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healthy land. sustainable future. MAY / JUNE 2008 January / February 2006



Number 105

Made to Stick—


How to Influence an Oil Company


by Don Schreiber


icture the cartoon with that guy in the monk’s robe, scraggly beard, and a sign that reads, “The End Is Near.” But instead of just standing on a busy corner, he’s roaming the halls of a land use conference aggressively button-holing unsuspecting people and explaining, in detail, exactly why the End is indeed so Near. I am that guy. Or, at least I was. At that conference, I was giving everyone my dense, uninspiring, and negative land use lecture to help them all understand why the end was near. But when I buttonholed a certain person named Ann Adams, she said, “Boy, you really need to go buy a book called Made to Stick and read it. Now.” How’s that for a direct message? Sensitive guy like me, I could have had my feelings hurt. Hey, it took a lot of work to make that dense and

uninspiring, negative lecture. But I knew she was right. Partly because my wife Jane kept tugging at my sleeve and whispering loudly, “You are informing people against their will!” and partly because a sensitive guy like me can just tell.

The Curse of Knowledge

Ann’s uppercut to the jaw of my harangue could not have come at a better time. I was trying to defend our little family ranch in Northwest New Mexico from aggressive new oil and gas drilling on top of 50 years of unplanned oil and gas development. I desperately needed to get the immediate attention of anyone I thought could help us, most especially, the attention of the oil company. So I had compiled as many salient facts as I could into a 100+ page notebook and was passionately disgorging this material to anyone I thought might advance our cause. Ever try to get the attention of a company whose net profit was in the range of $35 billion last year? I said net profit. To help get the oil giant’s attention, I had targeted all our top public officials and was, in fact, on my way to Washington, D.C. when, thankfully, Ann got my attention. I literally went directly from the conference to the bookstore to the airport and boarded the plane with Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip and Dan Heath, (Random House, 2007). I had sworn off self-help books back in the late ‘80’s when the The One Minute Manager had The grandkids were a big motivating factor for finally spiraled down to something Don & Jane as they tried to figure out how to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 keep more open space at Devil Springs Ranch.

Pasture Cropping continues to evolve as a means of improved land health and farming grain. Learn more about the results Colin Seis and others are achieving on page 10.

FEATURE STORIES Two Campers & A Fairy— Learning How to Test Decisions JEFF & PAM HERDRICH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Keeping Your Roots Strong In The Storms Of Life DAVID IRVINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Achieving Your Potential— Holistic Management in Motion ROLAND KROOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Harvesting Solar Energy— Brix & Soil Health JON FRANK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

LAND and LIVESTOCK Pasture Cropping— Profitable Regenerative Agriculture COLIN SEIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Sieben Live Stock— A Resource Base Balancing Act JIM HOWELL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Simple Ideas— Feed Bunk Water Tank & Pump CHAD PETERSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

NEWS and NETWORK From the Board Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Certified Educators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

healthy land. sustainable future.

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


Jody Butterfield

STAFF Peter Holter, Executive Director Shannon Horst, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives Kelly Bee, Director of Finance & Accounting Jutta von Gontard, Director of Development Craig Leggett, Director of Learning Sites Ann Adams, Managing Editor, IN PRACTICE and Director of Educational Products and Outreach Maryann West, Manager of Administration and Executive Support Donna Torrez, Customer Service Manager Marisa Mancini, Development Assistant

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

ADVISORY COUNCIL Robert Anderson, Corrales, NM Michael Bowman,Wray, CO Sam Brown, Austin, TX Lee Dueringer, Scottsdale, AZ Gretel Ehrlich, Gaviota, CA Dr. Cynthia O. Harris, Albuquerque, NM Leo O. Harris, Albuquerque, NM Edward Jackson, San Carlos, CA Clint Josey, Dallas, TX Doug McDaniel, Lostine, OR Guillermo Osuna, Coahuila, Mexico Soren Peters, Santa Fe, NM York Schueller, Ventura, CA Africa Centre for Holistic Management Tel: (263) (11) 404 979 • Huggins Matanga, Director The David West Station for Holistic Management Tel: 325/392-2292 • Cel: 325/226-3042 Joe & Peggy Maddox, Ranch Managers HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT IN PRACTICE (ISSN: 1098-8157) is published six times a year by Holistic Management International, 1010 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505/842-5252, fax: 505/843-7900; email:; website: Copyright © 2008




May / June 2008

Made to Stick like, The One Minute Manager for Tasks That Take One Minute, and I figured either we’d gone too far in that field or I’d read too much. So it was with some trepidation that I opened the book. Good thing I had my seat belt fastened. Here I was on a red-eye to D.C. with meetings beginning the next morning and each page I turned was a story about what I was doing wrong according to the Brothers Heath, beginning with the common, fatal flaw, “The Curse of Knowledge.” On the seat next to me was my 100+ page notebook, and it was 100+ pages because I had boiled it down to that! It represented 10 years worth of our experience trying to ranch in the oil field, and I had tried to convey all the pain and heartache of watching the land disappear under one well pad after another and no one to stop it. It was comprised of five major subject divisions and eight tabs of supporting documentation. It virtually radiated the “Curse of Knowledge,” and worse, I had spent big money having it spiral bound to look more professional. I couldn’t take a single page out.

Beyond Luck As I said, I wasn’t entirely flat-footed about the fact that I was in trouble, presentation wise. A big clue had already come just days before meeting Ann at the conference when I had talked to Josh Rosen, Chief of Staff of the Lieutenant Governor. Josh told me I would make the presentation three times in a row; once to the Lieutenant Governor, once to the Energy and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary and once to the Secretary of the Environment. Thirty minutes

Well pads take up a lot of room so the concept of twinning new wells to old wells was critical to reduce surface destruction.

continued from page one total for each, but that I should limit my remarks and let them each ask questions. “I can do it in 15 minutes,” I lied. “Oh, I wouldn’t go more than five or six,” Josh had replied. My first thought was to just talk faster, and for a while, I tried that with a kitchen timer. Honestly. I sounded like that disclaimer about the interest rate at the end of a used car radio ad. In the end, I did come up with a sort of summary but, in a testament to our state government trying to help even it’s most long-winded citizens, all three officials just stayed for the whole hour and a half trying to discern what the problem was and if there was really any way they could help. More due to pity than to my message, I think, they agreed to write a joint letter to the oil company encouraging restraint and voluntary environmental responsibility. Doesn’t sound like much, but to me it meant the world. I knew I wouldn’t get that extended time and pity in Washington. In the hot shaft of that overhead light, I read furiously as Chip and Dan explained what all sticky ideas had in common: 1) Simplicity 2) Unexpectedness 3) Concreteness 4) Credibility 5) Emotions 6) Stories A kind of morbid fascination set in as I could see example after example in their book of ideas so well expressed, so sticky, that we all remember them decades later. John Kennedy’s famous call to “put a man on the moon and return him

safely by the end of the decade.” The Heaths’ analysis: “Simple? Yes. Unexpected? Yes. Concrete? Amazingly so. Credible? The goal seemed like science fiction, but the source was credible. Emotional? Yes. Story? In miniature.” What they were explaining was wonderful to me, but how do you frame a land use argument like that? And, depressingly, I already knew what the Heath’s were going to point out much later in the book, “…here’s the thing: You’re not JFK.” Even red-eye flights do end and 7:45 the next morning found me in Congressman Tom Udall’s office waiting to make my presentation to the Chief Counsel of the House Natural Resources Committee and its subcommittee’s staff director. I had wads of scribbled notes saying things like, “…lets put all the oil wells on the moon for the next decade, not on my ranch!” Well, I was only on page 142 of Made to Stick and still lugging my 100-page notebook around like a life preserver. Luckily, again, I was preaching to the choir and they were both gracious and considerate of my rambling. I staggered out of there, found page 143 and plowed on, my meeting at Senator Bingaman’s office looming. More scribbling and searching for my highlighter. That’s the problem with plowing on. Back on page 85, Chip and Dan had written about the “Gap Theory” of curiosity and I had missed the point that “…we need to open gaps before we close them. Our tendency is to tell people the facts. First, though, they must realize that they need these facts.” But plow on I did, and was now sitting with the Senator in his private office and describing our problem this way: “If the San Juan Basin was your body, our ranch would be just above your heart, and for over 50 years, the oil companies have been punching and punching holes all around there and gouging roads and pipelines so that your chest would look like a spiderweb connecting the well dots.” At least I wasn’t speed flipping through the notebook or talking like Don Pardo, but the Senior Counsel to the Senate Energy Committee and Bingaman’s Chief of Staff both looked a little pale. Saved again by luck, (our youngest daughter used to work for the Senator and is remembered fondly), I got out of there with a mandate from the Senator to his staff to assist us. Out of further prep time, I went directly to a meeting with the oil company’s Director of Federal Affairs. None of our kids had ever worked there, apparently, but she was professionally cordial. From there I headed back to New Mexico, reading like a madman all the way, to meet

Jane is standing in the erosion gully from one of the roads the oil company has made at Devil Springs. Part of their work with the oil company is to change how the roads are created to reduce erosion.

Governor Richardson who had just dropped out of the presidential race so he could meet with me. That’s the way I took it.

Belief, Care, and Action By now I was up to page 200, and had paged back quite a bit to fill some of my own gaps in knowledge. Made to Stick is really a very ambitious book if you think about how many ideas just don’t stick at all; how few are meaningful and lasting. In fact, a land use conference is a pretty good platform to see how even the professors and professional speakers among us miss the mark, widely. For those of us so challenged, the book contains “Clinics” throughout that examine a message and suggests alternate methods to convey that message accompanied by an explanation of what works, what doesn’t, and why. I was also encouraged to learn that tests showed that it was the “stickiness” of the message that mattered, not the gift of the speaker, JFK notwithstanding. The book is full of fascinating behavioral tests that are revealing as to why some communication works, and most doesn’t, how intellectual exercise impedes the brain’s capacity to be open to “feelings,” and how “feelings” are critical to get someone to care. Care is a critical part of the three-legged stool of Belief and Action—people need to believe, then care, then act. When I saw the Governor, I had an index card with three simple sentences written on it, and a little picture, not the compendium of which I had been so proud—not that you can skip making the compendium. That’s your research, those are the facts, ma’am, and you

have to have those facts and they have to be true, if you are to be believed. And, for me, the payoff from the Heaths was that if people believed, and they cared, then they could act. I had actually worked for the Governor off and on. I knew he would be cooperative, and he was. But my single index card presentation let me get the issues across cleanly and left plenty of time for questions without rushing.

