Healthy soil makes for healthy humans

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Holistic Management Certified Educator,

“The more diverse an agricultural system, the more stable it be-comes. Diversity is always the norm in a natural system, but our modern farming systems have come to value the opposite “monoculture,” which is inherently unstable. As a result, we have a crop protection industry that supplies products to prop up this unnatural system.

Production tends to go up and pests become less of a problem if we design systems that are more diverse.”

HMI Healthly Land, Sustainable FutureRead then entire article here.

 

Integrating Livestock & Biodynamics in Farming Systems in CA

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We’ve just opened registration for another Open Gate Learning Series day. This one is the Tablas Creek Vineyard Day in Paso Roble, CA.  It’s pretty exciting to see vineyards benefiting from Holistic Management practices. Whether you are an agricultural producer, a gardener, Tablas Creek animals verticalwildlife manager, local agency representative, or just interested in organic wine production and sustainability, this is a day for you.

At the Open Gate: Tablas Creek Vineyard day, you’ll…

  • See what fellow land managers are doing to maintain land health and profitability in a changing environment
  • Learn about how to integrate livestock and biodynamics in farming systems
  • Learn indicators of good soil health
  • Practice making decisions about common land management dilemmas
  • Discuss practical grazing strategies to improve water use and land production
  • Hear how Holistic Management enables producers to better manage risk, make better decisions and enjoy the benefits of sustainable agriculture.

It’s only $20 per person (advance registration) and includes lunch. Get more information & register now.

Holistic grazing management is wholly different approach

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Holistic Management Certified Educator and practitioner, Ralph Tate is in the news.  Ralph recently partnered with the Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Land Stewardship Alliance to give Ralph-Tate.crop;jpga well received course in Holistic Grazing Planning.  Here’s an excerpt from the article…

There are a lot of complexities around grazing; some are controllable, like not allowing overgrazing, and others, like weather events, are not. Holistic Management aims to reduce the complexity with a step-by-step approach to grazing planning with the understanding that in working with a biological system, things may not work out exactly as expected.

“No plan survives contact with reality,” Tate said.

The nitty gritty of holistic grazing management revolves around a grazing chart that Holistic Management International offers in paper or software form at holisticmanagement.org. Tate developed the software on his own and HMI offered to sell it to practitioners. The chart includes seven month portions, each divided into 31 day sections.

Be sure to read the entire article written by Lisa Young  in AgriNews.

HMI and our Holistic Management Certified Educators offer numerous classes for producers interested in decision making that enables them to meet their goals in a sustainable manner. Check out our event calendar to see what’s going on.

The Kids are Alright

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Meet the newest additions to the HMI family!  HMI Interim CEO and Holistic Management Anns Goats 5practitioner, Ann Adams’ farm is having productive spring. These four kids were born yesterday.

 

Mom and kids are all doing well!

 

 

Anns Goats 2

Women Leaders in the Field

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Our Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: Women in the Northeast & Texas program continues to get national recognition from the press.  Kelly Eisenbarger just wrote an article published in the April 2014 issue of Acres USA.  Kelly writes…

Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine and Texas participate in the program. The wide demographics are a tool to reach the goal of 14,400 more customers having access to a sustainable food system as the women increase their knowledge, continue to plan more effectively, and implement those plans so that they improve their ability to manage all resources whether human, financial or natural.

Kelly goes on to highlight some of the amazing women who are successfully building farms and ranches with the knowledge and support they’ve received from HMI.

Read the entire article >> Women Leaders in the Field, Acres USA article

Beginning Women Farmers, Texas Group, HMIIf you are a beginning women farmer or rancher with less than 10 years experience are you are interested in applying for the program, we will begin accepting applications for the 2014/2015 season starting late spring or summer. Contact HMI to be added to our interest list.

We also can’t thank the USDA NIFA BFRD organization enough for their grant, (#2012-49400-19673) , which allows HMI to run the program.

USDA Logo Horz.

Whole Farm Business Planning Program Continues in Mora, New Mexico

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

HMI completed the 2nd module of our Whole Farm Business Planning Series with 25 participants involved with the Los de Mora Local Growers Cooperative near Mora, New Mexico in the middle of March.  The focus of this session was on financial planning—particularly gross profit analysis, enterprise investment analysis, determining net worth, and mapping out a cash forecast.

Holistic Management Certified Educators, Ann Adams and Cindy Dvergsten were the instructors for this module. Evaluation of this session showed that participants experienced a significant knowledge increase in identifying logjams and how to create a profit, as well as how to prioritize and cut expenses.

