Making every drop of rain count! In uncertain times like these, farming and ranching can be stressful. Solutions seem hard to come by. It can be reassuring to know that some folks within the Ogallala Aquifer Region are finding ways to improve their situation. Come hear their High Plains successes and explore how you might want to try out some of the practical techniques with little risk.
Think it would require too much? Then come visit a farm where the farmer is making a profit, even in our brittle environment. Hear from a rancher who is consistently able to turn a profit even during times of drought because he planned ahead for grazing management and livestock numbers.
See how the research backs up the farmers’ and ranchers’ approaches. Dr. Richard Teague, Professor Emeritus from Texas A&M Grazing Program, and Pancho Abello, an agriculture economist from Texas A&M Agriculture Extension, validate these approaches for improving soil health and water infiltration to make it work for you in the fields.
The benefits learned by these farmers and ranchers are multi-fold including improving your land and even have the potential to help recharge our struggling water systems.
- Dr. Richard Teague will speak about his research on how Planned Grazing improves soil health and is a sustainable base to improve ecosystem function and ranch/farm production.
- No-till farmers, RN Hopper and farmer Chris Grotecut will illustrate principles they each use that mend the soil and will measure economic advantages of using rotational crops and animal integration. They’ll cover the steps on how you can use less water and instead capture more water PLUS gain more profits! We’ll also visit Chris’ nearby farm to see firsthand how he is doing just that.
- Pancho Abelló, an agricultural economist from Texas A&M, will speak on trends and implications of water shortages both locally and globally, highlighting the harsh realities, challenges, and possible solutions.
- HMI’s Wayne Knight will speak about his experiences with deleted water for his community in South Africa as well as his success at improving water infiltration and water holding capacity of the soils on his family’s ranch in South Africa. He will introduce HMI’s programs which support farmers in transitioning to new production methods with peer support and mentorship.
We’ll bring together ranchers, farmers, scientists, economists, concerned citizens, and water district managers at this special Field Day to discuss the exciting things happening with the Ogallala aquifer and soil health of the High Plains. So pull up a chair and join us at the water table!
$50, includes lunch
Registration Deadline: Oct 19, 2021
Of note, the format and/or requirements for event attendance may change in light of shifting CDC and state public health guidelines. HMI will make every effort to communicate these changes in a timely fashion.
Please watch this video to see how to register for this event.
Lower Water Usage, Higher Profits – It’s Already Happening!
We invite you to test the waters with our Ogallala Field Day! We’ll focus on ranching and farming in harmony with nature and safe-to-fail, low-risk practices YOU can implement on your own land with lots of helpful information and proven solutions – and you’ll want to drink it all in!
Wayne Knight – Interim Executive Director and Certified Educator, HMI
With 27 years of ranching experience using Holistic Management, Wayne has had an identity crisis. When he joined the 11,000-acre family ranching business he called himself a cattle rancher. He changed to calling himself a grass farmer. Later still, he called himself a soil-microbe farmer, though he has always marketed beef. Privileged to work with his father, Tom Knight, who was an early adopter of Holistic Management under Allan Savory – Stan Parsons consulting, Wayne enthusiastically increased and intensified the practices HMI teaches. He became a Certified Educator in 2006 and was actively involved with the Southern African Certified Educator community organization, Community Dynamics. He has spoken at numerous conferences in Southern Africa, trained and mentored farmers, hosted open days on his property, and has written about his positive results using Holistic Management. Before joining the team at HMI Wayne served as a board member of the organization for 8 years. Through his enthusiasm for Holistic Management, Wayne has traveled widely visiting farmers who practice high-density, long recovery grazing practices in Southern Africa, Australia, and the US. As a young graduate with a Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Natal, South Africa, he traveled across the US west working on ranches in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, California, and New Mexico. When not involved in Holistic Management you will find him fishing, birding, hiking, or exploring wild spaces and places with his family. An enthusiastic traveler, hunter, and photographer, he loves discovering new places and making new friends.
Richard Teague is Professor Emeritus of Grazing Ecosystems Ecology, having retired in January 2021 from the Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Texas A&M University. Since 1991 he, with his research partners, has conducted research from his Texas base exploring the hypothesis that using Holistic Planned Grazing improves soil health and is a sustainable base to improve ecosystem function and increase net farm profits. To accomplish this, he partnered with farmers who have improved the environment and excel financially. They used a systems-science, multi-discipline framework to find the best grazing management for regenerating soil health and function, delivering ecosystem goods and services, and improving farmer livelihoods and social resilience.
His website is: https://vernon.tamu.edu/research-project/grazing-ecology-management/
Francisco “Pancho” Abelló
Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist – Economist Management at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Pancho Abelló provides district leadership and coordination for Extension education programs and applied research in farm and ranch management, livestock economics, financial and profitability analysis, marketing, resources, and policy by providing technical expertise and educational program development for industry audiences. Francisco provides agricultural economics tools to help farmers and ranchers to improve profitability and be better prepared to manage risk.
Prior to joining Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Pancho was CEO of all farms and ranchers managed by TraulenCo, a management and administration firm in Argentina that comprises multiple farm/ranch operations of wheat, corn, sunflower, soybeans (17,000 acres), and cow-calf (54,000 acres). Additionally, Mr. Abelló provided agricultural production, economic and financial business consulting in Latin America for private equity investments and capital management funds (Argentina, Perú, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Brazil).
Mr. Abelló obtained his Agriculture Production Engineering degree from the Argentinian Catholic University (Universidad Catolica Argentina), Department of Agricultural Science, in 2002. He earned a Master’s Degree of Science in Agricultural Economics and a Master’s Degree of Agribusiness from Texas A&M University.
R.N. is a continuous no-till farmer from Petersburg, TX. He and his wife, Lyndi, live on the farm with their three children. They grow corn, cotton, wheat, sorghum, and sunflowers. R. N. is one of the founders and current President of the No-Till Texas organization whose focus is to increase awareness of soil health issues and to establish a network of producers helping each other implement soil conservation practices. He and his father were recognized by The Cotton Foundation and the Farm Press for their conservation efforts with the 2015 High Cotton Award and also by the Water Conservation Advisory Council with the 2017 Blue Legacy Award. Mr. Hopper is a graduate of Texas Tech University (BS Agronomy 2000).
Chris is a veterinarian, grass, livestock, and crop farmer living and working near Hereford, Texas.
Dr. Grotegut, with the help of his family and business team, moved the majority of their cropped land toward native grass and forb production for soil health, water cycle improvement, and long-term economic viability. At about the same time, they reduced pumping and began to test if they could balance water use for irrigation with water table recharge of the Ogallala Aquifer. The family has a passion to make the land they manage better for future generations through regenerative agricultural techniques.
Dr. Grotegut is a 1995 graduate of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a current board member of the Llano Estacado Regional Water Planning Group (Region O) for the State of Texas, and a multiple-term County Advisory Committee member for the High Plains Water District.
Chris is married to Judith Oman Grotegut, and they have twin sons Josef & Johan who are in the 8th grade in Hereford. The family is very active in raising and showing lambs in Texas through 4-H.
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