Holistic Management of Wildlife

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The December 2013 issue of Texas Wildlife has an article you’ll want to check out.  It’s written by Robert and Janelle Fears and features the wonderful work the Dixon Water Foundation is doing in holistically managing their ranches in Texas. Here is an excerpt.

“The continuous vegetative cover, resulting from holistic grazing management, builds organic matter, holds water and prevents erosion,” states Josey. “Rainwater soaks into our soils and does not run off the property. We want to keep all the water that falls on our properties, and we don’t want the neighbor’s rainwater. “The reason is that run-off causes erosion, and we don’t want to lose our soil. We also don’t want our neighbors losing theirs.”

“We don’t see an immediate change in the water levels of our ponds after a heavy rain, due to soil absorption,” Josey continues. “A few days following a rain, the ponds will begin recharging from the water table.”

Read the entire article.

Bear Creek Ranch, Texas

Holistic Planned Cropping

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The Quest for a Continuous Live Root

Our friends at ACRES USA just published an article written by Ann Adams, HMI Interim CEO. Interest in cropping systems that build soil health continues to grow and many folks are finding holistic planned cropping is helping take their operations to the next level for improved profitability, land health and quality of life. Here’s an excerpt from the article…

Pasture cropping has gained a lot of attention as a way to crop farm with a continual live root (perennial plants). It is the process of planting an annual cash crop into a pasture that has been recently grazed. For example, if you have a cool-season pasture, you would graze the forage then drill a warm-season annual cash crop, such as millet, so that it would be able to come up while the cool-season plants are dormant. You would then harvest the oats and then allow animals in to graze the residue before starting the cycle again. But the short growing season and the relatively quick switch from cool- to warm-season in Burleigh County makes this technique challenging and is still in the investigation stage.

Read the full article

Holistic Management Grazing for Your Future

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Tamara Scully just wrote a really fantastic article on Holistic Management in Farming, the Journal of Northeast Agriculture.  The article focuses mostly on holistic grazing planning. We are thrilled to see our community members get the recognition they deserve.  Tricia Park a graduate of our Beginning Farmers & Ranchers program and Holistic Management Certified Educator, Phil Metzgar are featured heavily. I hope that you will take a few minutes to read the article and share with others.  Here’s a short excerpt…

“Rotational and mob grazing are practices. Holistic grazing planning is a process, which includes more than just how short to graze or how often to move animals. It is all in the plan, which is attentive to a more comprehensive impact,” Metzger said. “There is a lot to learn, usually, so after [farmers] have a holistic goal and can articulate what they are trying to create, it is OK to move on to figuring out the available forage and needs on the chart. How many acres do you have? What is your forage production? How long can you graze? What is your planned stocking rate? Look at the seasonal big picture first. What is it that you are trying to create through your grazing plan and implementation?”

tricia park

Tricia Park, Holistic Management Practitioner & Program Graduate

Phil Metzger, Holistic Management Certified Educator

Holistic Management Practitioners Receive Recognition

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Congratulations to The Burrows Ranch, owned and operated by Bill and Kay Burrows!

These Holistic Management practitioners have been recognized by the American Farmland Trust for their diverse land use as part of their Profiles in Stewardship Program.  Here’s a couple of excerpts from an article by Julie R. Johnson published in the Corning Observer…

A holistic management decision-making process converted the ranch from a cattle operation to a diversified cattle, agritourism, carbon sequestration, and land conservation business that uses cattle as well as meat goats and sheep for brush control.

“We attended and workshop in Red Bluff about holistic management and within 20 minutes of being in that workshop I knew I had found the answer for us,” Bill said.

Be sure  to read the full article on their website

Holistic Management Practitioners in the News

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Progressive Dairyman has published a list of their top most read articles in 2013 and a story they did on Kress and Tammy Simpson of KTS Farm in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, made the list! Kress and Tammy are using Holistic Management in their dairy operation. We think it’s great that so many folks are interested in reading about Holistic Management.  You can read the article and update on the Simpon’s at the Progressive Dairyman webpage.



One of our program graduates is in the news!