Certified Educator Cindy Dvergsten explaining financial management to Mora Co-op growers.

Our thanks to the Thornburg Foundation for their grant in support of this series and to Farm Credit and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union for their support of the Financial Planning Module.

Introduction to Whole Farm Planning Results

Knowledge/Confidence Increase % Increase
Identifying logjams and adverse factors on your farm 97%
Getting the profit you need from your farm 85%
Prioritizing and cutting farm expenses to guide reinvestment in your farm 84%
Monitoring Financial Plan 76%
Determining your farm’s projected revenue 75%
Developing a whole farm financial plan 73%
Assessing the cash flow of your plan 67%
How to increase farm net worth 55%
Determining viable profitable enterprises for your farm 53%
Intended Behavior Change % of Participants
Intend to complete or modify a financial plan for your farm

94%

Record keeping

78%

Determining profit upfront and capping expenses

67%

Using the annual income and expense template

61%

Involving decision makers in financial planning

61%

Strategically reinvesting in your farm

56%

Entering financial data regularly

56%

Prioritizing and cutting expenses

56%

Monitoring the annual income and expense template

56%

Enterprise assessment

50%

Participant Satisfaction  
Satisfaction with Session 90%
Satisfaction with Instructor 90%

 

 

Opportunity to Make a Difference with our Community

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HMI’s Board of Directors has hired Jim Harlan, president and CEO of MJM Global Search, Inc., to support efforts in filling the post of HMI’s Executive Director. MJM Global’s search will begin immediately with analysis of the position and identification of candidates.

Founded in 1984, HMI’s mission is to educate people to manage land for a sustainable future. We accomplish our mission by motivating, connecting, and training farmers, ranchers, and land stewards through the practice of Holistic Management®, a Whole Farm/Ranch Planning System that improves environmental health, sustains economic viability, and enhances the quality of life for farm and ranch communities.

Persons interested in the position may contact:

Jim Harlan
MJM Global Search, Inc.
P.O. Box 883
Franktown, CO 80116
(303) 660-0766
jim@mjmglobalsearch.com

 

California Here We Come

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We’ve just opened registration for another Open Gate Learning Series day.  This one is the TomKat Ranch Day in Pescadero, CA.

Tom Kat RanchResilience through Dry Times

May 17, 2014
TomKat Ranch
Pescadero, CA

Whether you are an agricultural producer, a gardener, wildlife manager, local agency representative, or just interested in sustainability, this is a day for you.

What to Expect

At the Open Gate: TomKat Ranch day you’ll…

  • See what  land managers are doing to maintain land health and profitability in a changing environment
  • Discuss practical grazing strategies to improve water infiltration and land production
  • Gain practical ideas on how to increase profit, production and performance for a sustainable ranch operation.
  • Better understand critical monitoring criteria to determine the health of the water cycle
  • Understand how best to maximize soil cover for improved production
  • See how you can improve land health for increased forage production
  • Hear how Holistic Management enables producers to better manage risk, make better decisions and enjoy the benefits of sustainable agriculture.

It’s only $20 per person (advance registration) and includes lunch. Get more information & register now.

Women Farmers & Ranchers in Texas Graduate

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HMI  Project Manager, Peggy Cole just filed this report on our Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: Women in the Northeast & Texas program. 
 

Session 5: Marketing and Business Planning

Our 5 Holistic Management Certified Educator Trainees reached the peak of their expression at this final session of the 2013-14 class. Each took a large section of the curriculum to teach. Implementing their training in preparing, estimating their time requirement, creating personal examples and supportive presentations, each did a fantastic job at getting the class excited and engaged in their topics.

Kathy Harris explains how marketing decisions were made in her operation, then gives an assignment for individual work

Kathy Harris explains how marketing decisions were made in her operation, then gives an assignment for individual work

As usual, we began the session with an opening circle wherein each said a short statement of how this class has impacted their lives, then we touched hands in silence as we walked around the circle. The impact statements were so profound that the class decided to write them down for HMI to send tothe  USDA, our grantor,  in support of this program.

Holistic Management Certified Educator, Peggy Sechrist introduced the topic of this session and turned over the floor to trainee Kathy Harris for her presentation about how to connect our Marketing and Financial plan to our Holistic Goal.  She used the example of her farm enterprise selling eggs wholesale and how clarity about the Holistic Goal and looking at the financial weak link (marketing) prompted the move to direct selling in a niche market.  Kathy used her laptop as a flip chart, recording the class input to show on the big screen. This was especially effective in getting the class the list of products we produce and how we sell them, since she just included the new document in her presentation and posted it as PDF. Kathy’s exercise for the group was working with parts of the marketing plan template. Her presentation was well done and well received.