My Presentation The three sentences were: • Of the 99 wells drilled on our ranch over a 50 year period, only 10 percent have been drilled from the same well pad. • In neighboring Colorado in 2007, 57 percent of all wells were drilled directionally. • Drilling directionally from the 99 well pads already on our ranch would let the oil company get its mineral, the state its taxes, and preserve the remaining open space. The picture I chose was an aerial photo of the maze of wells and roads and pipelines already existing. This presentation was much better. It was a little short on the “feeling” part, but the Governor has an existing “schema” about all the drilling issues. Schema is such a critical concept in Made to Stick that it has 16 references in the Index and it’s a key element of both why people can understand you quickly, like my example with the Governor above, and how you can get people to open up to your idea, as I’m about to tell you. Up to this point, I had been running around the country drumming up support for my idea to CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

Number 119




Made to Stick

continued from page three

preserve open space. It was working, but, as we’ve seen, much of that was pity, or luck, or established connections. The message had been getting stickier, but the big showdown was to be a meeting on January 31st with the oil company and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Could we make the idea stick there where it really counted? By now, I was at the end of the book in the Epilogue, and I was still learning like crazy. The oil company had an existing knowledge of all the facts, a “schema” infinitely vaster than my 100-page fact book. My facts came from their facts, so, getting them to believe wasn’t a problem. That leg of the stool was as sound as it would ever be. But we needed to get them to care, and that, my friends, is a tall order when you’re talking to executives and managers of one of the world’s biggest and most profitable corporations, and you’re just a family ranch.

“O-S-P-P” in the middle for “Open Space Pilot Project.” This is the name we gave for the idea that both the oil company and our ranch could have their cake and eat it, too. She laid out little napkins and plastic forks, and placed a bunch of balloons next to it, saying nothing. It was the focus of lots of curiosity and conjecture, an unusual object to say the least. The BLM asked me to begin, and I pulled out eight single sheets of paper, each with a picture and just a few lines of 42-point type so they would be visible from across the room. I duct taped them to the wall. Each page was one of the rounds we had fought with the company over the years and they all had the exact same format:

Bake A Cake

It revealed an unexpected pattern for us, and I know very unexpected pattern for them. The reason for the positive outcome, I said, was that Jane and I had always made sure our facts were right, then always asked for something reasonable (in our opinion), and then we never

It was the night before the big meeting. I was through with the book, and I had got to make this giant care before I could make it act. Jane and I had been going round after round with these guys for 10 years, always about environmental responsibility and stewardship and blah, blah, blah, and I realized that the single reason we were so passionate was that we were trying to save the ranch for our kids. Jane had just bought a youth saddle for one of our granddaughters who is still too little to ride and I thought, “Why? At this drilling rate, there’ll be nothing left to ride on when she’s ready.” Our kids, and their kids, are the real owners of the ranch, but the oil company, the BLM, doesn’t know them. I also realized looking back through my notes of all those rounds fought, we had actually always won if you conceded the fact that they were going to drill anyway. We never thought we could stop them drilling in an established field; the fights were always about where, and when and how, not if. I got out the scissors and duct tape and went to work. Oh, and Jane baked a cake. At the presentation the next day, as everyone was jockeying for position at the conference table and exchanging preliminary pleasantries, Jane set down a white cake with the oil company logo in icing in one corner, our ranch logo on the opposite corner, and the letters 4



May / June 2008

1) Our Request 2) Their Answer (always, “No”) 3) Their Reasons 4) The Outcome (always positive for us)

gave up. In one case, it was five years to get some damage repaired! The outcome exercise didn’t involve any intellectual calculating, the simple stories were there for all to see. The most common reason for saying “No” to any of our requests was money. Whatever we wanted done was going to cost money and they were dedicated to saving money and returning a maximum profit to their stockholders. In fact, we had recently been paid $7,000 by the oil company for some surface damage. I reached into my bag and pulled out $7,000 in cash and laid it on the table in front of the senior executive and said, “Jane and I want to return this money to you. We would like to demonstrate that not all decisions can be based solely on money and that the Open Space Pilot Project is more important to us than money. Once the open space is gone, no amount of money can buy it back.” I think that got everybody’s feelings up in the air. I know mine were as I said goodbye to seven grand. Finally, I took out five more single sheets of paper, again with just a few lines of 42-point type and the rest of the page a large photo of one of our kids. The copy said which kid it was, what they did, and what contribution they had made to either the ranch, or the Open Space Pilot Project, or both. I duct taped them into a line up. “When you say ‘No,’ as you have done in the past, this is who you are saying ‘No’ to. Jane and I won’t be here that long. These kids, and their families, will be living with the surface destruction you cause.” Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and Stories. My 100-page notebook never saw the light of day. In the end, it was just 13 pieces of paper so sticky we had to peel them off the wall. We talked about it for a little while, and the BLM ordered a moratorium on new surface disturbance and formed a committee of the oil company, the BLM, and our ranch to see if we could work out some cooperative resolution with the goal of preserving open space. Then we all had a piece of cake. Don Schreiber can be reached at: With the Open Space Pilot Project the Schreibers can continue to have wide open spaces to ride their horses and the oil company can drill for new oil.

Two Campers & A Fairy— Learning How to Test Decisions by Jeff & Pam Herdrich


olistic Management means lots of things to different people. Many people think it means grass and animals. For us the power of Holistic Management has been in improved decision making. It took us a little while to get there, but as novices we feel like we continue to make decisions better each time and understand how the process is helping us move toward our holisticgoal. We set our first holisticgoal in February 2006 and have been involved in a management club and have a mentor, Certified Educator Andy Hager. But it took a road trip, two campers, and a fairy for us to really understand how having a holisticgoal and testing decisions toward it can really reduce stress, improve our quality of life, and help us make good decisions.

Don’t Rush It On our recent vacation, west of Loveland, Colorado, we heard a funny noise and pulled over to discover the right front leaf spring on the camper trailer had totally broken in two. After some investigation we found out they no longer made the springs we needed because our trailer was 11 years old. The only new leaf springs were slightly under-sized for the weight of the trailer. But it would be just about impossible to retrofit to accommodate heavier leaf springs, so we ordered the new ones. We also decided to see what a newer 19-foot fifth wheel would cost. They just happened to have a 2006 19-foot Layton fifth wheel, the same model and size as our trailer, fully loaded with heavier duty springs! And, they offered us a terrific deal, well under the list price. Over the next couple of days, we spent quite a bit of time looking at the differences between our trailer and the new one; getting all the information we thought we’d need to test the decision. And asking ourselves; “Do we sell the old trailer in Colorado, or take it home and come back for the new one?”

We remembered that friends of ours in Wisconsin were interested in a small fifth wheel. So, we called and asked if they might be interested in our old trailer? They, of course, needed some time to think about it. We still had to wait for parts, so we said we’d call them back in a few days. As it turned out waiting was a key factor in our decision making process.

Troubled Testing During our wait, we took a short trip up to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park to take pictures and look at some of the shops and art studios. As we were walking down Main Street, we came upon a beautifully sculpted, life-sized bronze of a fairy. We went into the studio to look at the rest of the bronzes by the artist. The pieces ranged from life-sized to 12 inches high; serious to whimsical. All were beautifully sculpted and so life-like. If you caught them out of the corner of your eye, you’d swear there was a real person standing there. The artist was at the studio at the time, and we were able to talk to him about his art. He had a smaller size bronze of the fairy we’d seen on the

street. The artist quoted us a price that was high, but still might be within our means. On the drive back to Loveland, we realized we were seriously thinking about buying the sculpture. At this point, we began running into “problems” regarding our holisticgoal and the Holistic Management® testing questions. We were asking ourselves questions like: • Are we going to decide to buy the new camper or the bronze? • How are we going to pay for the purchases (if we decide to go ahead)? • If we use money out of our planned profit: a) Do we also go through the testing process to use that profit? Or b) Is planned profit a “free for all” to be used on whatever we might want to buy? We spent the better part of three days talking and thinking about how to resolve these questions. Digging into Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making didn’t help us. And, our Holistic Management mentors weren’t conveniently available either, so we had to “gut” it out on our own. During one of our discussions, on the second day of our deliberations, Jeff posed the questions: • Shouldn’t we test each of the possible purchases separately, not against each other? • Since we used Holistic Management to obtain our accumulated Planned Profit, shouldn’t we test the use of that planned profit toward our holisticgoal? • If we do test the possible purchase of the bronze, is our holisticgoal comprehensive enough to cover this purchase and make the testing meaningful? By the end of the third day, with lots of discussion and loads of frustration, we came to the following conclusions: • Multiple purchase testing needs to be handled one purchase at a time. It’s not the fairy or the camper. It’s the camper and then the fairy, as stand alone decisions, to be tested individually. • To remain true to our holisticgoal, we need to test each use of our planned profit. • We also needed to revise our holisticgoal. It didn’t include anything specific enough toward which we could truly test the purchase of the bronze.

Lessons Learned When we tested whether or not to purchase the new trailer, it “passed” all of the testing questions, except “society and culture.” But, the same thing happened when we tested keeping the old trailer. Learning how to better use the testing questions was a great payout for Pam and Jeff— as well as saving money with keeping their old trailer.


