Rancher hosts seminar on ranching success

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

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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.


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.

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.

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.