Heading out to tour Bamberger Ranch. Steven Fulton tells the history of the ranch

Heading out to tour Bamberger Ranch. Steven Fulton tells the history of the ranch

Tracy was up next with the importance of market research, which also generated quite a bit of discussion. Lauren Bradbury presented on marketing channels. She had great photos and had obviously researched the topic well. The discussion was lively.

After lunch we headed outside for a tour of the ranch with focus on how management works to improve the water cycle.

Lauri Celella taught the segment on how to assess consumer trends and target markets. Again the ideas were flying. Everyone expressed amazement at how much brainpower was in the room.

We had a special graduation dinner that evening and each of the graduating students received a certificate to the applause of her fellow students. As the mood got into the “awwww, we don’t want it to end” realm, the coordinator reminded them the mentoring continues until August and the management clubs are forever. So we broke into management clubs by area – one each for north Texas, south Texas and central Texas. The rest of the evening was spent visiting with their club members to plan the structure and the schedule of farm visits.

Participants plan on creating a management club to continue sharing ideas in the future.

Participants plan on creating a management club to continue sharing ideas in the future.

The next day was business planning. Katherine Napper presented an excellent program, complete with personal examples, on the whys and hows of a business plan, with a focus on how to pull parts of the already completed financial, land and marketing plans into the new business plan. Time was devoted to working on this plan and any other incomplete plans from the program.

Closing circle was especially poignant as the silent touching of hands turned into a hug-fest, wrapping it up until the inevitable reunion events to come.

 

L to r: Cecelia Shulz, Katherine Napper, Kim Keeter and Lennie Archer express the depth of their connection.

L to r: Cecelia Shulz, Katherine Napper, Kim Keeter and Lennie Archer express the depth of their connection.

 

 

 

 

Announcing the Holistic Management Rendezvous 2014

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Hold the Date!

Holistic Management Rendezvous 2014

Nov 7-9, 2014

HMI Logo with 30 mark_colorDixon Water Foundation Leo Ranch
Decatur, Texas
 
Running High Ranch
Bowie, TX

Dixon Water Foundation LogoCo-hosted by HMI and Dixon Water Foundation

Join farmers and ranchers from around the world in Texas!  We’ll get out on the land, learn from each other, swap stories, and share ideas on how best to manage land for a sustainable future. This unique event will include the Josey Pavilion Grand Opening, HMI’s 30th Anniversary Celebration, and two Open Gate Ranch Days. We’ll also enjoy lots of delicious local cuisine and some great music and entertainment. Tent camping will be available and we will be reserving a block of rooms at a motel near the ranch. Holistic Management practitioners, educators, organic ranchers, and anyone interested in sustainable land management and local food will want to attend.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpeakers

  • Dr. Richard Teague, Texas AgriLife Research Station
  • Tenna Florian, Lake/Flato LEED-certified Architecture
  • Courtney White, Quivira Coalition
  • Dr. Lisa Bellows, North Central Texas College
  • Robby Tuggle, General Manager of the Dixon Ranches
  • Deborah Clark, Birdwell-Clark Ranch
  • Jerry Addison, Running High Ranch
  • Sue & Gary Price, 77 Ranch
  • Guy Glosson, Mesquite Grove Ranch
  • Peggy Sechrist, Holistic Management Certified Educator & Livestock Producer
  • Ann Adams, Interim CEO, HMI
  • Kelly Sidoryk – Canadian Holistic Management Certified Educator & Livestock Producer
  • Wayne Knight – South African Holistic Management Certified Educator & Livestock Producer
  • Ben Bartlett–Holistic Management Certified Educator, DVM, and Livestock Producer
  • Rob Rutherford–Holistic Management Certified Educator & former professor at Cal Poly
  • Holistic Management—Texas style (Producer Panel)

DSC_0296Topics to Include:

  • Organic Production
  • Multi-species Grazing
  • Infrastructure Planning
  • Planned Grazing
  • Improving the Water Cycle
  • Monitoring for Land Health
  • Drought Mitigation
  • Soil Health
  • Monitoring Animal Performance
  • Water as a Crop

We will be opening up registration in July, so hold the dates for November 7-9 and stay tuned for more information.