-27, 2007

Holistic Management in Southern Africa


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Land & Livestock


T he news from holistic management international

Staff Changes


fter almost 14 years of dedicated service and major contributions, Kelly White will be leaving HMI. As most of you know, Kelly has been a mainstay at HMI–serving as a project liaison, designing and overseeing various educational programs, teaching, helping shape curriculum and working to develop and maintain good relations with educators, practitioners and Holistic Management supporters alike. Her departure is based on her desire to pursue creative interests, engage more fully with her spiritual practices, spend more time farming on her land, and devote herself to family. We are grateful for Kelly’s years of service and wish her the best in her new pursuits.


h people, programs & projects

MI is pleased to introduce our new Director of Learning Sites, Craig Leggett. Craig will oversee management and research on HMI’s two learning sites, Dimbangombe Ranch in Zimbabwe and The David West Station for Holistic Management in Ozona, Texas. As part of his duties, he will also be gathering data and documentation from HMI’s partnered learning sites Craig Leggett throughout the world, particularly in Australia, Southern Africa, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Craig was promoted from his recent contract with HMI as the Project Lead for HMI’s World Vision/Kenya project, working with the Maasai in

the Loodariak Region of Kenya. In 2002 Craig was originally hired as HMI’s Project Manager and was responsible for the day-to-day details of the special projects that HMI had under contract including the management and planning of two Bernalillo County Open Space properties in the Albuquerque area, a Holistic Management demonstration project on the Navajo Reservation for the Rio Puerco watershed restoration initiative in New Mexico, and development of conservation plans for Rural Legacy Foundation clients. Craig also managed projects such at the phytoremediation project on the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona and the La Semilla Project at Mesa del Sol south of Albuquerque.


elly Bee is our new accountant. Having decided on a career change, she has spent the last two years completing coursework, studying for the CPA exam, and working in the accounting field. Prior to that, Kelly spent several years working for a not-for-profit organization, Jewish Family Kelly Bee

Expanding Certified Educator Training in Africa


ver the last two years, there has been a growing interest in how Holistic Management can enhance the sustainable community development efforts of international NGOs working in Africa such as World Vision, Heifer International and Africa Wildlife Foundation. These organizations see the potential of Holistic Management helping them in their work with pastoral communities, small-holder agriculturalists, working with wildlife-livestock interface, and how Holistic Management can be used to develop a sustainable exit strategy when development organizations and donors move out of communities. Building on awareness raising and practitioner sessions held in Kenya and Zimbabwe, the first intensive of HMI’s 2006 International Certified Educator Training Program (CETP) was held at the Subiaco Mission Centre in Karen, Kenya in late October. The CETP brought together 19 CE trainees representing international NGOs, national wildlife trusts, community based organizations, community and farmer leaders, and government extension Edwardwith Jackson Leggett facilitated the first session and are under contract from Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Constance Neely and Craig Daniela Lambrechts, and Wiebke Volkmann are program mentors. HMI as liaisons for that program. Amanda Atwood, Richard Hatfield, JozuaIbarra-Howell HMI extends its thanks to champions and colleagues in World Vision and Heifer International who have taken the lead in making it possible to have Certified Educators within their organizations and the communities they serve. We are pleased to have such a committed group of awesome trainers who will combine their rich experience and expertise with Holistic Management learning and apply it at home and at the farm, community, and organizational levels to enhance decision making towards increased food security, wealth generation and regeneration of the natural resource base and biological diversity in African landscapes. The 19 participants of the Kenya-CE program include Bho Mudyahoto and Leonard Maposa sponsored by Heifer International-Zimbabwe; Gilbert Mushangari, Francis Dube, Denford Chimboza, Parsipamire Manzonzo, and Sylus Tapfuma from the Chivi Community and sponsored by World VisionZimbabwe; George Oguna and Richard Tankille staff and sponsored by World Vision-Kenya, Esther Parsitau, Emmanuel Sapur, Sammy Oleku, Philip Lentek from the Loodoriak Community Project and also sponsored by World Vision-Kenya, Belinda Low sponsored by the Grevy Zebra TrustKenya; Richard Hatfield with Africa Wildlife Foundation-Kenya and Usiel Kandjii from Namibia; and three members of the Africa Centre for Holistic Management learning site staff–Sunny Moyo, John Nyilika and Grasian Mkodzongi. Constance Neely (Rome, Italy) and Craig Leggett (Colorado, USA) organized and facilitated the seven-day training.