Number 119




Two Campers & A Fairy

continued from page five During the next several weeks, we answered and tested many other questions similar to those listed above, before we could finally answer our original question. Do we purchase the new trailer? Our decision? No, we would not purchase the new Layton trailer. We preferred the layout and towability of our old trailer to that of the new trailer. We decided to keep the old one, implement the safety checks and put the necessary dollars into keeping it as “young” as possible. Doing this will give us the time to continue looking for a new trailer which can replace our old trailer and still meet our holisticgoal for the future.

Our gut feelings were telling us something just wasn’t right. We couldn’t make a “clean” decision. As it turned out, needing to “wait” for our friends to decide whether or not they wanted to buy the old trailer really helped us out in the long run. We slowed down enough to look at many more dimensions of the decision before we made it. In the end, we broke the “buying the new trailer” versus “keeping the old trailer” decision down into many smaller decisions and “tested” them. For example, we asked: “Is time really a factor in buying the new trailer?” No, it was the only small fifth wheel on a huge lot of monster RV’s. It would most likely still be there in another three or four weeks. Waiting to make the decision and doing more research on other trailer makes and models that might be available, passed all the tests. In the meantime we brought the “old” trailer home to Wisconsin. Interstate-90 through parts of Minnesota is as rough and bumpy as some of the back roads we travel, and it proved to be a good test of the springs. We found out that we weren’t as worried about the “slightly undersized” springs breaking as we thought we’d be. So the next decision we tested was, if we visually checked the springs prior to each trip we made, and physically removed them to look at them once every three years, would that address our safety concerns? Yes, it passed all the relevant tests.

Beauty is in the Holisticgoal We found that there was nothing in our holisticgoal concrete enough to test whether or not to purchase the bronze. The decision to change our holisticgoal took a lot of soul searching and discussion back and forth. This was the most time consuming part of the whole process. During the discussion, we realized that we had missed a very significant aspect of our lives when we had crafted the original holisticgoal. Beauty, both natural and created, is spiritually important to both of us. We have surrounded ourselves with beauty through our flower gardens, pictures, and art we have created or acquired over our 27-year partnership. It was really amazing that something so important in our lives could “hide” so well in



rior to finalizing our decisions, we were pretty frustrated, especially Pam. So we called Andy, our Holistic Management mentor, and talked about our questions/ concerns and also the conclusions we came to about those questions. Andy told Pam that he was happy and pleased with our “Aha!” moments. When we talked about “Aha!” moments, we were somewhat disappointed. After all the heady, emotional FRUSTRATION! working through the problems, our answers to the questions were very anticlimactic. It was a feeling of “Oh, yeah, that makes sense. Why didn’t




we see it before?” We were expecting something HUGE, more fulfilling somehow; not the sensation of “duh!” In discussing this with our group, we decided that “breakthroughs” cover the whole range of “Aha!” moments. The scale ranges from “duh!” to an angelic soprano “AAAAAA!” They can also grow from a “duh” to an “AAAAAA!” over time as you realize just how important that breakthrough was to your ease and experience of managing holistically. So, during your journey managing holistically, be ready to experience anything within that range of emotions!

May / June 2008

plain sight! Once we were able to see it, we realized that our original holisticgoal had a hole in it large enough to steer a cruise ship though. So we changed our holisticgoal to include a new quality of life statement, forms of production and future resource base description to address this “new” aspect. We were then ready to test the purchase of the bronze. It passed testing. Using some of our planned profit for the purchase also passed. During our three days of deliberations, we really “peeled the onion.” When we finally did test, we were able to test the decisions more calmly, with less emotion. We know that without our holisticgoal and testing, we would not have made the decisions that we did. We’re convinced we made the right ones. Prior to Holistic Management, we would have talked ourselves out of the bronze. After all, the bronze would be a drain on the finances, and wouldn’t provide any tangible long term return. However, we would have missed what the sculpture could do for our “souls” on a daily basis. We would have bought the new trailer, not really understanding that we were very happy with the existing trailer, if we could overcome the safety concerns. It would have taken a lot of additional work to make the revisions to the new trailer to make it as comfortable as our old one. In addition, we were taking a big risk that our existing, smaller pickup might not be able to pull the new trailer, since its design is more wind resistant than the old one. We also would have felt just a little unhappy and/or guilty about each of those decisions, and we might never have understood why. This was some of the hardest “work” either of us has ever done. As a result of all our frustrations and work trying to use the Holistic Management® Decision-Making Framework, we now have a stronger and clearer holisticgoal, which makes testing easier for us. We are very confident, happy, and satisfied with the decisions we made. There have been none of the “what ifs,” second guessing, or guilty feelings, that have frequented many of our decisions prior to using Holistic Management. And perhaps the most powerful result is that we know ourselves better; we now have a deeper connection to our souls/spirits than we had when we began. This experience has also made us aware that there may be other “holes” in our holisticgoal, and to be on the “lookout” for those holes, as we can continue to strengthen our practice of Holistic Management. Pam & Jeff Herdrich can be reached at: or The Flower Farm at 715/832-7189.

your core values, forms your inner foundation that will sustain you through tough times. As my friend, Don Campbell, who has been a mentor to me in the area of strong character, puts it, “When your wealth is lost, something is lost; when your health is lost, a great deal is lost; when your character is lost, everything is lost.”

Keeping Your Roots Strong In The Storms Of Life by David Irvine


y all standards, the past decade has presented rural communities with some of the biggest challenges in history. Droughts, low commodity prices, migration to the cities, and B.S.E., have taken their toll on rural culture. No citizen on the prairies is untouched by the effects of a changing rural society, for these are not just rural challenges but societal challenges. During the storms of life we all need to remember to tap into the courage and resiliency that is the foundation of rural communities. So how can we deal with the current challenges? I offer up seven strategies: 1) Remember—Everything in life occurs in cycles. I learned on the farm that spring always follows winter, that summer always follows spring, that winter always follows a good harvest. In our addictive society we seek relief from uneasiness and pain with a variety of readily available medications, tranquilizers, and pain relievers. Though all of these can be important tools at the appropriate time and place, resiliency is built on the capacity to go through some discomfort and, in the process, develop the necessary resources to deal with difficult times. And when the bad times pass, as they always do, we emerge stronger and better able to face life’s challenges. 2) Distinguish between what you can and can’t control. A guiding tool in my life that gives me enormous strength in challenging times is the serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This simple prayer can be boiled down to three rules for finding peace in any situation: (a) Change the changeable; (b) Accept the unchangeable, and (c) Remove yourself from the unacceptable. We always have a choice about our attitude, our own happiness, and the contribution we make in the service of others. Put your effort into those things that you can influence, that you hold a firm conviction to change, and let go of putting effort into that which is out of your control. 3) Build on the positive. Another thing that we can control is finding the good that emerges from any disaster, and building on that good. Ranchers and farmers know how to do this. You are born optimists. You have to be in order to have survived this long. 4) Take care of people. Use times of uncertainty and crisis as a time to

invest in relationships. Make deposits in the emotional bank accounts of the people in your family and business. You have to make deposits before you can make a withdrawal. Often, when times are good, we spend time with our family and people we depend upon in our business, but in challenging circumstances we neglect them just when we need them the most. Real wealth lies not inside of silos and pastures but inside of people. Take care of the ones you love. It doesn’t cost any money to care about each other. 5) Keep your character intact. It's not the fierceness of the storm that determines whether we break, but rather the strength of the roots that lie below the surface. Your character, which comes from being true to

6) In times of economic crisis, focus on cash flow, not net worth. If you are a grass farmer who depends on beef production for your wealth, and beef takes a down turn in the market cycle, your net worth is not likely going up that year. While you ride out the storm, let go of the burden of expected high net worth, and see if you can make better shortterm cash flow decisions. Remember, there is no shame in doing what is right for your business, whatever that might look like, in order to stay afloat economically in the down cycles. 7) Find a confidant. We cannot ride out the storms in life alone. A confidant is someone you can pour your heart out to, who will remind you why it’s worth doing what you’re doing, and is not afraid to tell you the truth. Let’s never forget who we are and what we stand for, even in the midst of any devastating — and temporary — crises we face. No matter what challenges us in life, we can always come out stronger. David Irvine is sought after internationally as a speaker, author, and mentor. He can be reached through

In Memoriam

Harriett Faudree Dublin 1925–2008


MI lost a founding member and generous supporter on February 8 when Harriett Dublin, of Midland, Texas, passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. One of Allan Savory’s first consulting clients when he came to the United States, Harriett never lost her conviction that putting the land right was critical to making the rest of the world right. In 1979, she had recently been widowed for a second time and was left with an enormous ranch in northern New Mexico, the UUBar. In working with Harriett to restore the ranch to its former health and productivity, Allan learned an enormous amount more about brittle environments and the people who inhabit them—all of which is incorporated into what Holistic Management has become today. That he had a client and friend as adventurous and spirited as Harriett in working through the many challenges, was incredible good fortune. Harriett’s passing leaves a vacuum in the lives of many people and she will be deeply missed. Harriett is survived by her husband, John Dublin, her son, Matt Faudree, a former HMI board member, his four siblings, plus 15 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchilden, most of whom reside in Midland.

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Achieving Your Potential— Holistic Management in Motion by Roland Kroos


n a previous article I discussed the need for leadership, someone who can help us find our true potential (passion to succeed) and guide us towards that possibility. In this article I want to share with you a structured program that allows you to successfully practice Holistic Management whether you are just beginning to practice Holistic Management or are a seasoned practitioner who has barely scratched the surface to his/her true potential.