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Congratulations to Tricia Park of Creekside Farms. Tricia is a graduate of HMI’s Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: Women in the Northeast program.  She also recently hosted a HMI Open Gate Learning event at her farm in New York.  Tamara Jean Scully from Country Folks magazine wrote the article.  Here’s an excerpt….

The key to their success is grass. Managing pastures for better forage has led to increased weight gain, decreased need for inputs on the farm, and “high-quality, pasture-raised meats” sold directly to customers via a meat CSA, the farm store and an online farmers’ market. The family practices Holistic Management, considering the health of the land, the animals, the community and the family — which includes being profitable and having time for non-farming respites — when managing and setting goals for the farm.

Their farm, purchased in May, 2011, had been planted in alfalfa hay for years. The soil was bare. Moss was growing everywhere. They began to improve the pasture quality, so it could support their animals. Today, they graze much of year, stockpile forages, and use minimal off-farm inputs. Be sure to read the entire article on the Country Folks website.

Holistic management: land, people and profit

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Our Open Gate: Creekside Meadows Farm Day in New York is in the news.  The Country Folks farm paper published an article by Tamara Scully, who joined producers and land managers in New York for a day of learning on the land. Holistic Management Certified Educator, Erica Frenay is quoted…

Holistic Management can “create a foundation to set our farm up for success in the long-term.”

Frenay emphasized the Holisitic Management approach is a decision-making tool, with guides designed to help farmers ask the right set of questions when making decisions on the farm.

“We as farmers have a really unique profession. We take sunlight, and turn it into money,” Frenay said. “Everything that we do has a financial, ecological and economic component to it.”

You can read the entire article on the Country Folks website.

You can find our more about our Open Gate on-farm learning series here.

Beef field day designed to identify, solve problems

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The Country Today newspaper just published an article on HMI’s Open Gate On-Farm Learning Series: Paine Family Farm Day. HMI’s Director of Community Service, Frank Aragona was on hand and quoted…

“The purpose of this program is to get farmers and ranchers together in a group to share ideas and troubleshoot what their problems are and help one another solve some of those problems,” Aragona said. “Another purpose is to come to Laura and Bill’s place to see what they’re doing and see what you can do on your farm so you can be more effective and successful.”

I encourage you can read the full article on the Country Today website.

Here are a few photos from the event….



Nature Down On The Farm

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The Times Union in New York just published an article by Matthew Hamilton featuring several farmers that are farming holistically.  Both  farmers are selling grass-fed USDA-certified organic meat and, of course, are practicing intensive grazing and pasture rotation.  HMI’s, Director of Community Services, Ann Adams is quoted in the article…

Adams said profits for large farms that make the switch can be higher because input costs like fuel and fertilizer are lower with holistic practices. The bottom line isn’t the only thing that’s boosted, either

“Anybody who had done it conventionally and switched to Holistic Management are always saying, ‘My stress is less. My profit is greater. I’m enjoying it more,'” Adams said.

We encourage you to read the entire article on the Times Union website.

Holistic Management Practitioners & Educators in the News

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Here are a number of articles published about international Holistic Management Practitioners and Certified Educators. Enjoy….

Ever thought about what your own eulogy might sound like?

From the ABC Rural in New South Wales, Australia, read this article about Holistic Management Certified Educator, Brian Wehlburg

“If people can identify what drives them and what excites them, it becomes a positive driver for change.”

Read More…

Brain is also featured in this short video.

An holistic, sustainable style of farming

From the Comax Valley Record in British Columbia, CA, read the story of Dan & Maggie Thran who run the DKT Farm in Courtenay

“We try to follow what we call a holistic management style,” explains Thran. “It’s a natural approach that involves profitability, a family lifestyle, sustainability and environmental considerations. If you lose any one of those components, the other three fall by the wayside.”

Read More….

A man who loved the land

From The Land, in NSW, Australia, read the story of George Gundy, a former Holistic Management Certified Educator who recently passed away….

“Holistic Management embodies “triple bottom line” thinking. It teaches that no-one can make sound decisions unless they consider a decision’s personal, financial and environmental consequences – and that means the person making the decision needs a “holistic” understanding of what they value in life.

The logic of this idea hit Mr Gundry hard. In the early 2000s he went to the United States to undertake training as a Holistic Management educator.”

Read More…