March/ April 2 0 07

Service, as Director of the Refugee Resettlement Program, assisting numerous families worldwide who were fleeing religious persecution in their native countries resettle and start a new life in Albuquerque. As Director, Kelly managed all socialization and acculturation services for client families including education, employment, and various social service programs. Previously Kelly has also worked as a project manager for a nationwide entertainment retail organization where most of her work focused on implementing new stores and new programs as well as administrative and technical support for a chain of 130+ stores. Kelly says she is very excited to find herself on board here at HMI where she feels she is able to work in her chosen profession and give back to the community through the work HMI does.


n other staff changes, Peter Holter is now Chief Operating Office for HMI, moving from his position of Senior Director of Marketing and Product Development.

Before joining HMI, Peter had been a management consultant to non-profit organizations in New Mexico and California, advising them on issues surrounding strategic planning and social entrepreneurship. He also had accumulated three decades of experience in the private sector, including stints as founder/CEO, president and COO for three different companies based in California and the Pacific Northwest. Ann Adams is now Director of Educational Products and Outreach. She has worked with HMI for 8 years as Managing Editor of HMI’s bimonthly publication, IN PRACTICE, and as Director of Publications. She is the author of At Home with Holistic Management and is a Holistic Management® Certified Educator and mediator. Ann received her PhD in American Literature from Indiana University and her BSEd in English Education from Ohio University. Donna Torrez has also been promoted to Customer Service Manager. Donna has played a critical role in nurturing the current growth and strategic development of Holistic Management

International. As the first contact point with the HMI community, including our Certified Educators and practitioners, Donna has worked in a service capacity on many of the programs and initiatives. In addition to meeting the needs of HMI colleagues and collaborators, Donna has been the personable and efficient front in HMI’s public relations.

Mexican New Certified Educators


MI would like to introduce its new Certified Educators Silverio Rojas Villegas, Miguel Aguirre Camacho, and Arturo Mora Benitez from Guanajuato, Mexico; Alejandro Miranda Sanchez from Coyoacan; Adrian Vega Lopez from Mexico City; Jorge Efrain Morales Martinez from Michoacan; and Jose Angel Montano Morales from the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. A very special and final thanks to those who served as staff for the Mexico 2003 CETP, Jose Ramon “Moncho” Villar, Dr. Manuel Casas, Elco Blanco, and Jim and Daniela Howell.

Book Review

by Rob Rutherford

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan


ichael Pollan’s latest book is a result of his earlier writing and continuing observations about the food web that surrounds and includes him. He manages to extrapolate threads from previous manuscripts in an attempt to grasp the significance of a simple but potentially most important question. As omnivores, we can eat many things, but, as members of a civilization with sustainability as a concern, the question becomes what should we eat. In order to sort out that question, he attempted to capture all the ramifications of three different basic food production approaches–industrial, organic, and hunter/gatherer. In the process of exploration, he became aware that there are some significant differences between the culture of organic farming as practiced by relatively large organizations as compared with the quaint view of small scale growers of polycultures catering to a relatively local marketplace. Therefore, he notes, there are actually four, rather than three, systems. I have always enjoyed Michael Pollan’s writing style as he captures the essence of the ecosystem in his writing of things and processes. One can expect to see a little different view into a familiar place with his collection of analogies and expressions. In this book, he tends to take some

subtopics into greater depth than others and, in my opinion, lost my attention in the process. From the prospective of Holistic Management, the book has its strengths and weaknesses. His ability to weave the impact of a monoculture like corn into the downstream impacts on the ecosystem, economy, and society is remarkable. Most of us fail to comprehend the extent to which this plant is creating the society we’ve become. Many examples in the book can be used to illustrate the power of community dynamics–and, therefore, the resultant impacts on the other ecosystem processes. Because of the nature of the book, it is very convenient to really understand the link between a functional ecosystem, a functional economy, and healthy, balanced human populations. His work supports the contentions of Jared Diamond that civilization will only be sustained with healthy soils and viable, local agriculture. Pollan makes no pretense about the fact that his sample sites were very limited. However, one problem this created for me was that the leading example of organic farming is Polyface Farm, a business that I and many admire. However, Polyface Farm is operating in an area that I would guess is tending toward the non-brittle end of the scale and does not proclaim to be organic. The reader is left with the opinion that this model

