Whole Farm/Ranch Business Planning

Newcomers to the area had time to talk with long-time residents

Get Down to Business with Holistic Management

While many folks are attracted to farming and ranching because of their love of the land or their desire to do truly meaningful work, farming and ranching is still a business. At HMI we know that to create a sustainable,  healthy agricultural enterprise, you need to run it like a business. So, we’ve created our Whole Farm/Ranch Business Planning course to give both new and experienced farmers and ranchers the knowledge and tools they need to do just that.  While many of our other programs teach both business and production techniques, this one will focus on the business side of your business.

Mora HOlistic Management Business Planning ClassOur five-day course is taught over approximately six weeks, so you have plenty of time to start applying what you’ve learned, while you’re still  enrolled in the course. Naturally, we teach the Holistic Management Farming/Ranching system that’s been helping ag producers build sustainable farms and ranchers for thirty years.

Participants will be develop a draft business plan, a whole farm/ranch goal, as well as both financial and marketing plans.

We recently completed the course in Mora, New Mexico and published these blogs with class results:

“The one-on-one help was great!”

“I learned key pricing guidelines and the relationship to competition.”

“I better understand customers and competition.”

“I learned how to reach a breakeven point.”

-Whole Farm Business Planning Students, Mora, NM

If you’d like us to bring this course to your community, please contact us.  If you are in California, please sign up for our course starting September 2014

California –  Whole Farm/Ranch Business Planning

TomKat Ranch, Pescadero, CA

September 20, 2014 – Introduction to Holistic Management Whole/Farm Ranch Planning
October 4-5, 2014 – Holistic Financial Planning
October 18-19, 2014 Holistic Marketing and Business Planning
9:00 – 5:00 each day

Registration, Fees, & Scholarships

SORRY, THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. PLEASE BE SURE TO SIGN UP FOR THE HMI E-NEWSLETTER TO GET NOTIFIED OF FUTURE COURSES. Our plans for 2015 include courses this winter and spring in New Mexico, California, and Colorado.

Register Button Green LargeThanks to Sallie Calhoun – The Christiano Family Fund for their funding of this program, the full course (valued at $800) is being offered at $100 per person. Our thanks also to the San Francisco Foundation for funding additional scholarships. If you live within a two hour drive of Pescadero, a limited number of scholarships are available bringing the registration cost down to zero.   If you’d like to be considered for a scholarship, fill out the Application  and return to scholarships(AT)holisticmanagement(DOT)org.  The last day to apply for a scholarship is September 5, 2014. The last day to register for the course is September 12, 2014.

If you are unable to register online, please fill out the HMI Event Registration Form and mail along with your check or money order to:

Registration Dept.
5941 Jefferson St. NE, Ste B
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received up to 30 days prior to  the course  start date will receive a full refund. Cancellations received up to 14 days prior to an event start date will receive a 40% refund. No refunds will be given otherwise, unless in the event of dire emergency. This policy is required due to financial obligations incurred by HMI in planning these events. We appreciate your understanding.
Please bring a sack lunch, as meals are not provided.


Richard King, Holistic Management Certified Educator

Richard KingRichard’s career with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service includes 36 years of experience as a rangeland specialist, ecologist, and biologist.  His work included training co-workers and assisting landowners with restoration or enhancement of rangelands, wetlands, cropland, chaparral, forests, woodlands, and stream corridors before retiring in 2012. Specific areas of experience and expertise include grazing planning, building soil organic matter, replacing invasive/pest species with diverse communities of life, land infrastructure planning, biological monitoring, financial planning, and consensus building. Since retirement from NRCS, he enjoys teaching individuals or groups Holistic Management®. Richard is a Certified Professional in Rangeland Management and a Certified Rangeland Manager. He holds a Wildlife Management BS with a minor in Range Management, Humboldt State University, and Biology MS, Northern Arizona University

Calley Hastings, Holistic Management Certified Educator

Calley Hastings, Holistic Management Certified EducatorCalley Hastings grew up in rural Vermont on her family’s homestead. She spent time in college working on an environmental project in the Brazilian rainforest and later majored in Environmental Studies with a focus on Education and Sustainable Agriculture at The University of Vermont. In 2007, she started a goat dairy called Fat Toad Farm, with her family that produces farmstead goat’s milk caramel that is sold at specialty food stores nation-wide. In addition to her own farm, Calley has been involved in agricultural education for the past 10 years and now works as a farm consultant.

