Kentucky Holistic Planned Grazing Event

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Introduction to Holistic Planned Grazing

If you are near Kentucky, you’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity to learn about Holistic Planned Grazing. Joshua Dukart, a Holistic Management Certified Educator and grazier, will be facilitating this one-day program on October 16th. The program runs from 10 am to 3:30 pm and includes lunch. It will be held at the KYSU Research and Demonstration Farm inFrankfort, KY

This program will cover an introduction to Holistic Planned Grazing and how it can benefit your farm. Participates will receive material to help them plan and manage their grazing in a more sustainable manner while improving productivity of the land and improving soil health.

Directions to KYSU Research and Demonstration Farm:

From Frankfort, travel south on Rt. 127. Cross I-64, then turn left (east) at an intersection with a Chevron gas station, a traffic light, and a “Kentucky State University Research Farm” sign. Follow Mills Lane east for 1.5 miles. The farm is on the right, marked with a green and yellow sign.

No need to register, just get to the event at little earlier. There is no cost for the program.

For more information contact Ken Andries
Office: 502-597-5094
Email: Kenneth.andries@kysu.edu

WSARE Biological Monitoring Course Accomplishment

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HMI completed our fourth online course as part of our Whole Farm/Ranch Planning Program for Agricultural Educators funded by The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) Professional Development Program. The Biological Monitoring course began in July 2014 with 28 participants from 9 different states. The instructor for the WSARE Biological Monitoring course was Holistic Management Certified Educator Phil Metzger. Phil Metzger is a natural resources development consultant having recently retired from a 32-year career as a resource conservationist for the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

This course provided key biological monitoring principles and practices to help facilitate conversations with producers about soil fertility and how production practices are influencing that fertility. Monitoring techniques for rangelands, pastures, and croplands were discussed. Participants mastered a simple approach to natural resource issue diagnosis based on monitoring data, past production practices, and potential new production practices that will address the resource issue profitably. The purpose of the course was to help agricultural educators and producers have a viable way to collect data and analyze their land. The participants learned to recognize the impact of prior decisions on the land and to observe and use ecosystem functions to increase land performance.

After surveying the participants in the WSARE Biological Monitoring course, a high number of participants experienced knowledge and behavior changes as noted below.

HMI thanks WSARE for their funding of this program.

Knowledge/Behavior and Confidence Increase% Increase
How to inventory your farm resources 80%
Ability to integrate social, economic and environmental factors into your decisions82%
Your ability to understand ecosystem health 82%
Your ability to assess ecosystem health 100%
Intend to develop a whole farm goal100%
Overall satisfaction of the course 100%
Behavior Change% of Participants
Increased confidence in ability to monitor your farm's ecosystem health100%
Increased confidence in ability to improve the ecosystem health on your farm100%
Increased confidence in how to build organic matter in your soils89%
Do you intend to conduct biological monitoring as a result of today's session?89%
Do you intend to change any management practices as a result of this session?89%
Overall Satisfaction of the course (good to excellent)100%

What the Participants Said:

“I am able to better organize strategies for implementing a more thorough monitoring system on the farm.”

“I loved the hands-on monitoring and want to learn more about monitoring and to practice it more!”

“Overall the course was excellent, very interactive with participants really participating. The feedback on assignments from Phil was very useful, and in some instances inspired me to “re-do”, or at least go take another look.”

“I think this [knowledge] will be very useful when I am working with producers and even just small acreage land owners that are looking to have better land stewardship practices.”

“[Most useful thing I learned was] how to monitor ecosystem processes, and the importance of observing the soil surface.”

“The monitoring is something that I have never learned about before. I think this will be very useful when I am working with producers and even just small acreage land owners that are looking to have better land stewardship practices.”

“I liked the actual methods for monitoring.”

“I really liked that the holistic process was tied into the monitoring; helped to reinforcing the subject matter.”

“Biological Monitoring is a huge subject and I thought this was very well-presented and succinct.”

Featured Participant

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Julie Elliott

“I commented to Phil that I could not do 100 points of the Range Monitoring and he congratulated me for sticking it out to 50 as he usually only does 25!  It’s actually quite a relief to learn that it’s o.k. that I don’t collect tons of data- I can use my experience and judgment to determine if more points will garner a wider variety of information. Also, I like the range monitoring sheet and looking at insect and rodent activity on a ‘micro’ scale.  What happens on the micro level may tell me more about the condition of the ecological processes than looking at the range on the macro level.”

