February 7th was the start of HMI’s Whole Farm/Ranch Business Planning coure in Montrose, Colorado. We held this event with support from the Valley Food Partnership and had another sold out program. This Introduction to Holistic Whole Farm/Ranch Planning was facilitated by Holistic Management Certified Educator Cindy Dvergsten, who taught the class of 30 participants. Those participants manage 1,690 acres and are both large scale livestock producers and small farmers, many with years of experience as well as beginning agricultural producers. Participants learned a great deal from the program as well as from each other, giving the program a 100% satisfaction rating.
Here’s what the participants had to say:
When participants were surveyed about the the most useful things they learned in the session, some of the key take homes they experienced:
I learned how to implement decision making tools.
I intend to set a goal and following through with it, making my life better.
I intend to include my family in decision-making, taking more time to evaluate decisions before implementation.
I’m going to start with writing goals and then see if actions serve that goal.
The most useful thing I learned: Community!
I learned we are not alone.
I learned a new approach to defining goals and pursuing them.
I learned that there is a means that allows me to improve – get smarter. That I can have a successful farm without so much commercial inputs.
I learned how Holistic Management can be applied to all aspects of our lives.
The most valuable thing I learned was how to delineate between different categories to extract more data from the situation.
Evaluations showed the following results:
|Outcome||% of Participants|
|intend to complete or modify a written whole farm plan as a result of this course?||100%|
|intend to change management practices as a result of this course?||95%|
|intend to use the testing questions in your farm decision making?||97%|
|Your ability to make complex on-farm decisions||100%|
|Do you feel confident using the testing questions?||83%|
|Ability to integrate social, economic and environmental factors into your decisions||90%|
|Your ability to make complex on-farm/ranch decisions||90%|