could be transplanted anywhere and it would work the same way and, therefore, other organic growers might be unfairly judged for their approaches. This book is a good read. It is written in a way that a broad scope of the population can be sensitized to the critical need to change our decision making in order to move towards a sustainable future. Pollan has the ability to introduce a broad audience to the basic tenets of Holistic Management without the jargon. Even after his admittance of reading Peter Singer’s work, and expressing sympathy for those viewpoints, he comes to the conclusion that a healthy ecosystem and, therefore, social and economic system will only occur if we utilize non-human animals as part of the human food web. His recognition of the down side of the industrial production of meat–in every aspect from the feed production and processing to the incredibly long supply lines and all the other economic and social interaction in between–is offset by his revelation of the importance of local bio-dynamically produced meat for human consumption. My sense is that Holistic Management practitioners will find this a supportive and encouraging book. It is certainly a book that could stimulate readers to learn more about Holistic Management, and Pollan’s message about the power of our food choices is certainly important. N u m b e r 112





To our knowledge, Certified Educators are the best qualified individuals to help others learn to practice Holistic Management and to provide them with technical assistance when necessary. On a yearly basis, Certified Educators renew their agreement to be affiliated with HMI. This agreement requires their commitment to practice Holistic Management in their own lives, to seek out opportunities for staying current with the latest developments in Holistic Management and to maintain a high standard of ethical conduct in their work. For more information about or application forms for the U.S. or Africa Certified Educator Training Programs, contact Ann Adams or visit our website at: * These educators provide Holistic Management instruction on behalf of the institutions they represent. UNITED STATES CALIFORNIA Bill Burrows 12250 Colyer Springs Road, Red Bluff, CA 96080 530/529-1535 • 530/200-2419 (c) Richard King 1675 Adobe Rd., Petaluma, CA 94954 707/769-1490•707/794-8692(w)• Christopher Peck 6364 Starr Rd., Windsor, CA 95492 707/758-0171 • * Rob Rutherford CA Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 805/756-1475 • COLORADO Joel Benson P.O. Box 4924, Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-6119 • Cindy Dvergsten 17702 County Rd. 23, Dolores, CO 81323 970/882-4222 • Daniela and Jim Howell P.O. Box 67, Cimarron, CO 81220-0067 970/249-0353 • Craig Leggett 2078 County Rd. 234, Durango, CO 81301 970/259-8998 • Byron Shelton 33900 Surrey Lane, Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-8157 • Tom Walther P.O. Box 1158, Longmont, CO 80502-1158 510/499-7479 • GEORGIA Constance Neely 1160 Twelve Oaks Circle, Watkinsville, GA 30677 706/310-0678 • 39-348-210-6214 (Italy) IOWA * Margaret Smith Iowa State University, CES Sustainable Agriculture 972 110th St., Hampton, IA 50441-7578 515/294-0887 • LOUISIANA Tina Pilione P.O. 923, Eunice, LA 70535 phone: 337/580-0068 • MAINE Vivianne Holmes 239 E. Buckfield Rd., Buckfield, ME 04220-4209 207/336-2484 •




Tobey Williamson 52 Center Street, Portland, ME 04553 207/774-2458 x115 • MICHIGAN Ben Bartlett N4632 ET Road, Chatham, MI 49891 906/439-5210 (h) 906/439-5880 (w) • Larry Dyer 13434 E. Baseline Rd., Hickory Corners, MI 49060-9513 269/671-4653 •

Kelly White No. 4 El Nido Amado SW, Albuquerque, NM 87121-7300 505/873-1324 (h) • 505/379-1866 (c) NEW YORK Erica Frenay 454 Old 76 Road, Brooktondale, NY 14817 607/539-3246 (h) 607/279-7978 (c) Phil Metzger 99 N. Broad St., Norwich, NY 13815 607/334-3231 x4 (w); 607/334-2407 (h) John Thurgood 44 West St. Ste 1, Walton, NY 13856 607/432-8714 • NORTH DAKOTA * Wayne Berry Williston State College P.O. Box 1326, Williston, ND 58802 701/774-4277 • PENNSYLVANIA Jim Weaver 428 Copp Hollow Rd., Wellsboro, PA 16901-8976 570/724-7788 •



