A notably youthful crowd came out to HMI’s first Open Gate in Kansas on August 5th at Stigge & Sons Ag Day in Washington, KS.
A new location (Kansas) combined with an old building and a significant number of young farmers promised for a fruitful day. In a more than 100-year-old building, which has been renovated into Mayberry’s restaurant, 34 graziers and crop farmers who collectively manage almost 37,000 acres, gathered to learn about innovative practices Stigge Farm has been using to incorporate livestock and graze cover crops.
John Stigge gave an overview of his operation, and how he has used Holistic Management to create the quality of life his family desires while increasing profitability with graze cropping. Plans to tour Stigge Farm were thwarted by a last-minute rain which made the farm roads impassable, but pictures taken the day before showed the lush forages available for grazing.
Ralph Tate, Holistic Management Certified Educator, facilitated small-group exercises to introduce Holistic Management practices like “State what you want”. Participants worked to create their own three-part holistic goal to use as a context for making decisions on their own farms.
The Gross Profit Analysis exercise was especially illustrative when John Stigge shared his personal comparisons of various grain crops versus harvesting the crops by grazing with cattle. With these great examples, attendees clearly understood that the value of analyzing gross profit is that they could then determine which of their own enterprises are currently profitable, or not.
Don Wirth, CEO of Saddle Butte Ag, shared useful information on cover crop options, optimal planting dates, and how to best plan for effective utilization of the cover crops by livestock. This sparked a lot of discussion and questions. Participants were particularly interested in the timing of different cover crop options, what sort of results they might expect, and the benefits of different cover crop mixes.
Many thanks to our sponsor, Saddle Butte Ag, for helping to make this event possible!
This is what some of the participants had to say:
Helpful & educational.
Very good, would recommend to others.
Great event, well done.
Good. Missed the tour.
Here are some outcomes of the day:
|Intent to complete or modify a holistic goal as a result of today's event||95%|
|Intent to complete a gross profit analysis on your operation as a result of today's||90%|
|Intent to change any management practices/apply ideas learned in this event||90%|
|Expanded network by meeting new people or learning about resources available to you||95%|
|Increase in understanding of marginal reaction (comparing options)||82%|
|Increase in understanding of gross profit analysis||77%|
|More confident in ability to determine appropriate grazing strategies||64%|
|More confident in ability to determine appropriate cover crops||64%|
|Overall Satisfaction of the event (rated good to excellent)||86%|
|Facilitator's Effectiveness (rated good to excellent)||90%|
|Presenters' Effectiveness (rated good to excellent)||81%|
|Would recommend this event to others||100%|