Workshops center around helping ranchers

Open Gate Mimms Unit, HMI, Holistic Management, new mexico

Deborah Fox from the The Valencia County News-Bulletin attended HMI’s Open Gate: Bar Lazy S Ranch Day and just published  an article.  Here’s and excerpt

Most people picture a little farm with a few cows, chickens and a couple of crop fields when they think of where food comes from.  The reality is that most food comes from large, one-crop agricultural businesses that may be miles away from their dinner table. In New Mexico, the farm-to-plate and buy-local initiatives seem to be gaining momentum, and local farmers and ranchers are rising to the demand.
The Bar Lazy S Ranch in San Clemente held a day of workshops Friday centered around small farm profitability. The workshops focused on how diversification and farming cooperatives can provide some stability in the risky business of food production, and increase local profits…
Read the entire article on the News-Bulletin website>>>

HMI Board Names New ED


HMI Board Names Bryan Weech as Executive Director

Dr. Ann Adams steps into Director, Programs Role

Bryan Weech, Executive Director, HMIAlbuquerque, NM. – The Board of Directors of Holistic Management International, (HMI) are pleased to announce the appointment of Bryan Weech as Executive Director effective immediately. In Bryan’s most recent position with the World Wildlife Fund, (WWF), as Director of Livestock & Global Commodity Lead, Bryan was instrumental in working with multiple stakeholders in the beef and dairy industries to find collaborative solutions to increase the sustainability of the livestock industry. Prior to joining WWF, Bryan held numerous positions in the agriculture industry including Director of Pricing and Analysis at Coleman Natural Foods, Analyst at Cattle-Fax, Business Analyst at ConAgra and Chief Operating Officer at Gelbvieh Profit Partners. Bryan holds an MBA and Masters in Animal Science from Colorado State University and a BS in Animal Science and Management from Brigham Young University.

As Executive Director, Bryan will be responsible for partnering with the Board of Directors and staff to develop and direct the implementation of long-term strategic objectives that will enable the communities served by HMI to manage land for a sustainable future. Bryan will be responsible for fundraising, driving HMI’s day-to-day organizational success and delivering sustained results toward HMI’s Holistic Goal.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bryan to the HMI community. Bryan’s experience in both the conventional and sustainable agriculture industry makes him uniquely qualified to reach out to farmers and ranchers that aren’t currently practicing Holistic Management,” states Board President and Holistic Management Certified Educator, Kelly Sidoryk.

“I’m excited to be a part of the important work HMI is doing,” said Weech in a statement. “As HMI celebrates its 30th anniversary year, I look forward to getting out and meeting the community.”

Bryan is replacing Interim CEO, Dr. Ann Adams. Ann will continue at HMI as Director, Programs. Kelly Sidoryk adds, “The entire board would like to acknowledge and thank Ann for her excellent leadership as Interim CEO. She’s done a remarkable job in streamlining processes, effectively utilizing resources, and determining HMI’s vision for the future. We look forward to working with Bryan, Ann and the great team we have at HMI.”

About HMI: HMI is an Albuquerque-based international non-profit organization whose mission is to educate people to manage land for a sustainable future. They accomplish this by motivating, connecting, supporting and training farmers, ranchers, and land stewards through the practice of Holistic Management, a Whole Farm/Ranch Planning System that addresses and improves environmental health, sustains economic viability, and enhances the quality of life of farm and ranch communities.


Rancher hosts seminar on ranching success

Open ate JX Ranch Day, Tom Sidwell, HMI Holistic Management

Our latest Open Gate learning day is in the news. It’s always good to see Holistic Management Practitioners and Open Gate Hosts like Tom Sidwell from JX Ranch  getting well deserved recognition in their areas.  Steve Hansen wrote an article in the Quay County County . Here’s an excerpt…

Quay Valley rancher Tom Sidwell has acquired a reputation as a successful user of agricultural practices that are considered sustainable and holistic, and on Saturday, he hosted a group of 50 like-minded farmers and ranchers from as far away as Oklahoma and Colorado to show them how he does it.

Sidwell not only showed them how, but how well he has succeeded by using new-age ranching techniques.

The bottom line: these techniques hold water—quite literally. His assigned subject for the day was successful ranching during a drought.  Read More….

If you are currently practicing Holistic Management on your farm or ranch and are interesting in possibly hosting an Open Gate day in your area, please contact Ann Adams, Director of Programs to find out more.

And if you would like to attend an Open Gate, check out the programs page to see this year’s schedule.

Healthy soil makes for healthy humans

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.


Holistic grazing management is wholly different approach

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 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.

Women Leaders in the Field

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.

Holistic Management of Wildlife

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

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

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

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