Gretchen Blank 4625 Cottonwood Lane N, Plymouth, MN 55442-2902 512/670-9606 •

Christina Allday-Bondy 2703 Grennock Dr., Austin, TX 78745 512/441-2019 • Guy Glosson 6717 Hwy 380, Snyder, TX 79549 806/237-2554 • Peggy Maddox P.O. Box 694, Ozona, TX 76943-0694 325/392-2292 • Peggy Sechrist 106 Thunderbird Rd., Fredericksburg, TX 78624 830/990-2529 • Elizabeth Williams 4106 Avenue B, Austin, TX 78751-4220 512/323-2858 •

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


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

Craig Madsen P.O. Box 148, Edwall, WA 99008 509/236-2451 Sandra Matheson 228 E. Smith Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226 360/398-7866 • Doug Warnock 151 Cedar Cove Rd., Ellensburg, WA 98926 509/925-9127 •



* Ann Adams Holistic Management International 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 505/842-5252 • Kirk Gadzia P.O. Box 1100, Bernalillo, NM 87004 505/867-4685 • fax: 505/867-9952 David Trew 369 Montezuma Ave. #243, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505/751-0471 • Vicki Turpen 03 El Nido Amado SW, Albuquerque, NM 87121 505/873-0473 •

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

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

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WISCONSIN Heather Flashinski 16294 250th St., Cadott, WI 54727 715/289-4896 • Andy Hager W. 3597 Pine Ave., Stetsonville, WI 54480-9559 715/678-2465 • * Laura Paine Wisconsin DATCP N893 Kranz Rd., Columbus, WI 53925 608/224-5120 (w); 920/623-4407 (h)

INTERNATIONAL AUSTRALIA Judi Earl 73 Harding E, Guyra, NSW 2365 61-2-6779-2286

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

MEXICO Mark Gardner P.O. Box 1395, Dubbo, NSW 2830 61-2-6884-4401 Paul Griffiths P.O. Box 3045, North Turramura, NSW 2074, Sydney, NSW 61-2-9144-3975 George Gundry Willeroo, Tarago, NSW 2580 61-2-4844-6223 Graeme Hand 150 Caroona Lane, Branxholme, VIC 3302 61-3-5578-6272 (h); 61-4-0996-4466 (c) Helen Lewis P.O. Box 1263, Warwick, QLD 4370 61-7-46617393 61-7-46670835 Brian Marshall P.O. Box 300, Guyra NSW 2365 61-2-6779-1927 fax: 61-2-6779-1947 Jason Virtue Mary River Park 1588 Bruce Highway South, Gympie, QLD 4570 61-7-5483-5155

Arturo Mora Benitez San Juan Bosco 169, Fracc., La Misión Celaya, Guanajuato 38016 52-461-615-7632 Elco Blanco-Madrid Hacienda de la Luz 1803 Fracc. Haciendas del Valle II, Chihuahua Chih., 31238 52-614-423-4413 (h) 52-614-107-8960 (c) Miguel Aguirre Camacho SAGARPA Delegación Estatal en Tlaxcala Libramiento Poniente Número 2 Colonia Unitlax, San Diego Metepec Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala 90110 52-246-465-0700 Adrian Vega Lopez Calle Norte 80 #5913 Col. Gertrudis Sanchez, 2a. Sección Delegación Gustavo A. Madero, México, D.F. 07890 Jorge Efrain Morales Martinez Calle Primero de Mayo #578-A Col. Centro Histórico, Morelia, Michoacán, 58000 52-443-317-4389 Jose Angel Montaño Morales Calle Samuel Arias #111 Fraccionamiento Forjadores de Pachuca Mineral de la Reforma, Hidalgo 42083 Alejandro Miranda Sanchez Calle Cerro Macuiltepec No 23 Col. Campestre Churubusco, Delegación Coyoacán México, D.F. 04200

Bruce Ward P.O. Box 103, Milsons Pt., NSW 1565 61-2-9929-5568 fax: 61-2-9929-5569