 

 

Getting Started Holistic Grazing Planning Course Results

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Bishopp Farm

HMI’s Online Learning Series Getting Started Holistic Grazing Planning course began in May 2014 with 22 participants from all around the world. This course focused on key grazing planning principles and practices. The participants were excited to improve their ability to observe and understand critical grazing considerations, determining forage inventory, animal needs, along with grazing and recovery periods before putting all these calculations into a written grazing plan.

After surveying the participants who completed the Getting Started Holistic Grazing Planning course, all of the participants experienced knowledge and behavior changes with:

Getting Started Holistic Grazing Planning Evaluation Results
Knowledge/Behavior and Confidence Increase % Increase
The value of grazing planning 100%
How to assess recovery periods 100%
How to improve land health with livestock 100%
How to determine the number of paddocks 100%
How to determine grazing periods 100%
Assessing quantity of forage in a pasture 100%
Determining the number of animals your land can support for grazing 100%
% of Participants
Do you intend to complete or modify a written grazing plan as a result of today’s session? 100%
Do you intend to change any management practices as a result of this session? 100%
Overall Satisfaction of the course 100%

 

 

 

WSARE Grazing Planning Course a Success

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HMI completed our third online course as part of our Whole Farm/Ranch Planning Program for Agricultural Educators funded by The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) Professional Development Program. The Holistic Grazing Planning course began in April 2014 with 26 participants from 10 different states. This course provides key grazing planning principles and practices to help participants facilitate conversations with producers about grazing planning and implementation. This simple approach to grazing planning helps agricultural educators and producers hone in on critical grazing considerations, determine forage inventory, animal needs, and grazing and recovery periods. After gathering all of the information and putting together their calculations, participants created a written grazing plan.

After surveying the participants in the WSARE Grazing Planning course, a high number of participants experienced knowledge and behavior changes as noted below.

HMI thanks WSARE for their funding of this program.

WSARE Land Planning Evaluation Results
Knowledge/Confidence Increase % Increase
How to assess recovery periods 80%
How to assess quantity of forage in a pasture 80%
How to determine grazing periods 87%
How to determine the number of animals your pasture can support 93%
How to determine the number of paddocks 93%
Behavior Change         % of Participants
Increased confidence in assessing quantity of forage in a pasture 80%
Increased confidence in determining the number of animals your land can support for grazing 80%
Increased confidence in determining how long animals will stay in each paddock 80%
Do you intend to complete or modify a written grazing plan as a result of today’s session? 87%
Do you intend to change any management practices as a result of this session? 92%
Overall Satisfaction of the course 100%

 

What the Participants Said:

“Getting your ‘system’ down on paper helps immensely in understanding a complex grazing plan.”

 

“I am finding I am better able to communicate with my clients greater purpose in grazing management planning and further subdividing current management units in such a way that provides a space and place for curiosity from my client and allows for even broader conversations than prior to this class; I’ve been witnessing a change in some of my somewhat resistant clients. It seems I have made a change in the way I present myself or a concept that allows them to dig deeper into being more vulnerable around their management strategies and investigating, in conversation, changes that they would be willing to explore.”

 

“I’m more comfortable with the numbers and the math via the spreadsheet and interpreting it with “on-the” ground management”

 

“I learned how to assess forage quality and quantity, animal performance and how to calculate paddock size and ADA.”

 

“I really enjoyed the resources and was able to share many of them with co-workers and clients.”

Featured Participant

Maggie Matoba

Maggie Matoba “I have nothing but praises for HMI’s Grazing Planning class that I just  completed this past spring.  If there was any fault, I wish the course was a little  longer, because there was so much to absorb and learn.  We were given the  tools to improve our skills (and to help other ranchers and farmers) to more  effectively manage grazing resources and increase the ability to make more  informed decisions utilizing HMI’s whole farm/ranch goal-setting and  ecosystem processes.  With these tools and through observation and better  understanding of these type of grazing practices, I am better equipped to  advise my clients and students (as an agriculture educator) as to how to  improve their grazing management skills and enable them to increase their  productivity.  I feel more knowledgeable about how to work with nature and to maintain environmental sustainability, while being able to focus also on how to effectively make decisions to maximize positive financial gains.

 

With this course, as with the other courses in the HMI Program, real-time application will be the next step, in order to synthesize these concepts that I have learned and put them into practice.  I look forward to be working with farmers and ranchers in the area and introduce them to these exciting approaches in agriculture! “

 

Agriculture Business Management Advisor & Horticultural Therapist– Eugene, Oregon

 

 

2013 Massachusetts Beginning Women Farmer Program Report

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Massachusetts 2013 Beginning Women Farmer Participants

HMI is excited to report on the data we have collected from our Beginning Women Farmer Training Program in Massachusetts which began in November 2012 and ran through May of 2013. This program was part of HMI’s Beginning Women Farmer Program funded by the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. 15 women were accepted into the program for the 2012-2013 program year and 13 graduated. The State Coordinator position was shared by Devon Whitney-Deal and Kristen Wilmer of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture. Program mentor was Katie Campbell-Nelson of University of Massachusetts.

