How Grazing Helps Soil Health
June 17, 2017
Our Bunchgrass Flat Day is part of HMI’s Open Gate Learning Series. Open Gates are peer-to-peer action-based learning days with short presentations and small group exercises geared for participants to share discoveries and management techniques with guidance from experienced facilitators and producers.
Holistic Management works with nature, not against it. We will discuss planet and animal-friendly management techniques that lead to richer soil, improved water containment, nutrient-dense food, more successful farms and ranches, and thriving communities.
Come and be a part of this on-the-ground learning day, connect with others who care about a healthy food system and help strengthen your local communities. Because we all have a stake in the way our food is grown.
What to Expect
At the Bunchgrass Flat Day, you will…
- Learn how Holistic Management enables producers to better manage risk, make better decisions and enjoy the benefits of regenerative agriculture
- Practice effective land management techniques to improve rangeland productivity, water-holding capacity, improved soil health and increased stocking rate.
- Discover how Holistic Management Planned Grazing improves the soil and moves plant succession in the right direction
- Discuss key soil health indicators, how to read the land and record monitoring results
- Explore and identify key plants that help produce results and advance you toward your goals
- Connect with folks from your area
- Meet your public agencies and hear how their programs might apply to your situation
- Learn about nutrient dense foods from nutrient dense soils and enjoy a lunch of food from this land
- Practice these techniques and meet with producers who have practiced these techniques
Advanced registration is $25 per person (includes lunch). On-line registration closes June 12, 2017. Walk in registration is $35 per person, if available. OFRA members – $5 off with code from OFRA.
Register soon, as we have limited space available. Sorry, registration fees are non-refundable.
If you are unable to register online, please fill out the HMI Event Registration Form and mail along with your check or money order to:HMI Registration Dept.
5941 Jefferson St. NE, Ste B
Albuquerque, NM 87109
This is a rain or shine event. We will be spending parts of the day out on the land, and boots or other enclosed protective footwear, as well as long pants, are recommended. Please bring your own water bottle.
|Saturday||June 17, 2017|
|9:30 am||Introductions & Orientation – T. Litle|
|9:35 am||The Bunchgrass Flat Story – S & J. Bullis|
|10: 25 am||Meet the Agencies & Programs – FSA, NRCS, Noble Foundation, HMI, OFRA|
|11:30 am||Soil Health – G. Scott|
|Noon||Lunch by Abbey Ashley from Bunchgrass Flat - beef & pork, veggies from their garden and ice cream from their milk|
|1:00 pm||Overview of Holistic Management Biological Monitoring – T. Litle Experiencing Biological Monitoring in Small Groups – T. Litle, J. Gahn|
|2:00 pm||Tour of Bunchgrass Flat - S & J Bullis Practice Plant ID and Monitoring in the Field – T. Litle & B. Stacy|
|3:45 pm||Q&A /Wrap-up / Evaluations|
11600 East Bison Rd.
Waukomis, OK 73773
Phone: (405) 853-5005
Sara & Jesse Bullis
Location & Directions
Bunchgrass Flat is about 17 minutes (14.6 miles) from Waukomis, OK. Go south on US 81 about 6 miles. Turn right (west) on Chisolm – East 0570 Road. Drive 7.7 miles to 11600 West Bison Rd on the right.
Bunchgrass Flat is a family farm owned and operated by Sara and Jesse Bullis. It lies about a half-hour southwest of Enid, OK. The Bullis family bought Bunchgrass Flat 10 years ago. For the past 8 years they have practiced Holistic Planned Grazing, emphasizing long rest periods to rebuild soil, grass and microbes. The Bullis family raises pork, beef, chicken, eggs. And they are getting sheep soon!
Tracy Litle, Holistic Management Certified Educator
Tracy and her husband, Bill, own and operate a small ranch in South Texas. Starting at ground zero environmentally, their main goal is to restore the native grasses using Holistic Management grazing and minimal inputs, working in partnership with their animals. Through the application of the principles and practices they have learned in Holistic Management it is happening.
Tracy is a Certified Educator for Holistic Management and has facilitated sessions in the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Programs, Whole Farm and Ranch Seminars as well as Open Gates. Additionally she is a student of the soil, with a desire to understand how to bring it to its fullest expression. Tracy has a passion to share her experiences and learning of Holistic Management with others.
Sara and Jesse Bullis, Bunchgrass Flat
Jesse and Sara grew up loving the land. They are instilling the same love in their children. They have two boys who thoroughly enjoy the daily farming activities. They love working together as a family. Jesse has a machine shop on the farm and together they homeschool their children.
Jesse and Sara have studied holistic management and enjoy learning new ways to improve soil health and animal husbandry. They are always willing to learn and share their successes and failures.
Julie Gahn, Executive Director at Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Association (OFRA)
Julie is a mid-life beginning farmer “working with nature to nurture life” on her family’s 130 acre Spring Forest Farm near Tahlequah, OK. She is applying permaculture, keyline scale of permanence and holistic management principles on the western edge of the Ozark Plateau in an Oak-Hickory/Oak-Pine forest. She feels as though she is “drinking from the fire hose” while climbing the steep learning curve. Her goals with OFRA are to never forget what this is like, and to use all her life experience, including facilitative leadership skills developed in the U.S. Coast Guard, to be effective in delivering sustainable agriculture education, training, and mentoring that helps others develop ecologically sound and economically viable farms, ranches, and homesteads. She holds a B.S. degree in Applied Science from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a M.S. degree in Environmental Health from the University of Washington.