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

Brian Wehlburg c/o “Sunnyholt”, Injune, QLD 4454 61-7-4626-7187

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

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

Colin Nott P.O. Box 11977, Windhoek 264-61-225085

Wiebke Volkmann P.O. Box 182, Otavi 264-67-234-557 or 264-81-127-0081 NEW ZEALAND John King P.O. Box 12011, Beckenham, Christchurch 8242 64-3-338-5506

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

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

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

ZIMBABWE Amanda Atwood 27 Rowland Square, Milton Park, Harare 263-23-233-760

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From the Ground Up: Practical Solutions to Complex Problems

November 1-4,2007 Keynotes: Joel Salatin, Temple Grandin, Thom Hartmann, and Allan Savory

Roundtable Discussions

Special Sessions

• Animals in White Hats: Using Livestock as Reclamation Tools • Community Development: From the Ground Up • Is It Me or Is It Getting Warm: Addressing Global Climate Change • Fire Proofing the West • Deserts, Rainforests, & Cities: Water Resource Issues • Creating a New Mexico Sustainable Food System

• Integrating Crops with Livestock • Estate Planning: Preparing for the Next Generation • A Holistic Approach to Conservation Easements • Taking it to the Next Level: Complex Grazing Planning • Maximizing Pasture and Animal Productivity: MultiSpecies Grazing • Developing Your Farm to Pay a White-Collar Wage • Sustainable Genetics: Working with Nature • Animal Behavior: Paying Attention to Your Most Valuable Employees • Family Enterprises: Creating a Legacy • Management Clubs: Keeping the Momentum Going • Animal Nutrition: Where the Rumen Counts • Healthy Profits: Effective Small Business Planning • Making the Switch: Conventional to Grass-based Dairies • Profits from the Public: Ecotourism and NicheMarketing Opportunities • Pulling Together: Getting Results as a Team • From Soil to Animal Health • Diversifying Your Income Stream

General Interest Sessions • Learning to Read the Land • Value-based Finances for the Conscious Consumer • Bringing Kids to the Land • Land Chi: Why Effective Land Management is Important for Everyone • Designing as If the Planet Mattered: HM & Permaculture • A Living Soil: Why We Want to be Outnumbered • Holistic Management: 10 Principles for Creating a Healthy Environment

Certified Educator Track Kid’s Program/Kid’s Corner Sunday Forum

Registration begins in April • Contact HMI for more information or visit our website at:

2007 COURSE OFFERINGS Special Package Courses available in March – take these combined courses & save!

MARCH Assessing Land Health & Production for Profit


Holistic Biological Monitoring

March 19-20, 2007 Circle Ranch, Van Horn, Texas* $450

Increasing Pasture & Animal Production

Whole Farm Planning

Holistic Management On The Land Package

Holistic Grazing Planning

March 21-22, 2007 Circle Ranch, Van Horn, Texas* $450

Creating the Farm of Your Dreams Holistic Facility/Land Planning

March 23-24, 2007 Circle Ranch, Van Horn, Texas* $450

Take the Biological Monitoring and Grazing Planning and Land Planning courses and save! March 19-24, 2007 Circle Ranch, Van Horn, Texas* Only $1,215 (a $135 savings)

Introduction to Holistic Management**

October 30-November 1, 2007 Albuquerque, New Mexico $450

Creating Healthy Profits Holistic Financial Planning

October 30-November 1, 2007 Albuquerque, New Mexico $450

Increasing Pasture & Animal Production Holistic Grazing Planning

October 30-November 1, 2007

To learn more about these courses or to book your spot: Call 505/842-5252 or Register online at:! 20



March/ April 2 0 07

Albuquerque, New Mexico $450 * Room & board at the ranch is $100 a day in addition to tuition. ** It is recommended that you take Introduction to Holistic Management prior to enrolling in other courses.

Setting A New Standard! “The Pioneers” We have over 60 years of experience in manufacturing, supply and installation of the worlds best fencing technology. Twin Mountain Fence Co. has developed a range of products which sets a new standard for the north American farmer.

“Customer Focused” We spent the last 60 years learning what our farmers want - Not what some manufacturer on the other side of the world says you need. Our R & D policies focus completely on your requirements.