The data below demonstrates that a high level of knowledge and attitude change occurred and that the women completed or modified numerous farm plans (actual behavior change) which resulted in many benefits. 80% or more of the participants developed a whole farm goal, a financial plan, and a grazing plan.

Also of note, an extremely high percentage of participants reported increased satisfaction with aspects of farming including higher quality of life (80%), better communication (89%), improved time management (89%), increased ability to determine profit (100%), and improved ability to make complex decisions (100%).

The top ten post-session impacts realized by participants are:

  • Clearer sense of what farm is managing towards (100%)
  • Better ability to determine resources available for management (91%)
  • Improved decision-making (82%)
  • Improved understanding of your farm’s eco-system (82%)
  • Improved ability to articulate goals and objectives of business to others (73%)
  • Improved ability to determine appropriate management practices to remediate an environmental issue (73%)
  • Changes in how you prioritize expenses (73%)
  • New record keeping systems (73%)
  • Improved ability to incorporate social, environmental, and financial information into land plan (73%)
  • Enhanced Understanding of Your Farm Finances (64%)

Harms Family Farm Tour

There was an 86% satisfaction rating for the program mentor and a 94% satisfaction rating for the state coordinator. In 9 out of the 10 sessions 82% or more of the participants noted knowledge change. That knowledge change varied depending on content of sessions, but was as high as 84%. Overall satisfaction with sessions were 89% or higher for 9 out of 10 sessions with 86% of the participants satisfied with the program overall.

Participant Demographic Information

Of the 15 participants, 11 completed the final survey from which we were able to gather the following information.

  • The average years of farming was 4 years (range: 0 – 10 years)
  • The average acres farmed was 4 acres under production (range:.25 – 14 acres)
  • The average age of the farmers was 39 years old (range: 23 – 58)
  • The race the participants reported was: 7 Anglo; and 4 left the query blank
  • The total customers of all participants was 456

 

Knowledge Change Summary Per Session

Course

% Participants Experiencing

Knowledge Change

% of knowledge change

Session One – Goal Setting
Develop a Whole Farm Goal

93%

62%

Define What You Are Managing Towards

93%

52%

Inventory Farm Resources

86%

38%

Integrate Social, Economic, and Environmental Factors into Decision-Making

71%

41%

Defining Effective Management Team

64%

29%

Identify Needed Farm Systems and Protocols

64%

40%

Session Summary

93%

 

Session Two – Time Management
Effectively Manage Time on Your Farm

79%

37%

Assess How Time is Spent on Farm

79%

46%

Ability to Make Complex On-Farm Decisions

86%

39%

Understanding Seasonal Time Demands/Flows

71%

32%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Three – Financial Planning I
Identifying Logjams and Adverse Factors on Farm

93%

44%

Attitude Toward Financial Planning

87%

40%

Ability to Develop Balance Sheet

73%

39%

How to Increase Farm Net Worth

73%

52%

Determining Viable Profitable Enterprises for Your Farm

67%

36%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Four – Financial Planning II

 

 

Skills in Developing Whole Farm Financial Plan

100%

81%

Getting Profit You Need from Your Farm

93%

84%

Delineating Farm Expense Categories

93%

63%

Assessing Farm Cash Flow

93%

71%

Monitoring Your Financial Plan

93%

76%

Prioritizing and Cutting Farm Expenses to Guide Reinvestment

87%

62%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Five – Marketing    
Using Whole Farm Goal and Financial Plan to Develop Marketing Plan

90%

41%

Effectively Promote Products and Services

90%

38%

Understanding Your Competition

90%

33%

How to Develop a Marketing Plan

90%

42%

Marketing Outreach Towards Your Whole Farm Goal

80%

58%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Six – Business Planning
Ability to Use Holistic Goal to Guide Business Strategic Plan

82%

32%

Ability to Use Financial Plan to Determine Viable Markets for Farm

64%

46%

Knowledge of Resources for Developing Strategic Plan for Farm

64%

35%

Attitudes Towards Value of Having a Business Plan to Guide Farm

55%

26%

Ability to Develop a Business Plan for Farm

55%

29%

Ability to Implement Systems and Projects to Move Towards Whole Farm Goal

45%

26%

Session Summary

82%

 

Session Seven – Leadership and   Communication
Using Whole Farm Goal to Guide Communication on Farm

89%

48%

Incorporating Diverse Learning Styles toward More Effective Leadership and Communication

