Cows & Quail Workshop

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Creating healthy environments for land, people, wildlife, and livestock

Date: July 13 – July 14, 2012

Location: Circle Ranch and Hotel El Capitan, Van Horn, Texas

A two day workshop for anyone interested in learning how to effectively manage land for a healthy diverse landscape which supports wildlife and livestock.


Learn how Holistic Management grazing planning helps wildlife and livestock thrive together.

Why You Should Attend

  • Learn how to sustain and grow a healthy, diverse landscape and habitat which supports wildlife and profitable livestock operations
  • Understand how the relationship between livestock & wildlife management can reduce the need for burning, bulldozing, herbicides and other costly methods
  • Receive a practical how to get started program with specific action steps that address a variety of landscapes and situations
  • Create a grazing plan for how you can improve your land
  • Learn which monitoring and tracking tools can assist in benchmarking and proof of performance
  • Network with fellow ranchers in a casual and fun atmosphere


$250 per attendee.  (Sorry, we are unable to give discounts for couples).

Your registration fee includes: lunches for two days and one dinner. Your registration fee does not cover lodging.

You must register in advance. No onsite registration will be available. Registration closes on July 9 at 4pm Mountain time.


Cancellation policy

HMI Healthly Land, Sustainable Future and Circle RanchCancellations received up to 30 days prior to an event start date will receive a full refund.

Cancellations received up to 14 days prior to an event start date will receive a 40% refund.

No refunds will be given otherwise, unless in the event of dire emergency.

This policy is required due to financial obligations incurred by HMI in planning these events. We appreciate your understanding.


Friday, July 13,  Circle Ranch, Van Horn, TX

7:30 – Simple breakfast at the ranch, or eat before you arrive

8:00 – Welcome by HMI’s Peter Holter & host Chris Gill

Peter will give a short overview of  Holistic Management International and the Holistic Management process.

8:15 – On the hoof – Pronghorn, Bighorn, Mule deer, Elk, Wild burros – Steve Nelle

Steve will share his knowledge and experience of ungulate species in the Trans-Pecos, as well as being an amazing resource in plant identification.

9:45 – Break

10:00 – On The Wing – Quail, Turkey and other birds – Dr. Dale Rollins

Dale will offer his expert guidance in understanding the needs of game birds such as scaled
(blue) quail, Gambel’s quail, Montezuma quail, Rio Grande Turkey and the doves

11:45 – Lunch – prepared by Circle Ranch

12:45 – Orientation to Circle Ranch – Chris Gill

Chris Gill will introduce the Circle Ranch, a 32,000-acre ranch that is the epitome of west Texas/New Mexico desert wildlife range environment.

1:00 – Lands-on Learning with the experts – habitat specifics, integration with livestock

4:00 – Break

4:15 – Re-group for summary, discussions + Q&A

5:30 – Dinner – prepared by Circle Ranch – stay and visit as long as you like

Saturday, July 14,  El Capitan Hotel, Van Horn TX

7:30 – Doors open, coffee & visit (eat before you come)

8:00 – Livestock grazing  (land, grass, cattle)  - Kirk Gadzia

9:00 – Break

9:15 – GIS mapping, monitoring, tracking – Frank Aragona

Frank will introduce some new tools for tracking progress through GIS technology.

11:00 – Break

11:15 – How to create a grazing plan – Kirk Gadzia

Kirk will teach the process of Holistic Management Grazing Planning and assist each participant in creating their own livestock and wildlife together grazing plan.

12 Noon – Lunch – catered by Hotel El Capitan Dining Room

1:00 – Work on Draft grazing plan for your property –

4:40 – Regroup for summary, discussions, Q&A

5:00 – Adjourn


Peter Holter, CEO, HMI

Peter Holter, CEOPeter grew up working on ranches in Northern and Central California, and after a stint in corporate life, he started his own company, where, as president/CEO, he grew it to include offices in San Francisco, New York City, Salt Lake City and Santa Fe. Many of his clients in that business were large agricultural producers in Central California’s San Joaquin Valley.

After 15 years growing his own firm, he sold it, and became part of an investment group, where, as president/CEO, he led the successful turnaround of two companies – one a national manufacturing firm, the other an insurance based health/wellness company operating in 4 western states. He has also served as an adviser providing investment analysis on early stage investments in the agricultural, construction and hospitality industries.

He attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, completing his undergraduate work at the University of California.  Peter has also completed Executive Management training programs in general management, finance, and marketing at both the University of California and San Francisco State University.

HMI, Healthly Land, Sustainabl Future, Frank Aragona, Director of Research & DevelopmentFrank Aragona, Director of Research & Development, HMI

Frank is from Albuquerque New Mexico.  He brings a mixed background of entrepreneurship, scientific research, and international experience to HMI.  He graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1998 with a major in History and Political Science.  Shortly thereafter, Frank spent a year in Istanbul, Turkey teaching English in a small, private school.  Frank then attended Michigan Technological University in pursuit of a Masters of Science in Forestry.  From 2000 to 2003, Frank worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia in a small agricultural village named Tipa Tipa, located in the Mizque Province of Cochabamba.  In 2004 he created a small consulting company with the mission of integrating Information Technology and sustainable agriculture.  Frank’s interests and expertise include: Geographic Information Systems, permaculture, silviculture, agroforestry, mushroom cultivation, gardening, woodworking, soil science, and Holistic Management.

HMI, Healthly Land, Sustainable Future, Chris GillChris Gill, Owner, Circle Ranch

Circle Ranch is owned by Chris & Laura Gill of San Antonio and their 4 children. It is managed primarily as a hunting ranch with livestock acting as a land restoration tool, along with experimental use of the Yeoman’s Plow and other techniques. Objectives at Circle Ranch include improved plant health and diversity, increased profitability, and increased numbers of free-ranging game animals including mule deer, elk, desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn and of game birds such as quail, dove and turkey. Chris says, “We approach habitat and wildlife restoration with the view that communities of plants, animals, and soil life are interdependent with each other and with water, mineral and sunlight cycles; all of these must be addressed together: this is what is meant by ‘holistic.’”

HMI, Healthy Land, Sustainable Future, Holistic Managment Certified EducatorKirk Gadzia, Holistic Management Certified Educator

Kirk Gadzia, is a Certified Educator with HMI. He has over 20 years experience teaching the concepts of Holistic Management worldwide and has done extensive international consulting work on many agricultural operations. Years of assisting people on the land help Kirk approach the course in an interactive, hands-on style. His courses are known for a relaxed atmosphere, open dialogue and practical real-life examples.

Kirk is co-author of the important National Academy of Sciences book: Rangeland Health. He holds a BS degree in Wildlife Biology and an MS in Range Science.

HMI, Healthy Land, Sustainable Future, Steve NellSteve Nelle, Texas Wildlife Association; Society for Range Management, NRCS retired and Independent consultant

Steve Nelle brings 35 years of private lands natural resource management experience to the workshop. Steve has worked with hundreds of ranchers, helping them to plan and carry out comprehensive range wildlife water catchment management. He understands that the land organism is complex and that simple or canned solutions are seldom sufficient for long term sustainability. He gains the greatest satisfaction by watching landowners becoming genuine land stewards.

Dr. Dale Rollins, Texas Agrilife Extension Service & Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch

HMI Healthly Land, Sustainable Future, Dale RollinsDr. Rollins has served a Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist for Texas Agrilife Extension Service for the past 25 years.  While his expertise spans most species of wildlife, his specialty is quail management.  He serves as Director for the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch and is well known for his educational programs, including “QuailMasters” and “The Bobwhite Brigade.”

Venue & Lodging

HMI, Healthly Land, Sustainable Future, Circle Ranch Group EatingThe first day of the workshop will take place at the Circle Ranch, a 32,000-acre high-desert mountain ranch located in the Sierra Diablo (Devil Mountains) of far-West Texas. The ranch rises 2,400 feet above the Chihuahuan Desert floor to reach a maximum elevation of 6,500 feet.

HMI has negotiated a special workshop rate for attendees at the Hotel El Capitan. In order to receive the special $90 per night rate, you must make your reservations by phone, (877-283-1220) and be sure to mention the code, HMI002. You need to book your reservations no later than June, 1 2012.  Limited availability. Attendees are responsible for their own lodging

Hotel El Capitan
100 E. Broadway, St.
Van Horn, TX 79855

Directions to the Circle Ranch

In Van Horn, TX, take Exit 129 (Allamore) off I-10.  Drive north 13 miles on country road.  Signs will direct you to Circle Ranch.


In July, the average high is 92 degrees, the low is 66 degrees and the average monthly precipitation is 2.37  inches. (Assuming no drought!)