“Leading Edge Technology” Our focus is to bring you the best technology for the job you have at a price you are willing to pay. Nationwide Distribution for all your fencing needs! * High Tensile Wire * Insulators * Temporary Fence * Wire Strainers * Polywire/Polytape * Fiberglass Posts * Accessories


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

800 527-0990 N u m b e r 112





Kirk Gadzia Certified Educator

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

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



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

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

Fax: 505/867-9952



Once liming, N-P-K and sulfur have been considered in terms of fertility, many producers raising pasture and hay would stop there. Some would stop even sooner thinking it just costs more than it could possibly benefit on grasses and legumes. All these nutrients are necessary and could be the most limiting for growth of the present crop. But it is a big mistake to discard micronutrients, or trace elements, as unimportant and unnecessary in order to grow the best grass. One of our best clients in Australia raises grassfed beef on 4,000 acres. After testing his land, he insisted there was no way he could afford even the lime, let alone everything else shown to be needed by the tests.That was 1994. Ultimately, he decided to take several paddocks and do what his budget would allow. After four years, he was saying the results were so positive that he could not afford to ignore the fertility program. From his success over the last eleven years, he said we should tell new clients to apply adequate amounts of major and secondary elements, including the trace elements, in the first year on whatever acreage you can afford.Then on the rest, just go as far as the fertilizer budget will allow until the program has proven out right there on the property. But why would this client from Australia urge us to do this? First he would tell you that his grass has gone from a multi-colored mix of green, yellow, purple, red violet and brown to a verdant green - from fence to fence. On my last visit there he still had one paddock of 160 acres that had not been corrected with these colors still showing in the grass.The gentle temperament of his 1000+ lb. Hereford steers with their bright eyes gleaming and shiny hair coats glistening in the sun seemed more like that of feisty young calves. Before beginning the program it took 15 months to put on the needed 600 pounds of meat per steer which the buyer expected. After the first six years, it was down to 12 months for the same amount of weight gain. But as we talked about this kind of success the cattleman revealed that this was not the greatest benefit now being realized.The steers were sold on dress-out percentage, and in the beginning that was 57%. Over that same period it had increased to 59%, which most would not believe possible for grassfed Hereford steers.This 2% netted him an extra $31,500 that year. And though we were recommending the use of trace elements that were limiting on the land, they were still not “in the budget.” With profits up, the micronutrients shown to be needed were purchased and applied. Last year he reported, “It took less than 10 months to put on the 600 lbs. per steer and that with a 61% dress-out average.” Time and again cattlemen will say that their fertilizer dealer has discouraged For consulting or educational services contact: them from the use of trace elements for grass production. And so will I - unless the soil tests show they are needed for that soil! If that is truly the case and you have the money, don’t let anyone talk you out of using them! 297 County Highway 357, Charleston, Missouri 63834

Kinsey’s Agricultural Services Phone: 573-683-3880; Fax: 573-683-6227 Email:

Or visit our website! 22


March/ April 2 0 07

Credit card orders (Visa, MC):KAS Sales, 800-621-2738 or Fax: 573-683-6227

THE MARKETPLACE Start Using Holistic Management Today!

Handmade Products from HMI Project Sites

Join Our Distance Learning Program Stay At Home - All You Need Is A Phone

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

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

Phone orders call


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Harvesting the Deserts of the World

Can’t find help when you need to doctor sick Livestock? Have you lost Livestock because you were unable to medicate or catch them?

Since 1957 we have been in the business of helping with these problems.

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N u m b e r 112





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

_ A bimonthly journal for Holistic Management practitioners

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

Subscribe for 1 year for only $30/U.S. ($35/International) 2 years ($55/U.S.; $65/International) 3 years ($80/U.S.; $90/International)

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

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

Planning and Monitoring Guides

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

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

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

_Aide Memoire for Grazing Planning

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

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

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

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

Books & Multimedia

_Early Warning Biological Monitoring—Rangelands and Grasslands

Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision-Making,

_ Second Edition, by Allan Savory with Jody Butterfield. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30 _ Hardcover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $55 _ 15-set CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $99 _ One month rental of CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35 _ Spanish Version (soft) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 _ Holistic Management Handbook, by Butterfield, Bingham, Savory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 _ At Home With Holistic Management, by Ann Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20 _ Holistic Management: A New Environmental Intelligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10 _ Improving Whole Farm Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10 _ Video: Creating a Sustainable Civilization—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#112, In Practice, March/April 2007