89%

48%

Awareness of Communication Patterns on Farm

78%

33%

Effective Communication Tools for Farm

78%

37%

Understanding Diverse Ways People Seek Recognition

78%

40%

Conflict Resolution Skills for Farm

67%

32%

Sense of Yourself as a Leader

67%

30%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Eight – Land Planning
Design Strategies to Build Resilient, Diversified Farms

92%

44%

Assess Management Considerations to Guide Land Planning

92%

58%

Prioritize Land and Infrastructure Development/Investments

83%

48%

How to Incorporate Natural Resource Issues into Land Planning

83%

46%

How to Incorporate Social/Legal/Contractual into Land Planning

75%

52%

How Permaculture Fits into Holistic Land Planning

75%

48%

Session Summary

100

 

Session Nine – Grazing
How to Determine the Number of Paddocks

91%

62%

How to Determine Grazing Periods

82%

60%

How to Assess Recovery Periods

82%

48%

How to Improve Land Health with Livestock

82%

52%

How to Determine Number of Animals Your Pasture Can Support

82%

67%

How to Assess Quantity of Forage in Pasture

73%

48%

Value of Grazing Planning

73%

56%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Ten – Soil Fertility
Ability to Monitor Farm Eco-System Health

100%

52%

Understanding Eco-system Processes on Your Farm

82%

33%

Indicators of a Healthy Farm Eco-System

82%

45%

Importance of Improving Soil Fertility Sustainably

55%

22%

Benefits of a Covered Soil

55%

25%

Session Summary

100%

 

 

Increased Confidence as a Result of   Session

Confidence In. . .

Year   One
Ability to Identify Logjam/Adverse Factors

100%

Prioritizing Cutting Farm Expenses to Guide Re-investment

100%

Monitoring Your Farm Financial Plan

100%

Developing Written Whole Farm Goal

93%

Manage Your Time on Your Farm

93%

Make Complex Decisions on Your Farm

93%

Using Testing Questions

93%

Getting Profit You Need From Your Farm

93%

Identifying Cash Flow Issues on Farm

93%

Promoting Your Farm Products

90%

Developing a Marketing Plan that Meets Your Farm’s Needs and Goals

90%

Determine Your Farm’s Net Worth

87%

Determine Your Farm’s Projected Revenue

80%

Determining Weak Link in Farm Enterprises

80%

Increase Your Farm’s Net Worth

73%

Determine Viable Profitable Enterprises

73%

Pricing Your Farm Products

60%

Assessing Your Competition to Understand Your Farm’s Strengths

80%

Communicating with Decision Makers

78%

Developing a Business/Strategic Plan

73%

Delineating Farm Resources for Management

57%

Building an Effective Management Team

57%

Identifying Systems and Protocols for your Farm

57%

Communicating with Farm Workers

67%

Providing Recognition for Farm Workers

56%

Providing Leadership on Your Farm

89%

Ability to Prioritize Land/Infrastructure Improvements on Farm

92%

Natural Resource Management
Ability to Incorporate Natural Resource Issues into Land Planning

100%

Assessing Recovery Periods

100%

Calculating the Number of Paddocks for your System

100%

Determining the Number of Animals Your Land Can Support for Grazing

91%

Determining How Long Animals Will Stay in Each Paddock

91%

Assessing Quantity of Forage and Pasture

91%

Ability as a Grazer

82%

Monitoring Your Farm’s Eco-System Health

73%

Improving Eco-System Health on Your Farm

73%

Building Organic Matter in Your Soils

73%

Ability to Incorporate Social/Legal Considerations into Land Planning

67%

 

Intention to Change Behavior

% of participants
Human Resources
Implement Time Management Tools or Processes

100%

Using Testing Questions for On Farm Decisions Making

100%

Change Leadership Practices

100%

Develop a Whole Farm Goal

92%

Change Management Practices

83%

Financial Resources
Complete or Modify a Financial Plan

100%

Complete or Modify a Marketing Plan

90%

Determine Profit Up Front and Cap Expenses

87%

Change Marketing Practices

80%

Monitor Financial Plan

73%

Change Enterprise Assessment

67%

Prioritize and Cut Expenses

67%

Enter Financial Data Regularly

67%

Complete or Modify a Business Plan

64%

Change Record-Keeping

60%

Strategically Reinvest in Farm

53%

Natural Resource Management
Conduct Biological Monitoring on Farm

91%

Change Eco-System Health Practices

91%

Complete or Modify Written Land Plan

75%

Change Land Management Practices

58%

Complete or Modify Written Grazing Plan

55%

Change Grazing Practices

64%

 