Four years ago I interviewed four ranches that have been practicing Holistic Management for 20 years. When I asked them to grade how effective they were in practicing Holistic Management, most chose to respond using a sliding scale where 1 is low and 10 is very good. For example, a person responded that with grazing and land management, they gave themselves a 9. However, with the financial and people management facets, they only gave themselves a 5. Remember, our operations are only as strong as the weakest link. However, it is natural for us to be strong in certain areas and weak in others. This is where the team comes in. Within this HM in Motion Program, I put four to six ranch businesses together and they form a business council. Together they help each other with management problems, become proficient at using the Holistic Management® framework, and work towards the completion of a Holistic Business Plan. These councils meet three to four times each year for two to three days (16 hours). To complete the entire Holistic Business Plan will take most businesses 18-36 months. It just depends how complex the ranch business is and how enthusiastic the ranch team is in completing the various components. These business council meetings are highly structured and facilitated toward specific outcomes. These business council meetings provide a laboratory for learning, experimentation, and actual application of the Holistic Management® Process. As you sit through the council meeting, you will see the This is the Lusk Business Council. The two people whose backs are to the table are Mark and Heidi Sturman. This part of the Business Council allows participants to receive comments and suggestions on how their business could be improved or managed differently.




Holistic Management® framework in motion and how this framework can be used to guide each business. Each business will be given a specific amount of time to present their operation, their accomplishments, and problems to fellow council members. The council will expect commitment to the process and hold each business accountable for their actions and completion of work agreed to. Your business plan will outline the actions that you need to take to make the changes you desire and will spell out what you need to do to be more profitable, what you need to do to increase the health of your land and what changes you need to make to improve your quality of life. We try to make these council meetings: • Practical, allowing you to implement the ideas on your ranch. • Structured, yet flexible enough to meet the needs of your business. • Honest, yet stopping the downward spiral thinking. • Creative, helping you to see the possibilities. • Supportive • Educational, each meeting will have an educational component • Challenging, empowering, and fun In 2006, I found five ranch businesses from Nebraska and South Dakota that would commit to participating in this new program. All of these ranches had been practicing Holistic Management for 10-20 years. They met four times and each shared a tremendous amount of information about their operations. They identified what their

weakest link was, what logjams prevented them from moving forward, and what accomplishments they had made. Each business was profoundly honest and shared financial issues, people issues, and other management problems. This group created a Code of Conduct that identified what was expected such as: 1) Disclosure is voluntary; 2) 100% Confidentiality, 3) No item is to be considered trivial; 4) Honesty; 5) Being Discreet; 6) Being Inquisitive; 7) Open to out of the box thinking. When it came to committing to the second year, I was surprised and greatly disappointed that two of the ranch businesses decided not to continue with this program. Why? One business felt the program was a great benefit to them, but needed to clear up some business management issues before they committed again. The other business said the program required too large of a time commitment What was that Leadership Rule # 6. “Don’t take yourself so seriously.” At first I took these two businesses dropping out as my fault. Remember, I created this program before I learned about the Art of Possibility. I did learn a tremendous amount that first year, and I will definitely do some things differently. I learned to let go and not dwell on things that I cannot change. I also had to remind myself that this program is not about me, it is about the ranch businesses that I am trying to help. In January of this year, I finished teaching a Holistic Management seminar in Lusk, Wyoming. On February 20 and 21, I followed up with this seminar and presented this program to the people who attended this course. I have six ranch businesses (14 people) committed to participating in the HM in Motion program, and we plan to meet in May. If our first meeting is any indication of what this group wants to do, this should be an exciting group to conduct and let them lead the program. For us to be highly effective at practicing Holistic Management requires that we have people on our team who are passionate at doing the things we may not like to do. Most ranch teams do not have enough people on their team to cover all of the essential skills to manage a ranch holistically. That is why I believe your participation in a HM in Motion program will make you more effective at practicing Holistic Management. Roland Kroos is a Certified Educator from Bozeman, Montana. He can be reached at: or 406/522-3862.

May / June 2008

Harvesting Solar Energy— Brix & Soil Health by Jon Frank


magine two farmers or ranchers from the same community meeting over breakfast at a local café. Over scrambled eggs and hash browns they compare notes on their farming operations. One is very efficient at harvesting solar energy and selling it at a profit. The other is not efficient at capturing solar energy and is slowly going broke. What is the difference? Both have access to the same amount of sunshine but with vastly different results. After purchasing land or paying rent, sunlight energy is free—no taxes, no patent infringement, and very dependable. And yet so many farmers and ranchers do not fully utilize this free gift. It is the job of the farmer to use biology, moisture, and geological resources to transform solar energy into a sellable product. This is how wealth is created. In other words, the farmer sets up the environment that determines how much solar energy is captured. So how do we increase efficiency in capturing solar energy? Before answering that question we must first know how to measure the harvest of solar energy. Before doing this, however, it is important to step back and ask ourselves a simple, but often-overlooked, question: What is a plant? Plants have the unique function of combining minerals from the earth with atmospheric gases to form carbohydrates in the presence of sunlight and soil moisture. Plants are the original source of all proteins and carbohydrates. Ultimately plants are collectors of solar energy. So how do we measure the efficiency of plants? Simple—just look at the outcome of their primary function of photosynthesis. The more energy plants are capturing from the sun the more carbohydrates and dissolved minerals produced. In grass and forages this adds up to greater palatability and increased nutrient density. When juice or sap is taken from a plant and placed on a refractometer, light will bend or “refract” in proportion to the amount of total dissolved nutrients. This includes both carbohydrates and dissolved minerals. Whenever a plant makes sugars it always combines minerals with the sugars. Thus an increase in carbohydrates always signifies a corresponding increase in nutrient density. The refractometer is both the judge and jury of quality. When calibrated in percent sucrose the following range is suggested as a guideline for grass and forages.

minerals stored in the forage. I could tell many stories to illustrate the dramatic increase in animal performance when high brix forages are fed but will settle for just one. A few years ago our family was milking a small herd of Nubian dairy goats. We had been feeding typical low-quality hay. To keep the goats milking we had to supplement their diet with grain because the hay did not have enough energy in it. Even with the grain, the does were still losing flesh and showing their ribs so there was still not enough energy in the diet. The milk being produced was about 12 brix, which is on the low side of being acceptable. I was fortunate enough to buy some grassy alfalfa hay that measured 16 brix when it was cut. It was excellent hay. Within 2 weeks of changing to the new hay I stopped feeding grain. The goats quit losing flesh and were actually starting to cover their ribs back up. Milk production went up and best of all, the milk quality rose to 16.3 brix. This was the best tasting goats’ milk I had ever produced. All of this because somebody knew how to raise top-quality forage. The extra minerals and energy in the forages were passing through the goats into the milk. Needless to say

Poor 4 | Average 8 | Good 12 | Excellent 16 The numbers on the scale are referred to as the brix reading. I want to emphasize that animal performance is directly proportional to the brix readings of forages. Why? Because the brix reading reflects on the amount of energy and

This zucchini plant is an effective solar harvester.

I had some very satisfied milk customers who really weren’t concerned how much they had to pay for a gallon of milk. Back to our very first question: How do we increase a plants’ efficiency in capturing solar energy? This also has a very simple answer. All we have to do is create an optimum environment in the soil. It is the ratio and levels of plant-available nutrients that determine how efficiently plants can harvest solar energy. If the plant does not have access to enough available nutrients, the metabolic energy within the plant will be insufficient and carbohydrate production will decline even though the plant has plenty of solar energy. If you wish to confirm this, check out the section on photosynthesis in any book on plant physiology. If you want to know what an optimum environment is for forages, you can look for the following parameters on our soil test from International Ag Labs, (these parameters do not apply to any other laboratory or testing method): • Available Calcium at 5,000-6,000 lbs./ac. • Available Phosphorous at 200-300 lbs./ac. • Phosphorous to Potassium ratio at 2:1 • Calcium to Magnesium ratio between 7:1 and 20:1 These are the major parameters to start with. Other factors such as humus levels, CO2 release, trace minerals, and microbial activity also play an important role in creating an optimum environment. The starting point, however, is to get enough minerals available to the plant so they can utilize more solar energy. It is important to see cause and effect as we look at the steps that culminate with sustainable profit. To understand the tremendous importance of getting nutrient availability in soil it is helpful to start with the end goal in mind. Most people can agree that they would like their ranching operation to make a sustainable profit. Stepping down one level, it is easy to see that this will not likely happen without good animal performance. What many farmers and ranchers miss is the importance of optimizing plant nutrient density, as measured on a refractometer, as the most significant way to ensure excellent animal performance. Even more do not recognize that the only way to increase the brix readings of plants is to provide the plants with optimum levels of available nutrients. In summary, soil health governs the flow of Solar Dollars. Jon Frank can be reached at Number 119




& Pasture Cropping—

The original concept of sowing crops into a dormant stand of summer growing (C4) native grass, like red grass (bothriochloa macra), was thought to be a very inexpensive method of sowing oats for stock feed. This certainly turned out to be true. But, there were also many side benefits and we were only touching the surface of a land management technique that is proving to be revolutionary. The grazing crops performed so well that it was obvious that good grain yields could be achieved as well. We also discovered sowing a crop in this manner stimulated perennial grass seedlings to grow in Pasture cropping numbers and diversity. This produces more stock is a technique of sowing feed after the crop is harvested and totally eliminates the need to re-sow pastures. Conventional cropping crops into living perennial methods require the killing of all vegetation prior to (usually native) pastures sowing the crop, and while the crop is growing.

