On January 29th HMI collaborated with our friends at TOFGA (Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) as we delivered an Open Gate Ranch Day as part of the TOFGA Annual Conference.
HMI Program Manager, Peggy Cole, welcomed the group and talked a little about HMI, its mission and its programs. She introduced Debbie and Don Davis. They’ve been students of Holistic Management since the early 1990’s when they took classes with Holistic Management Certified Educator, Peggy Sechrist. Their goal is to protect the valuable genetics of the original Texas Longhorns, to live a peaceful and relaxed life in a serene, beautiful and private landscape and to earn enough money from their enterprises to support their lifestyle.
After the Davises gave us a history of their operation, Peggy Sechrist, gave a short presentation on Holistic Decision Testing which allows folks to test how a proposed action will take them toward their stated goal,On a large, laminated decision testing form, Peggy led the group through a practice decision before giving them an actual Seco Valley Ranch decision to discuss and test in small groups of 4 or 5 people. The groups then reported back to all. A discussion of the whole group wrapped up the morning session.
A delicious lunch was made from grassfed lamb from Seco Valley Ranch. By the time we finished eating, the sun had come out and the day had warmed. We climbed onto the hay-ride and journeyed through the pastures, stopping to visit with the longhorn herd, where we discovered a newborn calf getting to know her elders.
The afternoon discussion was all about marketing. Debbie told how the wild pigs were such a pain in the neck she decided to view them as a resource. She began to offer wild pork on her website. She tamed the pigs with cubes in a trailer and when she was ready to harvest she just loaded them up with cubes in the same trailer and off they went. Many of the questions centered around developing enough clientele to just internet sell; and the idea of selling sides, quarters or eights rather than individual cuts so you don’t have to sell the same animal so many times. The model of producer cooperatives to put the marketing in the hands of those who like to do that was also attractive to this audience. As we filled out the evaluations to adjourn, both Don and Debbie were surrounded with folks who had many more questions to ask.
The 22 participants manage approximately 73,445 acres.
|Overall Satisfaction (Rated good to excellent)||90%|
|Would you recommend this event to others||100%|
|Expand your network today be meeting new people or learning about resources available to you?||100%|
|Intend to test decisions for your operation as a result of today's event?.||95%|
|Intend to complete or modify a written marketing plan as a result of today's event?||76%|
|Improved understanding of how Holistic Management helps you determine when marketing is your weak link||81%|