Nick Lorax, OFRA Education Coordinator
Nick and his partner Kelda currently run a 1-acre organic market garden as well as the Fairland Farmer Market. They also offer permaculture design consultation services under the banner Divine Earth Gardening Project. Nick received his BA from Pacific Lutheran University in Environmental Studies with a minor in Ecology. He also holds a permaculture design certificate and USGBC LEAD GA certificate. As an undergraduate he interned with the Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources where he worked on low till / no till organic vegetable production and multi species rotational grazing. He has also done event organizing for the NW EcoBuilding Guild and the Office of Sustainability at Pacific Lutheran University.
Brandon Reavis, NRCS
Brandon Reavis is the State Rangeland Management Specialist for NRCS in Oklahoma and offices out of Stillwater. Brandon graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture studying Animal Science and Rangeland Ecology. He has worked within NRCS since 2002 although his career started with the Rogers County Conservation District in 2001. In 2002 he started as a Rangeland Management Specialist in the Vinita Field office then moved on as a District Conservationist to the Pryor Field Office in 2004 and followed that up by moving in 2006 to Osage county. Brandon started his current job in 2011, he is a member of the Society for Range Management and was awarded the outstanding young rangeland professional award in 2013. Brandon and his wife Sarah have two children Amy, who is 10 and Grant who is 7. His family operates an cow calf operation in north east Oklahoma. He is a native of Bartlesville, Oklahoma and in his spare time enjoys fly-fishing, wood working and golf.
Jeff Goodwin, Pasture and Range consultant at the Samuel Robert Noble Foundation
Goodwin is a pasture and range consultant in the Noble Foundation’s producer relations program. Before coming to the Noble Foundation in 2016, Goodwin was the state rangeland management specialist for U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Temple, Texas. Prior to that, Goodwin worked as the NRCS state grazing land specialist and provided leadership and coordination to the Texas Grazing Land Coalition. During Goodwin’s 14-year career with NRCS, he worked in multiple locations in Texas as a rangeland management specialist helping producers and landowners meet their management objectives. Previously, Goodwin worked as a research associate in the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Service Range Animal Nutrition Program in Vernon, Texas. Jeff holds a BS in Range and Ranch Management and a Masterß∑s in Agriculture (Range Animal Science) both from Tarleton State University in North Texas.
Gregory Scott, Oklahoma Conservation Commission on Soil Health
Gregory F. Scott has been a practicing soil scientist for over 40 years, for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service from 1976-2013; and currently, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission since 2013. He has been consulting as a soil scientist since 1995. His field experience includes Oklahoma, Alaska, North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas. He has extensive experience as the project leader for the soil survey in the Cross Timbers area of Oklahoma, which includes Creek, Tulsa, Osage, and Pawnee Counties.
Greg earned his B.S. degree in Agronomy-soils in 1976 and his M.S. in Environmental Science-Geology in 1999. His thesis examined the interplay between fluvial and aeolian processes along the terraces of the Cimarron River in Major County, Oklahoma. Greg maintains state and national certifications in soil science is a published author and a director for No Till on the Plains and for the Lincoln County, Oklahoma Conservation District. Raised in Oklahoma City, Greg escaped as soon as he could and now lives with his wife Becky on a small cattle operation in Lincoln County, Oklahoma. They have a cow-calf operation, and experiment with forage and grazing systems.
Blane Stacy, Soil Health Educator, Oklahoma Conservation Commission
Blane is a self-described plant nerd. Growing up running cattle in eastern Nowata County with his father, an ag teacher for 30 years, learning the plants the cattle ate, or didn’t eat, was the start of a 20 year fascination with native rangeland and the importance of this ecosystem on the landscape. Participating in Rangeland Judging in FFA jumpstarted a career that, while not very long, has seen him graduate from OK State University with a degree in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, manage a rangeland/wetland area and monitor water quality in the Upper Arkansas River Basin for a federally recognized Tribe, work in all 4 corners of OK for the NRCS as a rangeland management summer intern, monitor and evaluate grazing paddocks (and punch cows) for a ranch in NE OK, and currently he assists with the OK Conservation Commission in the Soil Health Division, as a Soil Health Educator and Native Rangeland specialist, educating farmers, ranchers, and anyone with an interest in clean water and clear air about the Soil Health, Plant identification and utilization, native rangeland ecosystems, and water quality.
When not identifying strange plants or digging holes to examine soil, Blane lives in Blanchard, OK with his schoolteacher wife Judy and blue heeler pup Buck, and has been known to moonlight as a rodeo cowboy, competing in Saddle Bronc Riding.
Chuck Grimes, The Grasslander
Chuck Grimes, Hennessey, OK, is an ex-range conservationist who worked on rotational grazing back in the 60’s. He is still involved in forages – in many ways. He’s now a rancher, grass seed producer and processor, and a manufacturer. Besides having an intensive grazing operation and selling grass-fed Texas Longhorn Beef, he manufactures and markets the Grasslander Seeder, which he says is clog free even when planting fluffy, trashy seed. He custom plants grass seed with the Grasslander seeder and consults on native prairie designs for any conditions. Chuck says of the Grasslander No-Til Seeder, “The Grasslander™ evolved out of need. I recognized the need for a better grass seeder when I worked for the Soil Conservation Service. I have drawings back to 1971. I developed my first working proto-type in 1986. I built two more improved versions and planted with them also in 1987. In 1988, I built my first seeder for the public. We have been manufacturing the “Grasslander No-Til Seeder” here on the Grasslander™ Ranch since that time.
Keith Whiteneck, Farm Service Agency
Thank you to the generous support of our Sponsors for helping to make this day possible:
Sponsor This Series
Our Open Gate series offers organizations, agencies and businesses a great opportunity to network with farmers, ranchers and consumers interested in sustainable agricultural ideas, products and services. We offer a variety of affordable Sponsorship Opportunities to connect you with our community. Please email Stephanie von Ancken at [email protected] for more information.