Profitable Regenerative Agriculture by Colin Seis


oncerns about declining profitability, poor soil structure, dryland salinity, soil acidification and increasing numbers of herbicide resistance weeds have prompted over 1,000 farmers throughout eastern, southern and Western Australia to adopt pasture cropping. The year-round groundcover results in reduced wind and water erosion, improved soil structure, reduced weed numbers, increased nutrient and having these crops Potential For Profit availability, and increased levels of soil organic carbon. The soil health benefits from plant root From a farm economic point of view the grow symbiotically with exudates and a large increase in organic matter potential for good profit with pasture cropping is the existing pastures. derived from a mix of shallow rooted crops and excellent because the cost of growing crops in this deep-rooted perennial pastures are numerous and manner is a fraction of conventional cropping. The include large improvements of soil microbiology. added benefit in a mixed farm situation is that up In an era when dryland salinity, soil acidification to six months extra grazing is achieved with this and loss of soil carbon are having increasing impacts on the productivity method compared with the loss of grazing due to ground preparation and and profitability of farming enterprises, pasture cropping is providing one weed control required in traditional cropping methods. To illustrate this, see option for addressing these issues

More Than Stock Feed Pasture cropping is a technique of sowing crops into living perennial (usually native) pastures and having these crops grow symbiotically with the existing pastures. Daryl Cluff and I initiated this idea about 15 years ago. Since that time, on my property “Winona,� I have spent much of my time perfecting this technique. It is now possible to grow many different types of winter and summer growing crops without destroying the perennial pasture base. It may appear that pasture cropping is simply a cropping technique. It is much more than that. Pasture cropping is the combining of cropping and grazing into one land management method where each one benefits the other. The potential for profit and environmental health, including building soil carbon, in being able to do this are enormous, and a lot of landholders in many regions of Australia are showing this to be the case. There are now over 1,000 farmers pasture cropping cereal crops into summer (C4) and winter (C3) perennial native grass in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and West Australia as well as the USA and Scandinavia with good results. 10

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Pasture cropping results in 100 percent ground cover year round which decreases soil erosion as well as increasing soil carbon levels.

A typical grain field has much bare ground leading to soil erosion and loss of soil fertility. the box for details of a 50-acre (20-ha) crop of Echidna oats that was sown and harvested in 2003 on “Winona.” This crop yield was 31 bags/acre (4.3 tonne / ha). This profit does not include the value of the extra grazing. On Winona it is between $20-24/acre ($50-60/ha) because the pasture is grazed up to the point of sowing. When using traditional cropping practices where ground preparation and weed control methods are utilized for periods of up to four to six months before the crop is sown, then no quality grazing can be achieved. Other benefits are more difficult to quantify. These are the vast improvement in perennial plant numbers and diversity of the pasture following the crop. This means that there is no need to re-sow pastures, which can cost from $40-60/acre ($100-150/ha). The technique is also being used to restore native grasslands over much of Australia. If we add in this additional profit, the true profit is closer to $282/acre ($706/ha).

Improving Soil Health There is growing evidence, anecdotal and scientific, to support improvement in soil health, improved water use efficiency and general improvement in ecosystem function. By retaining perennial native grass in grazing and cropping systems and having 100 percent ground cover 100 percent of the time, great increase in plant biomass can be achieved when compared to conventional methods. This biomass and especially perennial native grass will dramatically increase soil carbon levels and improve the soil food web. On Winona, organic soil carbon levels have risen from 2 percent to 4 percent. Independent studies at Winona on “pasture cropping” by Department of Land and Water have found that pasture cropping is

Costs / Hectare Spraying $ 5.00 Herbicide $ 8.00 Sowing $15.00 Fertilizer $35.00 Harvest $28.00 TOTAL


Yield = 4.3tonne/ha Value = $150/tonne Total = $645/ha ($150 x 4.3) Profit = $556.00/ha ($222/acre)

Due to the combined value of the cereal crop yields, grazing productivity, and reduction of reseeding expenses, Colin Seis gets as much as $282/acre profit from pasture cropping.

27 percent more profitable than conventional agriculture. And, this is coupled with great environment benefits that will improve the soil and regenerate our landscapes. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization have also taken pasture cropping seriously, investing in a three-year trial project that was conducted by Dr. Sarah Bruce on Winona. The project investigated many aspects of pasture cropping and documented a wide range of positive outcomes, including increased water use efficiency, improved nitrogen use efficiency, and improved plant biomass. Dr Warwick Badgery and Grain and Graze Australia are also conducting research on the practical aspects of pasture cropping, which include fertilizer and chemical use and soil health. One of the more recent findings has been on native perennial grass recruitment during the pasture cropping process. These results verified the technique being used to restore native grasslands. Until this point in time pasture cropping has been practiced with the use of chemicals to control weeds and conventional fertilizers to manage soil chemistry. But over time, as pasture cropping stimulates improvement in soil health, including soil micro-organisms with increase in soil organic carbon levels and improvement in ground cover, many crops are now being sown without these inputs. The pasture cropping technique can be used to grow organic crops. This can be done without using a plough or herbicide to destroy the existing pasture. The benefits of pasture cropping are enormous, way beyond the shortterm crop yields. They contribute to the development of vitally needed topsoil, water management, stabilizing the many forms of soil erosion, and controlling weeds, as well as great potential for increasing soil carbon levels and improving soil health. It gives farmers and graziers a tool to effectively manage their properties whilst individually contributing to a healthier environment. Colin Seis can be reached at: 02-63-759256 or

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Sieben Live Stock—

But, everyone recognizes that the ranch has room for improvement, and that its economic, social, and ecological status can be far more resilient.

A Resource Base Balancing Act

The Elements of Balance As we wracked our brains trying to make sense of it all, I started to think about balance. I sure didn’t have any straight answers, but I began to get an inkling that we needed to step back and take a broader perspective. We couldn’t see the forest for the trees. First, we laid out a simplified holisticgoal, which the ranch crew dubbed their “key drivers.” Resilience, in all its aspects—healthy land, healthy profits, and satisfied people—was the aim. The harmonious complexity of Nature is the essence of resilience—all the elements are balanced and humming. A holistically balanced ranch is the same. So, if resilience means balance, I reasoned that we needed to start with a resource base “balance” inventory.

by Jim Howell


ature—it is chaotic and incomprehensibly complex. Or is it harmonious and elegant in its simplicity, where nothing is wasted? I would say it’s all of the above. We strive to mimic nature in the management of our land and livestock, but how can we hope to imitate something that’s harmoniously complex? I think the answer lies in balance. When the predators (or prey, or perennial grasses, or locally adapted humans, etc.) are removed from a natural whole, balance is lost and deterioration ensues. We all know this principle—tweak with one element of the whole, and the effects cascade throughout. An intact whole is indeed chaotic and complex, but if it is in balance, its tendency to selforganize results in harmony. I just finished my third session at Adel Ranch, owned by the Hibbard Family of Sieben Live Stock, near Cascade, Montana. In November of 2006, when I was first introduced to this incredible place, I learned that this ranch had successfully survived for 100 years under the same family’s management (beginning with founder Henry Sieben in 1907). Beautiful Black Angus cattle, framed by a backdrop of some of the West’s most stunning scenery, looked to be the epitome of harmony and abundance. But, as with most things in life, a little digging reveals more than meets the eye. On that first visit, managing owner Chase Hibbard (along with wife Emily and the rest of the Adel Ranch crew) bombarded me with an onslaught of issues that set my head to spinning: “When is the best time to calve at this high latitude? If we calve Adel Ranch is blessed with a rich grazing resource. This is the type of country the cattle drop late, can we wean late? What are we going to do into around Oct. 15--the fall shoulder. With the right livestock production model, it is well about our calving pastures that are tending to get balanced with both the winter and summer country. abused in the spring? How should we plan to harvest the abundant grass at the top of our summer pastures where our cattle never go? At its core, a ranch is simple, or should be. The land, rain, and sunshine “Can we graze cows in the winter in Montana? If so, how do we plan for grow forage (energy supply), and the forage grows animals (with their that one year in thirty when the grass is buried in snow for four months corresponding energy demand). On a resilient and balanced ranch, straight? How do we deal with fall snowstorms if we’ve used all our energy supply and energy demand are balanced, just as the energy dynamics potentially good snow-free fall country back during spring calving? of a functional natural whole are in balance. This balance teeters on an “If we start changing our grazing patterns, how will we still honor the equilibrium point that changes constantly—it is a balanced, yet dynamic rest-rotation grazing principles we’ve adhered to for so long, or do we even equilibrium, and management must shift as the point of equilibrium shifts. have to? If we keep making hay, but are grazing in the winter, how much If it can do so, the result is balance. hay do we still need to make, how much do we need to store for So, on Adel Ranch, what did the energy balance sheet reveal? The emergencies, and where and how will we store it? If we keep making at least following is a summary, the emergence of which happened over the course some hay, where do we do that? On the best hay ground, of course, but those of a year, in three meetings spanning ten days. old wheel lines needed replacing 15 years ago. What should we replace them Summer Supply with?” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg (well, maybe half of the iceberg). We began with energy supply—sunlight captured as forage, in the form Don’t get me wrong—Adel Ranch is and always has been a top outfit. of stock days per acre. And we added another layer of information— The current generation of the original Sieben Family has developed a seasonality of supply. If winter comes late to Montana, high mountain modus operandi that has been working for a long time, and recent tweaks to grasses can remain accessible into January. But, most years bring brutal fall their model (within the previous decade) have led to even greater efficiency. snow storms that transform the bucolic beauty of the summer high country 12

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into a white, frozen hell—that is, if you’re a cow trying to fill your belly and nurse a calf. The ranch crew unanimously agreed that, in an ideal world, the cows would be out of the summer country by mid-October, but this has seldom been the case in reality. The problem is that the ideal fall country is also the most ideal spring country. It is also where lots of the haying has historically been done, and a favorite zone of the hundreds of elk that flow out of the high country onto lush hay meadow regrowth. This historically resulted in pushing the cows to stay in the summer country as long as possible—frequently beyond the ideal cut-off date of October 15th—and getting caught with having to gather out of the icy uplands in a foot or more of snow. To make matters worse, the cows typically would be pushing the lower stretches of the summer ground in their drive to get to warmer climes. This habit, along with long grazing periods and low stock densities, always resulted in huge swaths of the highest reaches of the mountains going untouched. In the summer country, balance remained elusive. But, back to supply. If October 15th is the ideal end of the supply window, when is the beginning? June 1st was picked as the ideal entry date. That would give the summer country the opportunity for abundant postsnowmelt green-up (in May) and to build a bank of grass ahead of the cows. And, after close perusal of topo maps by Jeff and Lloyd—the guys on the ground who know this country better than any living human—we decided where to draw this October 15th line on the map, which we colored orange. Taking out areas of heavy timber and rocky crags, the summer zone (east of the north/south ridgeline divide that splits the ranch) ended up with 12,200 hypothetically grazeable acres (4,880 ha) above the orange line. The location of this line was not guided by existing fencelines, but by altitude, topography, and aspect. Then, based on both experience and a little guesswork, the team concluded that those 12,200 acres, in a typical summer, could produce an average of 40 stock days per acre (SDA) or 16 stock days per hectare (SDH), with one stock day representing the equivalent of 25 pounds (11.25 kg) of choice high country grass. We then took out one third of this area to “rest” in any given year (more on that below). Total supply in the summer zone west of the divide: about 322,000 SD. The balance of the summer zone, above the orange line but on the far side of the ridge, is dominated by lower production forests and much thinner soils, and, from the point of view of topography and management logistics, needed to be considered as its own grazing zone, or cell. We’ll return to it later.