BWF PARTICIPANT BEHAVIOR CHANGE

% of participants experiencing change

Holistic Goal/Whole Farm Plan

82%

Financial Plan

82%

Forge Relationships That Positively Impacted You

82%

Grazing Plan

80%

Business Plan

55%

Marketing Plan

45%

Land Plan

45%

 

Post-Program Satisfaction Changes

Topic

% Participants Experiencing

Change

Satisfaction with Ability to Determine Needed Profit

100%

Satisfaction with Ability to Make Complex Decisions

100%

Satisfaction with Quality of Life

80%

Satisfaction with Communication

89%

Satisfaction with Time Management

82%

 


Session Satisfaction

Class Percent rated good or excellent

Session   One

92%

Session   Two

100%

Session   Three

100%

Session   Four

100%

Session   Five

100%

Session   Six

55%

Session   Seven

89%

Session   Eight

92%

Session   Nine

100%

Session   Ten

100%

 

Post-Session Impacts

 

Impacts Experienced Percent of Participants
Human Resources
Clearer sense of what your farm is managing towards

100%

Better Ability to Determine Resources Available to You

91%

Improved Decision Making

82%

New Policies and Systems Implemented

55%

Better Relationships

55%

Financial Resources
New or Improved Record Keeping Systems

73%

Changes in How Your Prioritize Expenses

73%

Improved Ability to Incorporate Social, Environmental, and Financial into Your Land Plan

73%

Enhanced Understanding of Your Farm Finances

64%

Improved Ability to Prioritize Land Planning Investments

55%

Natural Resources

 

Improved Understanding of Your Farm’s Eco-System

82%

Improved Ability to Determine Appropriate Management to Address an Environmental Issue

73%

Improved Ability to Articulate Goals and Objectives of Business to Others

73%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Massachusetts Beginning Women Farmer Program Report

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Massachusetts 2013 Beginning Women Farmer Participants

HMI is excited to report on the data we have collected from our Beginning Women Farmer Training Program in Massachusetts which began in November 2012 and ran through May of 2013. This program was part of HMI’s Beginning Women Farmer Program funded by the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. 15 women were accepted into the program for the 2012-2013 program year and 13 graduated. The State Coordinator position was shared by Devon Whitney-Deal and Kristen Wilmer of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture. Program mentor was Katie Campbell-Nelson of University of Massachusetts.

The data below demonstrates that a high level of knowledge and attitude change occurred and that the women completed or modified numerous farm plans (actual behavior change) which resulted in many benefits. 80% or more of the participants developed a whole farm goal, a financial plan, and a grazing plan.

Also of note, an extremely high percentage of participants reported increased satisfaction with aspects of farming including higher quality of life (80%), better communication (89%), improved time management (89%), increased ability to determine profit (100%), and improved ability to make complex decisions (100%).

The top ten post-session impacts realized by participants are:

  • Clearer sense of what farm is managing towards (100%)
  • Better ability to determine resources available for management (91%)
  • Improved decision-making (82%)
  • Improved understanding of your farm’s eco-system (82%)
  • Improved ability to articulate goals and objectives of business to others (73%)
  • Improved ability to determine appropriate management practices to remediate an environmental issue (73%)
  • Changes in how you prioritize expenses (73%)
  • New record keeping systems (73%)
  • Improved ability to incorporate social, environmental, and financial information into land plan (73%)
  • Enhanced Understanding of Your Farm Finances (64%)

Harms Family Farm Tour

There was an 86% satisfaction rating for the program mentor and a 94% satisfaction rating for the state coordinator. In 9 out of the 10 sessions 82% or more of the participants noted knowledge change. That knowledge change varied depending on content of sessions, but was as high as 84%. Overall satisfaction with sessions were 89% or higher for 9 out of 10 sessions with 86% of the participants satisfied with the program overall.

Participant Demographic Information

Of the 15 participants, 11 completed the final survey from which we were able to gather the following information.

  • The average years of farming was 4 years (range: 0 – 10 years)
  • The average acres farmed was 4 acres under production (range:.25 – 14 acres)
  • The average age of the farmers was 39 years old (range: 23 – 58)
  • The race the participants reported was: 7 Anglo; and 4 left the query blank
  • The total customers of all participants was 456

 

Knowledge Change Summary Per Session

Course

% Participants Experiencing

Knowledge Change

% of knowledge change

Session One – Goal Setting
Develop a Whole Farm Goal

93%

62%

Define What You Are Managing Towards

93%

52%

Inventory Farm Resources

86%

38%

Integrate Social, Economic, and Environmental Factors into Decision-Making

71%

41%

Defining Effective Management Team

64%

29%

Identify Needed Farm Systems and Protocols

64%

40%

Session Summary

93%

 

