Holistic Management In the News

HMI Joins 4 per 1000 Initiative: Soil for Food Security and Climate

DSC_0420.smallA new 4 per 1000 initiative has been started by the French Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry as the Lima-Paris climate change talks begin. This initiative is focused on getting all the countries involved in the talks to commit to increasing the organic matter on their agricultural lands by .04% to halt climate change. This is the first time there has been an international call and awareness of the importance of soils to sequester carbon.

HMI has joined this initiative formally and will continue our work to help more land stewards improve their soil health through using Holistic Management in managing their lands, finances, and families, and communities. We are proud of our network who is on the front line of this work.

Read the full article at:  The Conversation

To learn about the initiative, click here.

Resting land is a myth in grazing

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Holistic Management Certified Educator, Brian Wehlburg is featured in article by David Sparkes on ABC.net in Australia. dunblane 2He said while it was important to let grasses on a property recover, the idea that the land itself needed to be rested was untrue. Here’s an excerpt from the article…

“Another distinction he made was the difference between resting land and allowing plants to recover. A critical portion of all of that is going back into the atmosphere, and it’s not going into your soil to produce a living for yourself and for your family.
While people often talked about land being overgrazed, he said it was the plants that were overgrazed, not the land, and the balance to be struck was in the timing of grazing those plants.
“Certainly, let the plants recover from the grazing,” Mr Wehlburg said.
“But once those plants reach their physical maturity, they stop capturing sunlight, they stop capturing more carbon and in fact at some point in time they start going grey and oxidising.
“[At that point] a critical portion of all of that is going back into the atmosphere, and it’s not going into your soil to produce a living for yourself and for your family.
“So, there is a difference between resting plants and resting environments.

Read the entire article.

TomKat Ranch in the news


tomkat-for-web-rectHMI friends and Holistic Management practitioners from the TomKat Ranch in California are featured in an article by Evan Halper in the LA Times.  The folks at TomKat not only practice Holistic Management, but they also host many educational events and are driving research into the effects of Holistic Management and climate change. Here’s an excerpt…

Steyer, Taylor and a staff of scientists and farmers are riding herd not just over cattle, but also accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The number crunchers are meticulously analyzing whether there is merit to the couple’s theory about how cattle ranching and climate interact. “We are picking apart the whole operation, looking at all the supply-chain effects, adding data collection, recruiting a data consortia,” said Taylor, the inspiration behind the ranch…

Read the entire article on the LA Times website.

Graze hard, rest long

HMI, Healthy Land, Sustainable Future, Grass Close-UP

Holistic Management practitioners Steve and Charles Fettig, Napoleon, N.D are featured in an article written by Lon Tonneson and published on the Prairie Farmer website.  Here’s an excerpt…

…Justifying the time and labor: In a planned grazing system, you have to check grass and water and move cattle. It’s a daily – and sometimes twice a day — chore. But there is plenty of incentive to do the work. The Fettigs have doubled stocking rates and lengthened the grazing season. They used to run 400 cow-calf pairs on about the same number of acres and have added about a month to their typical grazing year. “It’s our job,” Steve says, of moving cattle. “It’s how we get paid. The longer we are able to keep the cattle out on grass, the more money we make.”…

You can read the entire article on the Prairie Farmer Website.

If you’d like to learn how you can increase your stocking rate with Holistic Management, enroll in one of HMI’s Training Programs.


Australian Holistic Managers Share Farming and Financial Success

Sue and Jeff Trott
Sue and Jeff Trott

Sue and Jeff Trott

Several of the presenters at a recent HMI Open Gate in Australia were interviewed by Kallee Buchanan for Queensland Country Hour, resulting in two articles and radio interviews on ABC.net.au.

Holistic Management Certified Educator Jason Virtue was recorded teaching a hands-on forage assessment exercise at Glenrock Farm Day, and further explains holistic planned grazing.

“We actively decide as the farmer where the cows are going to be in the landscape, how long they’re going to be there and what they’re going to do in the landscape while they’re there,” he said.  “It’s not a case of just lock them in and say, ‘right-oh girls, see you in six months’, it’s a case of being actively, physically there with them on a regular basis…”  – Jason Virtue

Jeff and Sue Trott, area graziers who also presented at the Open Gate, share how practicing Holistic Management has improved both the health of their land and their finances.

“Part of the training is you do a big budget looking at your finances and honestly, for us, that was quite an eye-opener… I probably could have cried looking at where we were before we started this. However, the changes we’ve made just in the last 18 months financially we can see that we’re going forward and we’re looking to the future.”   – Sue Trott

Read and listen here:    link to full article and radio interview

Kylie Carr also presented at the Glenrock Farm Day.  She and her husband Mick live in Brisbane, and commute to their farm each weekend to care for their livestock.   In the following article and radio interview, they share their family’s experiences as weekend farmers, and how they are creating the quality of life they desire using Holistic Management.