Fall and Winter Supply We then turned our attention to all the country below the orange line, where all the cattle had to be between October 15th and June 1st. Chase and crew knew that a big component of bringing the ranch into balance had to center around less winter hayfeeding and more winter grazing, so we posed the questions, “When do we ideally want to be in our winter grazing zone, and where exactly is that zone?” We picked January 1st as the start date of our official “winter,” and then drew another line on the map—the blue line. Below the blue line, we had our winter country. The altitudinal zone between the blue line and the orange line—too high for winter, but below the summer country—we dubbed the “shoulder country,” which we counted as available from October 15th to January 1st, and which could be used in late spring as well, if needed. The winter zone includes lots of country that has historically been hayed—both dryland and irrigated—but also lots of area outside the hay meadows that, in a typical winter, stays snow free and covered with a dense cover of excellent cool season grasses. In the summer of 2007, much of the formerly hayed ground (primarily dryland) was left to accumulate a standing bank of forage. Based on this growth, plus last winter’s grazing experiment with 900 dry cows, we were starting to get a pretty good handle on how many stock days per acre we could expect from this winter zone. Its roughly 10,000 acres (4,000 ha), we estimated, could produce, on average, about 30 SDA/12 SDH, so winter supply worked out to 300,000 SD. Because this winter zone will have all of the growing season to recover in any given year and will only be grazed in the dormant season (with the exception of a few pastures grazed in May), we didn’t take out a third for “rest” or no grazing as in the other zones. But, we will make sure the “timing” of grazing (whether early, mid, or late winter/early spring) changes each year in each pasture (which will ensure pastures grazed in May don’t continually receive that treatment). Also, we will strive to graze most plants moderately in an effort to leave an insulating cover intact and to protect fall-initiated lead tillers overwintering at the base of each plant. So that leaves the troublesome shoulder country. Since going to May 10th calving several years ago, this zone began to receive lots of spring grazing pressure. The ranch headquarters, with its associated infrastructure to work and brand big bunches of cattle, is also situated right in the middle of this zone. By calving in May, calves can’t be branded until late June and CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

This bench is getting pretty high up into the summer zone. In the past, huge pastures, relatively small herds, and low stock density meant that few cattle ventured into these areas. Now, with portable polywire and herd amalgamation, cattle readily access these higher reaches, effectively increasing the size of the ranch and adding greatly to its overall balance.

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Sieben Live Stock

continued from page thirteen

early July. Also, a local Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD) issue has dictated that all cows be vaccinated at branding as well. That’s a lot of work to accomplish without a good set of corrals, but keeping the ranch’s 1,650 lactating mothers within striking distance of the corrals has meant lots of pressure on the shoulder country, and postponing entry into the summer zone by about a month. It also is the most desirable fall country, but due to lots of haying and all that spring demand, coupled with the desire not to come back and regraze the same pastures in the fall, forage availability in the fall has historically been a big hole in the ranch’s overall production model. With minimal haying—we have estimated that only 500 irrigated acres (200 ha) will need to be hayed to meet the “average” hay demand. This assumes 30 days of full feed for 3,000 stock units due to snow cover. The shoulder country, with its roughly 8,400 acres (3,360 ha) producing an estimated 35 SDA (14 SDH) and, as in the summer zone with leaving a third ungrazed in any given year, total supply works out to about 200,000 SD. So, in summary, the supply side of the equation looks like this: The summer country (east of the divide) produces 322,000 SD, which needs to be used over the course of 136 days (June 1st to October 14th); the shoulder country produces 200,000 SD, which ideally should be saved for 78 days of fall (October 15th to December 31st); and the winter country produces 300,000 SD, which can be rationed out through winter and spring (January 1st to May 31st, or 151 days).

The Production Model is Key Now, what’s demand look like? This has been a tough nut to crack. Before we could nail down demand throughout different stages of the year, we had to agree on a livestock production policy. The current practice of calving in May, keeping cattle in the shoulder country till July 1st, pushing cattle to stay above the orange line as late as possible, weaning in the fall, and making lots of hay in the shoulder and winter zones (which could otherwise be grazed), meant that demand and supply were significantly out of balance. Again, the results were big stretches of unused summer country,

severe overgrazing of the shoulder country (due to long spring grazing periods), lack of suitable winter grazing country, and tons (literally, as in about 4,000) of haymaking to fill in all the imbalances. But changing your production model is risky and very uncomfortable. It shouldn’t be done without the near certainty that it’s being done for all the right reasons. When Chase and team decided to go to May calving back in 2002, they had done their homework and made the jump with confidence. They still had to negotiate a learning curve, but the savings in hay and the reduced labor made it all worth the effort, and now the Adel Ranch crew groans at the idea of March calving (the old way). Now, it’s obvious to everyone that new tweaks to the production model are going to be necessary to bring demand more closely in alignment with supply. We’ve talked a lot about this, and the plan currently on the table looks like this: Calving will be shifted from May 10th to June 10th, and will happen in the summer country; cows will no longer be vaccinated for BVD in the spring (tests confirm that one vaccination in the fall will suffice), which means that spring works (now only branding/castrating) can happen with portable pens in the summer country; calves will stay on their mothers till February 1st, at which point steer calves will be shipped off the ranch and wintered with contractors before heading to another of Sieben Live Stock’s summer properties closer to Helena where steers typically reach September weighing close to 900 lbs (405 kg); heifer calves will stay on the ranch and be fed hay till the following spring; all dry cattle, including coming 2-year-old heifers, will be grazed through the winter. Herd numbers will look like the following: from calving at June 10th, one big herd of 1,350 mixed age cows will be grazed together until October 15th, the end of the summer season. The first calf heifers—another herd of 300-350 head—will be grazed separately from calving until October 15th on a separate summer grazing cell (known as the Taylor Place), which lies several miles southeast of the remainder of the ranch, and which is just the right size to handle this herd of young cows (i.e. supply matches demand). The third herd, which includes up to 700 yearlings, will summer on the lower production country west of the north/south divide that splits the ranch (referred to above). On or about October 15th, the first calf heifers will come out of the Taylor Place and join the big herd of 1,350 cows to create one big herd of 1,650-1,700 pairs. Calves will be weaned the first of February and cull cows sold (bringing the mixed cow herd size back down to the 1,350 level). The yearling heifers (which are now bred coming 2-year-old first calf heifers) will continue to be wintered as a second herd. At weaning, steer calves will be shipped off the ranch to be wintered by a third party, and then will head to another summer pasture owned by the Hibbards closer to Helena. Weaned heifer calves will be fed hay until heading to their summer grazing cell in early June.

Balancing Forage Demand

The cattle at Adel Ranch have learned new habits. Instead of waiting for the feeding crew to show up, they climb the hillsides and graze through the snow, and are thriving. This is part of the big herd of 1350 mixed age cows, still happily grazing the Dog Creek pasture in the fall shoulder on January 15. 14

Land & Livestock


May / June 2008

With this production model, forage demand looks like this: From June 1st to October 15th, the first calf heifer herd and yearling herds have their respective grazing cells (Taylor Place and west of the divide). The first calf heifers are well balanced with the Taylor, but there is a lot of slack in the country west of the divide, and the option remains to buy in additional yearlings to add to their own production. We haven’t specifically settled on what to do there yet, but now we know there’s an opportunity to bump up demand to match supply (in Holistic Management lingo, there is a product conversion weak link on that part of the ranch). The third herd—the great big bunch of 1,350 pairs—will be allocated the 12,200 acres east of the divide, producing 322,000 SD, from June 1st to October 15th. Demand from the big cow herd works out to just under 300,000 stock days, so things are pretty balanced, overall, for the cows

during the summer. On October 15th, when the big herd and the first calf heifers are combined, we move into the fall shoulder country till January 1st, and total demand works out to just over 200,000 SD. Total supply: 200,000 SD. Balanced. The north edge of the ranch has a long ridge called the Jones Hills, which is also good fall shoulder country (and not counted in the above 200,000 SD), and that will be the home of the yearling heifers (now bred replacement heifers in a herd totaling 350 head) from October 15th to January 1st. The balance of the yearlings will be sold at the end of summer. That gets us to January 1st, the start of winter, and we have a long way to go until June 1st, when we can head back up above the orange line and into the summer country. Luckily, Adel Ranch has one of the West’s most idyllic winter grazing resources. Temperatures tend to be mild, and warm Chinook winds keep the snow blown off. In any given year, most of this winter ground will not be touched throughout the entire growing season (except for the final pastures used in May), so have the chance to accumulate a beautiful cover of cool season grasses. Under the above production model (two herds grazing in the winter, and one herd of weaned calves on hay), grazing demand works out to (incredibly) 300,000 SD, which exactly matches the typical forage supply. Old Henry Sieben, Chase’s great grandfather, knew a good ranch when he saw it. So, on a broad scale—looking at major zones of the ranch and their corresponding productivity, and matching that forage supply with forage demand—the ranch is very balanced under this production model. We still have the excess capacity in the summer country west of the divide, and (oh yeah, almost forgot) there remains a 200-cow forest permit to the west of the Taylor Place that we still haven’t used. So, we have excess supply (product weak link) that we can use there as well, and the current thinking is to stock this permit with bought-in thin cows for four months in the summer.