Session Two – Time Management
Effectively Manage Time on Your Farm

79%

37%

Assess How Time is Spent on Farm

79%

46%

Ability to Make Complex On-Farm Decisions

86%

39%

Understanding Seasonal Time Demands/Flows

71%

32%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Three – Financial Planning I
Identifying Logjams and Adverse Factors on Farm

93%

44%

Attitude Toward Financial Planning

87%

40%

Ability to Develop Balance Sheet

73%

39%

How to Increase Farm Net Worth

73%

52%

Determining Viable Profitable Enterprises for Your Farm

67%

36%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Four – Financial Planning II

 

 

Skills in Developing Whole Farm Financial Plan

100%

81%

Getting Profit You Need from Your Farm

93%

84%

Delineating Farm Expense Categories

93%

63%

Assessing Farm Cash Flow

93%

71%

Monitoring Your Financial Plan

93%

76%

Prioritizing and Cutting Farm Expenses to Guide Reinvestment

87%

62%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Five – Marketing    
Using Whole Farm Goal and Financial Plan to Develop Marketing Plan

90%

41%

Effectively Promote Products and Services

90%

38%

Understanding Your Competition

90%

33%

How to Develop a Marketing Plan

90%

42%

Marketing Outreach Towards Your Whole Farm Goal

80%

58%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Six – Business Planning
Ability to Use Holistic Goal to Guide Business Strategic Plan

82%

32%

Ability to Use Financial Plan to Determine Viable Markets for Farm

64%

46%

Knowledge of Resources for Developing Strategic Plan for Farm

64%

35%

Attitudes Towards Value of Having a Business Plan to Guide Farm

55%

26%

Ability to Develop a Business Plan for Farm

55%

29%

Ability to Implement Systems and Projects to Move Towards Whole Farm Goal

45%

26%

Session Summary

82%

 

Session Seven – Leadership and   Communication
Using Whole Farm Goal to Guide Communication on Farm

89%

48%

Incorporating Diverse Learning Styles toward More Effective Leadership and Communication

89%

48%

Awareness of Communication Patterns on Farm

78%

33%

Effective Communication Tools for Farm

78%

37%

Understanding Diverse Ways People Seek Recognition

78%

40%

Conflict Resolution Skills for Farm

67%

32%

Sense of Yourself as a Leader

67%

30%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Eight – Land Planning
Design Strategies to Build Resilient, Diversified Farms

92%

44%

Assess Management Considerations to Guide Land Planning

92%

58%

Prioritize Land and Infrastructure Development/Investments

83%

48%

How to Incorporate Natural Resource Issues into Land Planning

83%

46%

How to Incorporate Social/Legal/Contractual into Land Planning

75%

52%

How Permaculture Fits into Holistic Land Planning

75%

48%

Session Summary

100

 

Session Nine – Grazing
How to Determine the Number of Paddocks

91%

62%

How to Determine Grazing Periods

82%

60%

How to Assess Recovery Periods

82%

48%

How to Improve Land Health with Livestock

82%

52%

How to Determine Number of Animals Your Pasture Can Support

82%

67%

How to Assess Quantity of Forage in Pasture

73%

48%

Value of Grazing Planning

73%

56%

Session Summary

100%

 

Session Ten – Soil Fertility
Ability to Monitor Farm Eco-System Health

100%

52%

Understanding Eco-system Processes on Your Farm

82%

33%

Indicators of a Healthy Farm Eco-System

82%

45%

Importance of Improving Soil Fertility Sustainably

55%

22%

Benefits of a Covered Soil

55%

25%

Session Summary

100%

 

 

Increased Confidence as a Result of   Session

Confidence In. . .

Year   One
Ability to Identify Logjam/Adverse Factors

100%

Prioritizing Cutting Farm Expenses to Guide Re-investment

100%

Monitoring Your Farm Financial Plan

100%

Developing Written Whole Farm Goal

93%

Manage Your Time on Your Farm

93%

Make Complex Decisions on Your Farm

93%

Using Testing Questions

93%

Getting Profit You Need From Your Farm

93%

Identifying Cash Flow Issues on Farm

93%

Promoting Your Farm Products

90%

Developing a Marketing Plan that Meets Your Farm’s Needs and Goals

90%

Determine Your Farm’s Net Worth

87%

Determine Your Farm’s Projected Revenue

80%

Determining Weak Link in Farm Enterprises

80%

Increase Your Farm’s Net Worth

73%

Determine Viable Profitable Enterprises

73%

Pricing Your Farm Products

60%

Assessing Your Competition to Understand Your Farm’s Strengths

80%

Communicating with Decision Makers

78%

Developing a Business/Strategic Plan

73%

Delineating Farm Resources for Management

57%

Building an Effective Management Team

57%

Identifying Systems and Protocols for your Farm

57%

Communicating with Farm Workers

67%

Providing Recognition for Farm Workers

56%

Providing Leadership on Your Farm

89%

Ability to Prioritize Land/Infrastructure Improvements on Farm

92%

Natural Resource Management
Ability to Incorporate Natural Resource Issues into Land Planning