Robert Rutherford, Holistic Management Certified Educator

Rob RutherfordA graduate of UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science and Standard Secondary Teaching Credential for Ag Education and a Master of Science in Agriculture at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Rob retired after serving for 39 years as a Professor of Animal Science at Cal Poly. Within that position, as well as teaching and advising students, he was charged with managing the sheep operations on campus, which entails grazing management in order to enhance resource function and productivity. During his tenure there, he was actively involved in both state and national sheep organizations, serving as state president and also chairing the national targeted grazing committee. Following retirement, he has started a business entitled Whole Options LLC in order to continue to help land managers make better decisions toward a sustainable future.

Peggy Sechrist, Holistic Management Certified Educator

Peggy Sechrist, Holistic Management Certified EducatorPeggy is a student, teacher, and practitioner of Holistic Management for nearly 25 years. Peggy and her husband, Richard, were the first ranchers in Texas to create a certified organic, grass-fed beef operation in 1995. She has collaborated for many years with numerous agricultural and wildlife agencies including Texas A&M University, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Services, Southern Agriculture Working Group, and the United States Department of Agriculture/Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program.


I. Introduction to Holistic Management Whole Farm/Ranch Planning (1 day)

carrizo valley Ranch, Holistic Management practitioners new mexico cowsOutcomes:

Participants will be able to:

  • Develop a management inventory to more effectively manage resources
  • Clarify farm or ranch goals and utilize new ways to manage them
  • Use key testing principles for managing and making sustainable decisions
  • Eight principles and practices for effective resource management
  • Developing a management inventory
  • Creating a whole farm goal for effective decision-making, planning, and management
  • Prioritizing actions with seven testing questions
  • Four ecosystem processes and how to work with them

II Holistic Financial Planning (2 days)

  • Develop effective implementation and monitoring financial systems that work
  • Develop investment strategies to increase profitability
  • Leave with a financial plan you developed
  • Determine the best enterprise(s) for a profitable operation
  • Learn how to reduce stress around financial decision making
  • Explore the link between marketing, profit, and cost of production
  • Distinguish between financial planning, managing, and accounting
  • Integrate financial decisions with your whole farm or ranch goal
  • Prioritize expenses to achieve your goal
  • Plan for profit
  • Improve profitability with enterprise analysis
  • Analyze net worth and track progress
  • Develop a cash flow to maximize profitability
  • Increase creativity in planning and marketing
  • Create financial recordkeeping and monitoring systems

III Holistic Marketing and Business Planning (2 days)

  •  Develop an effective marketing plan that utilizes current resources
  • Determine best marketing strategies for your products and situation
  • Determine marketing needs and additional resources necessary to address them
  • Leave with a marketing plan you developed
  • Determine key strategic initiatives necessary to grow and sustain the agricultural operation you manage
  • Determine return on investment to prioritize initiatives
  • Create timeline for strategic initiative implementation
  • Leave with a business plan outline they developed that will help them develop their business and/or obtain funding for that business
  • The various direct marketing channels and opportunities and challenges of each
  • The importance of market research for developing a marketing plan
  • How to assess consumer trends, target markets, and potential competition
  • Become familiar with resources of direct marketing
  • Assess the value or uniqueness of your product or service
  • How to write a business plan
  • How to tie your marketing and business plan to your holistic goal and holistic financial plan to make effective strategic decisions

IV  One-On-One Coaching

For one month after the completion of the last course, you can sign up for one-on-one distance mentoring with our instructors to get feedback on any aspect of  your whole farm/ranch business plan.


TomKat cow groupTomKat Ranch
2997 Pescadero Road

From the North: Take Hwy 1 south of Half Moon Bay to Pescadero Road (from Half Moon Bay ~ 15.5 miles).  Turn left on Pescadero Road.  Follow Pescadero Road for approximately 3 miles.  TomKat Ranch is on the left side of the road (shortly after North Street and directly across from Phipps Farm Stand). Drive through gate and follow gravel road approximately ½ mile.  You’ll cross a bridge and stay to the left after the bridge.  Drive towards barn on your left and park on the cement pad on your left.  Please drive slowly.

From the South: Take Hwy. 1 north of Santa Cruz to Pescadero Road (from Santa Cruz ~ 33 miles. Turn right on Pescadero Road. Follow the directions from above, once on Pescadero Road

Please note: Pescadero Road is also referred as Pescadero Creek Road.



This event is made possible by a generous contribution from Sallie Calhoun – The Christiano Family Fund, an advised fund of the Community Foundation for San Benito County.


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