But now, with one big herd of mature cows, we have a lot more flexibility, much higher stock densities, and much greater grazing efficiency. Hormay’s changes were great, but stock densities remained very low, and extensive overgrazing and overrest were still occurring, albeit on a lesser scale. Now, instead of just three huge pastures per herd, we have one big herd and, if we want (through the use of portable electric fence), an unlimited number of pastures.

Grazing Units But, in both the summer and fall shoulder zones, we again want to be able to carefully control timing of use. This means we had to identify three “units” within each zone—summer and fall shoulder—that would be alternately grazed early, late, or not at all. For the 12,200 acres (4,880 ha) of summer country allocated to the mixed age cows for 136 days, we need three of these units, each capable of producing about 150,000 stock days. Again, two of these units would be grazed in any given year—one during the heart of the growing season, one post seed ripe—and the third rested. We did the same for the fall shoulder country, with one grazed early fall, one late fall till January 1st, and one rested. So, we took out our maps and figured out which areas would work best together to form our “units.” Each unit ended up with several existing pastures or parts of existing pastures, and each of these—especially the big ones— can be further subdivided with portable hot wires. Last summer, the Adel Ranch crew did a great job of splitting up formerly huge summer pastures with one strand of polywire, and the much greater stock density (resulting from both the polywire and herd amalgamation) pushed cattle up into areas that had been overrested for decades. I asked these guys how they were coping with these long polywires (often climbing pretty steep mountainsides) and they didn’t deny that it was tough, but the reward of seeing it all work, with big bunches of cattle in spots they’d never been in, cleaning up wolfy old bunchgrasses, made it all worth the effort. Then, with our units sorted out, we had to go through a three year scenario to see how the logistics would all work. Since season of use changes on each unit each year, the order of moves changes also. And, these are big rugged mountains, not flat easy prairie, so the flow from one unit to the next has to be kept as simple as possible. After hashing through various scenarios, we sorted out how it could all work, not only from pasture to pasture and unit to unit within both the summer and fall zones, but during the transition from the summer country to the fall shoulder country as well. The result is a land plan that is based on balancing the seasonality of the ranch’s forage supply with the right livestock production model (and corresponding forage demand). Working through it all has been an exercise rooted in complexity, but with the focus on achieving balance, the result is harmony. No doubt the actual implementation of this plan will entail bumps and setbacks and will need some tweaking. Constant monitoring (including professional third party ecological monitoring, which the ranch has committed to) will be essential. But, Chase and crew have made great strides over the past year, and Adel Ranch is on the path to ever-greater resilience and abundance. I think old Henry Sieben would be proud.

“The result is a land plan that is based on balancing the seasonality of the ranch’s forage supply with the right livestock production model.”

From Forest Back to Trees But within each zone, we still have to look at balance and logistics. Gus Hormay (of rest-rotation grazing fame) had a big influence on Chase and the management of Adel Ranch back in the 1980s. Up until that time, very low stock densities and season long grazing, particularly in the summer and fall country, had resulted in the typical pattern of lots of overgrazing and lots of overrest. Under Hormay’s guidance, the ranch began to manage the summer and fall with three-pasture cells. In a given year, one pasture would be grazed through the growing season until seed ripe—about the end of July. A second pasture would be grazed through the balance of the summer and fall, and the third pasture would be rested. The next year, the rested pasture would be grazed first (during the growing season), the pasture grazed early would be grazed post-seed ripe, and the post-seed ripe pasture would be rested. This change led to excellent results, and Chase is adamant that we strive to continue this basic grazing strategy, but now within the context of holistic planned grazing. I agree with him wholeheartedly. My experience in high altitude Colorado tells me that periodic season long (as in the whole year) rests are critical to build litter-making material and develop deep root systems and highly vigorous plants. I also am a big believer in changing up the timing (season of use) of grazing from one year to the next, and this pattern will honor that as well.

To learn more about Sieben Live Stock see “Grass Wintering, Montana-style—Sieben Live Stock” in IN PRACTICE # 114. Number 119


Land & Livestock


Simple Ideas

Feed Bunk Water Tank & Pump by Chad Peterson


ur portable tank is a heavy duty, 20-foot (6-m) feed bunk that is 30 inches (76 cm) wide and 12 inches (30 cm) deep. On one end, a 2-inch (5-cm) inlet pipe is welded to the tank with a cam lock fitting under the pan of the bunk. A 2-inch (5-cm) black poly supply hose attaches to the fitting. In the middle of the tank I cut a drain hole where a tapered drain funnels from 6 inches to 3 inches (15 cm to 7.6 cm). Then an elbow attaches and a 3-inch (7.6-cm) poly drain hose goes out the back of the tank carrying the drain water 250 feet (76 m) away from the tank so cattle don’t tromp up a mud hole around the tank. I move the tank by dragging it on its skids with an old tractor. The skids are made of tubing 2 inches by 3 inches (5 by 7.6 cm). The drain and supply hoses drag along behind the tank. When more water line is needed, we drag it with rope and a four-wheeler ATV, adding sections as we go. With our abundant water, a small farm store gas centrifugal pump and 30 feet (9 m) of 2-inch (5-cm) hose is adequate to suck the water from our shallow wells. We use a 5-1/2 horse power

pump, which costs $275. Gas usage varies by terrain and distance pumping, but averages less than a gallon a day. The deepest we need to pump water is eighteen feet, so we don’t need a foot valve. The volume of flow adjusts with the throttle of the pump and 40-50 gallons (150-190 liters) per minute more than adequately waters 900 pairs. This is strictly a summer time setup as all of our supply lines are portable and above the ground. I call it my poor man’s pipeline. We have 6,000 feet (1.8 kilometers) of pipe per ranch. The cost of the entire system, with pump, tank, and supply line is less than $10,000. The cost of an underground pressure system to achieve this task would be about $150,000. The marginal reaction test and the energy and wealth/source and use tests pass the poor man’s pipeline, as it costs less than the interest on a new buried and pressurized pipeline. A key to success is keeping the tank in the cattle as you move them. If cattle do not see other cattle rushing to water, they won't follow or trail and this prevents a rush to the tank. The high

From the Board Chair

Working Backward to Go Forward by Ben Bartlett


s I look around at the world today with rising oil, falling U.S. dollar values, grain prices that have doubled in 6 months, and concerns about climate change, two words come to mind—volatility and uncertainty. As I try to plan my sheep and cattle operation for this coming growing season; it is impossible to feel confident in what prices I may receive this fall or if it will rain this summer (we missed out last year). For my operation and many sunshine harvesting operations around the world, we can count on sunshine and growing grass to be the back bone of our operations, but the volatility and uncertainty are making success an interesting challenge. A lot of people feel their life time experience on their ranch will give them the background to make the right decisions. Or other people feel that a computer program can sort out all the factors to provide them with the best decisions. And then there are those who just go with their “gut feeling” when the going gets rough. The challenges in 2008 will sort out a lot of people who thought they were ready for the unknown but in reality were just hoping and didn’t really have a plan. The volatility and uncertainty in the world today is why Holistic Management is such an important tool. Holistic Management is all about how to make decisions when you don’t know all the facts and don’t know




May / June 2008

Chad Peterson’s “poor man’s pipeline” cost only $10,000 but supplies 40-50 gallons (150-190 liters) a minute throughout his ranch. flow of water fills the small tank very fast and the cattle don’t panic because there is no water in the tank.

what is going to happen. What makes Holistic Management different? You start with the desired outcomes and work back to what you need to do to achieve that outcome. Let’s look at a planned grazing example of this system. The first thing you do with a planned grazing program is identify those places you can or cannot graze at certain times of the year. You then plan your grazing so that you are in the right places at the right time to achieve this outcome. What if it doesn’t rain? You have already considered this option and have a drought plan in place. Planning always sounds like a lot of work and with all the unknowns, how can you plan? Things are always changing, and it seems easier to just “go with the flow.” If there are things you want to achieve: quality of life for you and your family, a good income, and to leave the world a better place to live, it will not happen by accident. You need to know what you want out of life, or your pastures, or your business, and then you need a plan to make it happen. Holistic Management can’t make it rain or will not guarantee your selling prices. We all appreciate what Holistic Management can do for the land, but with today’s volatility and uncertainty, Holistic Management can help you identify what you want from life, build a plan to get there and what to do when changes are needed. Are you using the power of Holistic Management in your life?