100%

Assessing Recovery Periods

100%

Calculating the Number of Paddocks for your System

100%

Determining the Number of Animals Your Land Can Support for Grazing

91%

Determining How Long Animals Will Stay in Each Paddock

91%

Assessing Quantity of Forage and Pasture

91%

Ability as a Grazer

82%

Monitoring Your Farm’s Eco-System Health

73%

Improving Eco-System Health on Your Farm

73%

Building Organic Matter in Your Soils

73%

Ability to Incorporate Social/Legal Considerations into Land Planning

67%

 

Intention to Change Behavior

% of participants
Human Resources
Implement Time Management Tools or Processes

100%

Using Testing Questions for On Farm Decisions Making

100%

Change Leadership Practices

100%

Develop a Whole Farm Goal

92%

Change Management Practices

83%

Financial Resources
Complete or Modify a Financial Plan

100%

Complete or Modify a Marketing Plan

90%

Determine Profit Up Front and Cap Expenses

87%

Change Marketing Practices

80%

Monitor Financial Plan

73%

Change Enterprise Assessment

67%

Prioritize and Cut Expenses

67%

Enter Financial Data Regularly

67%

Complete or Modify a Business Plan

64%

Change Record-Keeping

60%

Strategically Reinvest in Farm

53%

Natural Resource Management
Conduct Biological Monitoring on Farm

91%

Change Eco-System Health Practices

91%

Complete or Modify Written Land Plan

75%

Change Land Management Practices

58%

Complete or Modify Written Grazing Plan

55%

Change Grazing Practices

64%

 

BWF PARTICIPANT BEHAVIOR CHANGE

% of participants experiencing change

Holistic Goal/Whole Farm Plan

82%

Financial Plan

82%

Forge Relationships That Positively Impacted You

82%

Grazing Plan

80%

Business Plan

55%

Marketing Plan

45%

Land Plan

45%

 

Post-Program Satisfaction Changes

Topic

% Participants Experiencing

Change

Satisfaction with Ability to Determine Needed Profit

100%

Satisfaction with Ability to Make Complex Decisions

100%

Satisfaction with Quality of Life

80%

Satisfaction with Communication

89%

Satisfaction with Time Management

82%

 


Session Satisfaction

Class Percent rated good or excellent

Session   One

92%

Session   Two

100%

Session   Three

100%

Session   Four

100%

Session   Five

100%

Session   Six

55%

Session   Seven

89%

Session   Eight

92%

Session   Nine

100%

Session   Ten

100%

 

Post-Session Impacts

 

Impacts Experienced Percent of Participants
Human Resources
Clearer sense of what your farm is managing towards

100%

Better Ability to Determine Resources Available to You

91%

Improved Decision Making

82%

New Policies and Systems Implemented

55%

Better Relationships

55%

Financial Resources
New or Improved Record Keeping Systems

73%

Changes in How Your Prioritize Expenses

73%

Improved Ability to Incorporate Social, Environmental, and Financial into Your Land Plan

73%

Enhanced Understanding of Your Farm Finances

64%

Improved Ability to Prioritize Land Planning Investments

55%

Natural Resources

 

Improved Understanding of Your Farm’s Eco-System

82%

Improved Ability to Determine Appropriate Management to Address an Environmental Issue

73%

Improved Ability to Articulate Goals and Objectives of Business to Others

73%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse by Daniel Rirdan

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A new book has recently hit the market, The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse, by Daniel Rirdan and you can get it free on Kindle from Amazon on July 25th and 26th at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Blueprint-Averting-Collapse-ebook/dp/B008MBG094.

Mr Rirdan has taken on the task of quantifying a number of big issues and exploring elegant solutions for those problems. He contacted HMI awhile back to explore the idea of improving rangeland health and increasing carbon sequestration with livestock. Like many environmental writers he had assumed livestock were bad for the land. But, unlike many people with biases against livestock, he wanted to understand how livestock could improve land health. In exploring these ideas, one of his key ideas to avert global collapse is to have Holistic Management practiced on the 6.5 billion hectares of rangeland and crop/pasture land worldwide.

