Guest blog by Linda Pechin-Long
In the heartland of America, a diverse group of farmers, ranchers, and professionals are part of Holistic Management International’s Regenerative Agriculture Mentoring Program (RAMP) group. Led by an HMI Certified Educator, this program represents a collaboration between multiple organizations, in multiple states made possible through the support of a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) grant, with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) playing a pivotal role.
The program’s key learning outcomes are shaping participants’ perspectives on agriculture and land management. Creating a Holistic Goal is a fundamental pillar of the journey, and participants appreciate creating clear goals, identifying their values, and making value-based decisions. The holistic decision-making approach embraces complexity and sustainability, enabling participants to prioritize long-term environmental, social, and economic health.
Embracing Nature’s Wisdom
In order to aid farmers in the regeneration of their land, a Safe to Fail trial area has been implemented. This area utilizes grazing practices that emulate the historical density and behavior of buffalo herds. Through careful monitoring and maintenance of the land, it is ensured that productivity is sustained for the benefit of future generations
The Power of Peer Mentorship
It’s truly amazing how the program’s success can be attributed in part to the valuable contributions of peer mentorship and collaborative efforts. When diverse participants from varying backgrounds come together, they share their unique experiences and knowledge, which ultimately fosters a deep sense of community and mutual support. It’s so inspiring to see how these individuals rise above geographical barriers and organizational affiliations to become exceptional stewards of the land.
As the program progresses, participants will explore Holistic Financial Planning. Understanding the financial aspects of regenerative agriculture is essential to ensuring its long-term sustainability. Participants aim to balance financial viability and ecological health, ensuring profitability without compromising their commitment to holistic principles and quality of life.
The program includes enterprise analysis to optimize the productivity and impact of farming and ranching ventures. Identifying weak links allows for addressing potential inefficiencies and areas for improvement. Participants share results and brainstorm solutions with peers.
As the program progresses, participants anticipate ongoing peer support, knowledge exchange, and celebration of collective achievements. Their dedication to regenerative practices and Holistic Management is sowing seeds for a sustainable and resilient future in agriculture in Arkansas and Mississippi.
16 participants from the program manage 1,750 acres, but influence over 30 million acres. 82% increased their knowledge of Holistic Management and 100% said they would recommend this course to others.