Certified Educators


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

UNITED STATES CALIFORNIA Bill Burrows 12250 Colyear Springs Road Red Bluff, CA 96080 530/529-1535 • 530/200-2419 (c) Richard King 1675 Adobe Rd. Petaluma, CA 94954 707/769-1490 707/794-8692(w) Kelly Mulville 319 Sunnyvale Drive Hearldsburg, CA 95448 707/431-8060 * Rob Rutherford CA Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 805/756-1475 COLORADO Joel Benson P.O. Box 4924 Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-6119 Cindy Dvergsten 17702 County Rd. 23 Dolores, CO 81323 970/882-4222 Daniela and Jim Howell P.O. Box 67 Cimarron, CO 81220-0067 970/249-0353 Craig Leggett 2078 County Rd. 234 Durango, CO 81301 970/946-1771 Byron Shelton 33900 Surrey Lane Buena Vista, CO 81211 719/395-8157 Tom Walther P.O. Box 1158 Longmont, CO 80502-1158 510/499-7479

GEORGIA Constance Neely 635 Patrick Place Atlanta, GA 30320 706/540-2878 IOWA * Margaret Smith Iowa State University, CES Sustainable Agriculture 972 110th St., Hampton, IA 50441-7578 515/294-088 LOUISIANA Tina Pilione P.O. 923, Eunice, LA 70535 phone: 337/580-0068 MAINE

Terry Gompert P.O. Box 45 Center, NE 68724-0045 402/288-5611 (w) Paul Swanson 5155 West 12th St. Hastings, NE 68901 402/463-8507 NEW HAMPSHIRE * Seth Wilner 24 Main Street Newport, NH 03773 603/863-4497 (h) 603/863-9200 (w)

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NEW MEXICO * Ann Adams Holistic Management International 1010 Tijeras NW Albuquerque, NM 87102 505/842-5252 Kirk Gadzia P.O. Box 1100, Bernalillo, NM 87004 505/867-4685 (f) 505/867-9952 NEW YORK John Thurgood 17 Spruce St., Oneonta, NY 13820 607-643-2804

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Vivianne Holmes 239 E. Buckfield Rd. Buckfield, ME 04220-4209 207/336-2484 Tobey Williamson 52 Center St., Portland, ME 04101 207/774-2458 x115 MICHIGAN Ben Bartlett N4632 ET Road, Traunik, MI 49891 906/439-5210 (h) • 906/439-5880 (w) 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 •

OHIO Larry Dyer Olney Friends School 61830 Sandy Ridge Road Barnesville, OH 47313 740/425-3655 (w) • 740/425-2775 (h)

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PENNSYLVANIA Jim Weaver 428 Copp Hollow Rd. Wellsboro, PA 16901-8976 570/724-7788 • TEXAS Christina Allday-Bondy 2703 Grennock Dr., Austin, TX 78745 512/441-2019

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

Peggy Maddox P.O. Box 694, Ozona, TX 76943-0694 325/392-2292

Mark Gardner P.O. Box 1395, Dubbo, NSW 2830 61-2-6884-4401

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Number 119






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Don Campbell Box 817 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y6 306/236-6088 Len Pigott Box 222, Dysart, SK, SOH 1HO 306/432-4583 Kelly Sidoryk P.O. Box 374, Lloydminster, AB S9V 0Y4 780/875-9806 (h) • 780/875-4418 (c)

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


Wiebke Volkmann P.O. Box 9285, Windhoek 264-61-225183 or 264-81-127-0081


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

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

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




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

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

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

Keynote DVDs

2007 HMI Conference Recordings Discount! Save as much as 25%! For a complete list of Conference CDs go to our online store at Name ___________________________________________ Address__________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Phone __________________________________________ Email ___________________________________________ Order online today at or make check payable to HMI and send to: HMI 1010 Tijeras Ave. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 Phone: 505/842-5252 • Fax: 505/843-7900




May / June 2008


____ ____ ____ ____


Joel Salatin, “Building a Local Food System that Works”. . . . . . . . . . . . . $20 Thom Hartmann, “Human Relationship to the Environment” . . . . . . . . . $20 Temple Grandin, “If You Eat, You Are a Change Agent”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20 Allan Savory, “Healing the Land” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20

Audio CDs of Concurrent Sessions ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Neil Kinsey, Animal & Soil Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12 Terry Gompert, Integrating Livestock & Cropping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16 Ian Mitchell-Innes, Complex Grazing Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16 Fred Provenza, Animal Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16 Betsy Ross & David Trew, Small Farm Management Options . . . . . . . . . $16 Joel Salatin, Farming that Pays a White Collar Wage, Part 1 . . . . . . . . . . $16 Joel Salatin, Farming that Pays a White Collar Wage, Part 2 . . . . . . . . . . $16 Dale Lasater & Ridge Shinn, Sustainable Genetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16 Greg Judy, Management Intensive Grazing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16 Jon Frank, Brix & Healthy Rumen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16 Judi Earl & Carter Randolph, The Benefits of Multi-Species Grazing . . . $16 Tony Malmberg, George Whitten, & Julie Sullivan, Land Chi: Reading the Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12 Kirk Gadzia, The 10 Principles of Holistic Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12 Pat Richardson, A Living Soil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12 Peggy Sechrist, Holistic Management & Non-Violent Communication. . $12 Christopher Peck, Value-based Finances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12


Complete Set of DVD & CDs

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

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Neal Kinsey Advanced Workshop II AUGUST 11-14, 2008 Morning Farm tours to: Vegetable farm, almond harvesting, corn silage harvesting, dairy facilities, almond shelling plants, and various farms on Kinsey program.

$30 (postpaid to US addresses)

REGISTRATION: $750 (doesn’t include hotel) For further information call us at 573/683-3880 or e-mail us at

For consulting or educational services contact:

Kinsey Agricultural Services, Inc. $30 (plus shipping) (PAL orders add $5)


297 County Highway 357, Charleston, Missouri 63834 Phone: 573/683-3880; Fax: 573/683-6227, WE ACCEPT CREDIT CARD ORDERS (VISA, MC)

Join guide, Terry Gompert, UNL Extension Educator/Grazing, on a Southeast Saskatchewan, Canada and North Dakota, USA Tour. Our emphasis will be Mob Grazing and seeding cover crop cocktail mixes.

“Grass & Cocktail” Tour

June 25 & 26, 2008

Wed., June 25, 2008

Thurs., June 26, 2008

8:00 a.m.

8:00 a.m.



(Neil & Barb Dennis) Wawota, Saskatchewan, Canada

(Gene Goven) Turtle Lake, North Dakota

4:00 p.m.

HJERTAAS FARM (Blain & Naomi Hjertaas) (Martin Hjertaas & Thyra Hall) Redvers, Saskatchewan, Canada

FEATURING Dr. Kris Nichols – “The More You Get, The More You Get”

3:00 p.m.

BROWN’S RANCH (Gabe & Shelly Brown) Bismark, North Dakota

Extension is a Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of NebraskaLincoln cooperating with the Counties and the USDA. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educational programs abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the USDA.




May / June 2008

Costs: PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED BY JUNE 16, 2008 One Day (June 25 or June 26) . . $75 US or Canada Both Days (June 25-26) . . . . . . . $100 US or Canada ■ Extra Person in Family/ . . . . . . . . $25 US or Canada Farm per Day ■ ■

For registration or more info. contact UNL Extension in Knox County at P.O. Box 45, Center, NE, 68724; 402/288-5611; fax 402/288-5612; or email,


T H E M A R K E T P LAC E Administración Holística







Seth Wilner

Getting There... •••

•••••••••• •











Asesoría, Capacitación y Seguimiento







Managing Toward Your Holisticgoal and A Sustainable Future Énfasis en ambientes con lluvia escasa y aleatoria

Arturo Mora Benítez Educador certíficado en Administración Holística (Holistic Management) San Juan Bosco # 169 La Misión 38016 Celaya, Gto. México 52 461 61 5 76 32

Holistic Management® Certified Educator Member of the Managing Change Northwest

To learn more about these consulting and training opportunities, contact Seth at: • 603/863-4497

Sandra Matheson • 360/220-5103 Bellingham, Washington, USA

By Jody Butterfield, Sam Bingham, and Allan Savory, Holistic Management International



Holistic Management Training Consensus Training Group Facilitation Coming Soon: USDA Beef



As a Certified Educator and a New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Educator, Seth offers effective, hands-on, practical consulting and training in:


Holistic Management Handbook



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

Learn how to create healthy land and healthy profits.

Call 505/842-5252 or order online at!

Tony & Andrea Malmberg

Holistic Management® Certified Educators


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

Tony & Andrea Malmberg

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

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

Number 119





Resource Management Services, LLC Kirk L. Gadzia, Certified Educator PO Box 1100 Pasture Bernalillo, NM 87004 Scene 505-263-8677 Investigation

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


How can RMS, LLC help you? On-Site Consulting: All aspects of holistic management, inFOXGLQJĂ€QDQFLDOHFRORJLFDODQGKXPDQ resources. Training Events: Regularly scheduled and customized training sessions provided in a variety of locations. Ongoing Support: Follow-up training sessions and access to continued learning opportunities and developments. Land Health Monitoring: Biological Monitoring of Rangeland and Riparian Ecosystem Health. Property Assessment: Land health and productivity assessment with recommended solutions.

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

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

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—— C O N T A C T ——

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

MARK BADER, Free Choice Enterprises, LTD



May / June 2008

10055 County K Lancaster, WI 53813




Journey to the Tip of the Americas BRITTLE AND NON-BRITTLE PATAGONIA ARGENTINA AND CHILE NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2008 • Explore the extremes of the Patagonian Andes, from lush Chilean valleys to the stark immensity of the Argentine steppes • Ranch visits to fascinating families, creatively thriving in one of the world’s most isolated corners • Grass finishing lessons in Chilean paradise, fine wool Merino sheep production on the Strait of Magellan, large scale Hereford ranching at the foot of the Andes

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

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

• Famous Patagonian Fly-fishing • Exploration of the peaks, fjordlands, glaciers, and glacial-fed lakes of the southern Andes • Off-the-beaten-path, luxury accommodation • The best of the big city in Buenos Aires

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Call 505/842-5252

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Advertise in. . .

In Practice a publication of Holistic Management International

Low Rates International Audience Contact Ann Adams at 505/842-5252 or Number 119






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

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

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

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

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

_ CD of Back Issues: #71 - 89

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

_ Early Warning Biological Monitoring— Croplands

Books & Multimedia

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

Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision-Making,

_ Early Warning Biological Monitoring—Rangelands and Grasslands

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

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

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

Planning Forms (All forms are padded - 25 sheets per pad) _ Annual Income & Expense Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 _ Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 7 _ Livestock Production Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17 _ Control Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 5 _ Grazing Plan & Control Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$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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#119, In Practice MAY/JUN 2008  
#119, In Practice MAY/JUN 2008  

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