Looking at current global livestock numbers of 2.24 billion SAU as well as the number of acres of rangeland and crop/pasture land, he notes we can, with some conservative carrying capacities that would improve over time with holistic planned grazing,  carry 10.33 billion livestock to create food security and increase land health. Sounds like a noble idea worth trying.

To herd the numbers of livestock we have globally would require 2.5 million herders (assuming 1000 head/herder). This would not be possible in many places in the U.S. so we would need many more here which would help us reach the 52 million farmers we need to create a more sustainable ratio of farmer/consumer as we once had.

Of course the devil is in the detail as we look at large tracts of public and private land and making shifts in management practices, but the big picture is breath-taking. So is the results of individual Holistic Management practitioners who are highlighted in the book like Chad Peterson, Greg Judy, Joel Salatin, Tony and Jerry Tipton, and Neil Dennis. These stories give the public an idea of how these practices have already been put into effect and are successful. The challenge is getting the system to shift so that such practitioners are more the norm.

So his suggestion is to take 700,000 sq miles of the Great Plains and start a “nature restoration.” That would require 50 million cows, 45% of the cattle inventory for the US, to get the ball rolling. Anyone interested in playing?

If you want to shake people up and introduce them to some big ideas, I suggest you introduce them to The Blueprint. Be ready to answer the questions that will immerge from that provocative read.

To purchase The Blueprint, click here.

What Does It Take to Have a Successful Kids On the Land Program?

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Of course, you must have a site, a school, and a desire to help kids experience the outdoors, but I have found that the most important ingredient is the volunteers who come to lead the activities.  As Kids On the Land (KOL) began to grow, I knew I would have to increase the number of people who would help at each site.

In 2005, I held my first KOL training for volunteers, who at that training, decided that we should call the volunteers LINKs (Learning In Nature with Kids).  These folks came for several days of training and then finished the week working with the students who arrived from Crockett County and Schleicher County school districts near Ozona, Texas.   When the program expanded to Jacksboro, Texas, I held another training session and recruited folks from North Central Texas.  Over the years, simply by word of mouth, the number of LINKs has continued to grow.  Many who have volunteered have special knowledge and skills they want to share and others just say, “I’ll do whatever you want.”

Most KOL days average 70-75 kids a day and since we conduct our activities in small groups, I like to have 2 to 3 LINKs helping with each group activity.  With four major activities, that means we need 10-12 folks volunteering each day.   With 3 grades participating at the Richards Ranch in Jacksboro, many LINKs came for the preparation day and participated the next three days.  That is a real commitment of time and energy as we begin at 7:30; kids arrive at 8:45; and leave at 2:45.  But the day is not over because we evaluate and then set up for the next day.

Over the years, I have been honored by their willingness to participate as the KOL program continues to grow.  They remind me of this Rachel Carson quote which says, ““If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength. If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the championship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

HMI continues to offer folks the opportunity to be that adult who can help keep alive a child’s inborn sense of wonder with its KOL program.  The next one on the schedule is at the 69 Ranch at Maryneal, Texas.  Do you have a desire to help the kids from 3 small school districts to learn more about their place on the Rolling Plains of West Texas?  We’ll be there on September 18 and 19.  For information about the Kids On the Land program go to the HMI website – www.holisticmanagement.org.

Links, Bryon Haney & Johnnie Jackson, prepare materials for insect relay races for 3rd graders from Jacksboro, Texas, Elementary.

 

 

 

HMI Publishes 2011 Annual Report

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HMI, Holistic Management International, Annual Report 2011We are pleased to announce our 2011 Annual Report is complete and ready to download.  We are proud of our accomplishments – which of course, we could not do without the generous support of donations from our community.   Many thanks to all of you who contributed in 2011. We are very excited by the growth and progress being made in our mission to educate people to manage land for a sustainable future. We hope that you will join our community of change by making a donation in 2012.

 

HMI Receives Recognition for Communications & Outreach Efforts

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One of our 2011/2012 strategic goals — which are aligned with our Holistic Plan– is to build HMI’s brand through effective communication. Last night, HMI was recognized by the New Mexico American Marketing Association for our efforts. We won two awards…. The 23rd Annual Marketer of the Year Compass Award for Collateral and the Award of Merit for Interactive Media. We could not have won these awards with out our vendors, who work tirelessly to help us get the message out about the benefits of practicing Holistic Management and the wonderful work the staff at HMI does everyday.  A big thanks to….

HMI Healthly Land, Sustainable Future Wins New Mexico American Marketing Association AwardsTravis Driscoll, Mudhouse Advertising

Lauren MacEwen,  SM Cubed

Bethany Martin, B Martin Studio

Rita Talbot, Artifacts