Mick Carr said he felt the farm allowed him to make a difference in the environment and food production.  “You can see the difference in our property from when we first bought it to what it is now,” he said.  “You take pride in the cattle that you produce and the quality of the food that comes from those cattle.  “So it’s about having that connection and seeing the value or the change you bring about in the landscape.”

Click here for the full article:  link to “Weekend Farmer” article and radio interview


Canadian Farmers Demonstrate Success at Open Gate Series

Canada Flag

Holistic Management Certified Educators Blain Hjertaas and Ralph Corcoran were recently featured in the Manitoba Co-operator for their involvement in a series of on-farm learning days as a part of HMI sponsored Open Gate series in Canada.  The article discusses Holistic Management practices that improve soil health to increase the quality and diversity of forage, which then translates into increased profits and better quality of life for the farmers.    Held on site at various farms across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, the Canada series of Open Gates started in July and continue through early October.

The article also highlights Neil Dennis of Sunnybrae Farm, a long-time Holistic Management practitioner.  Neil shares some of improvements he’s seen on his land, like the 300-400 increased carrying capacity, or more than 20% sugar content of his forage, which translates directly into weight gain on his cattle.

You can read the article here:    (link to full article)


There’s Magic in the Soil


In support of the UNs pronouncement of 2015 as the International Year of Soils, we  recommend you take a few minutes to read “Soil Health Movement Gains Converts, Holds Key to Rancher’s Survival” by Mychel Matthews of  MagicValley.com.  The article features a number of producers that have learned the importance of soil health and sustainable principles as part of their management plan. One of the featured producers is Holistic Management producer, Gabe Brown.  Here’s an excerpt…

“Proponents of sustainable farming warn against pulverizing the soil year after year, a practice they say destroys microbial life and dries out the soil before planting.

They also warn that pouring inorganic chemicals to the field in hopes of increasing yields and staving off pests and plant diseases creates an imbalance in the soil and in turn an expensive dependence on more chemicals.”…

Read the entire article on the MagicValley.com site 

Find more information about how to create and maintain healthy soil on the HMI Healthy Soils page.

Canadian Rancher Almost Doubles Carrying Capacity

David Pogson, Manitoba, Canada rancher and holistic manager, was recently interviewed by the Manitoba Farm Journal, and featured in an article on Pembina Valley Online.

Pogson talks about how using Holistic Management practices to plan livestock moves on his ranch over the past 8 years has improved his soil and allowed him to almost double his carrying capacity.   He also shares how he’s used cover crops to both feed cattle and improve the soil.

Pogson credits Holistic Management with the improvements to his pastures.

….it’s really unbelievable… all we’ve done is moved our animals with this planned grazing….we’ve probably upped our carrying capacity  about 95%…

You can read the full article and hear the entire radio interview here:

Manitoba Farm Journal interview

Pembina Valley Online article

Pogson Ranch was one of the planned sites for Holistic Management International’s Open Gates, our on-the-land, interactive learning days to encourage collaboration and networking.  HMI’s full slate of 2015 field days can be found at this webpage, including 3 more scheduled in Canada this year:

HMI’s on-the-land learning days



Home on the desert suits these cattle fine

Holistic Management in desert conditions

Holistic Management Certified Educator and Director of Programs for HMI, Ann Adams, is quoted in this article written by Lauren Villegran and published in the Albuquerque Journal.  It’s a fascinating look at criollo cattle — believed to be particularly well suited for desert grazing. Holistic Management practitioner Dennis Moroney is also mentioned…

Dennis Moroney of the 47 Ranch in southeast Arizona buys criollo cattle from the Jornada Experimental Range for slaughter about twice a year. He also raises them. He is transitioning his ranch from traditional cattle to exclusively criollo and is about halfway there with a herd of about 200, he said.

“The economics are working for us,” he said. “We’re a profitable ranch with no debt. That is very unusual in our business.”

You can read the entire article on the ABQ Journal website >>>

Cattle Management Can Improve Habitat…and Prevent Global Warming


Dixon-Deer.smallIt’s great to see more and more people acknowledging how practicing Holistic Management can improve wildlife habit. Our friends from the Kerr Wildlife Management Area, The Dixon Water Foundation – Mimms Ranch unit and Dr. Richard Teague are featured in an article by Robert McKee. Here’s an excerpt…

In arid West Texas in the northern-most parts of the Chihuahuan Desert, there’s an 11,000-acre ranch that uses cattle to groom and improve the desert grasslands just as the native bison did for centuries. At the Mimms Ranch, CEO Robert Potts will tell you how cattle are a tool to improve the rangelands. Potts shares, “…cattle are an important part of healthy range ecology. When managed as a grazing system, you can create or manipulate habitat to benefit birds, plant health, and soil fertility. What we’re seeing is more grass and more cover. For birds, it’s important for feeding, nesting, and for just staying out of the really heavy winter winds that whip across the desert plains out here.” The Mimms Ranch rotates cattle daily and has a full-time manager.

You can read the entire article on the Land Link website >>