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*HMI EVENT* – Open Gate Field Day: Holly, Colorado

March 11

One-Day Grazing Exercise, Long-Term Lessons

Are you curious about planned grazing but unsure where to start or if it’s even worth the work?

Join us at Willhite & Willhite, Inc. of Holly, Colorado and participate in a day-long grazing experiment, where we’ll put cattle on a small parcel of land during the day and monitor the real-time results. You’ll leave with information that will help you make decisions for reduced risk and takeaway actions to implement on your own ranch or farm.

This field day is for anyone who wants to learn more about livestock management and how it can improve your land and profitability.

Date: March 11, 2022
Time: 9:00AM – 4:00PM MST
Registration Deadline: March 6, 2022
Cost: $50 (includes lunch!)
Location: Willhite & Willhite, Inc., Holly, CO

Topics Include:

  • The importance of ecosystem health
  • Identifying, managing, and monitoring key indicators – ecosystem, livestock production, soil, and more
  • Financial considerations and decisions for healthy profits
  • Examination of risk, stress, and quality of life in production decisions
  • Your questions answered by experienced grazing experts in brittle environments

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, financial successful farms and ranches, and thriving communities.


Registration

$50, includes lunch
Walk in registration is $55 per person, if available.  Register soon, as we have limited space available.

Financial Assistance Available! (If you are in need of financial assistance please apply for a scholarship below.

APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP HERE

COVID-19 Policy:

Please 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.


Agenda:


8:30am Registration
9:00am Welcome & Overview – Linda Pechin-Long
9:15am What is Holistic Management® & How Can it Benefit You? – Linda Pechin-Long
How Holistic Management® Can Increase Production and Profitability While Creating Healthy Soils – Louis Martin
10:30am Break
10:35am On-the-Land Training on STAC Monitoring – Linda Pechin-Long, Louis Martin, & Corey Stephens
11:00am On-the-Land, Safe-to-Fail Presentation, Pre-Observations & Moving Cattle – Linda Pechin-Long, Louis Martin, & Corey Stephens
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Are You Ready for Rain? – Storm Casper
Principles of Soil Health
Rain Water Simulator – Importance of Infiltration
2:00pm On-the-Land Post-Observations
3:00pm Evaluations, Q&A for all Speakers & Closing
4:00pm Adjourn

Speakers:

Corey Stephens – Owner/Operator, Willhite & Willhite, INC.

Corey began his farming career in January of 2014 when he and his wife, Alysse, moved to Holly, Colorado. They farm with Alysse’s father, David, who is a 3rd generation farmer. They are primarily dryland farmers of 6500 acres. They also have a cow-calf operation on 15000 acres of native grasses. Corey has been participating in the Holistic Management Ramp Program for the past year exploring alternative management techniques for healthier soils and finances. He is the president of Northest Prowers Conservation District.

Linda Pechin-Long – Owner/Operator, Graze the Prairie
Linda and her husband Keith Long own and operate Graze The Prairie, a cow/calf and direct-to-consumer operation. Graze The Prairie is located in the Kansas Flinthills where they manage about 2000 acres on a ranch in the very Southern part of The Tall Grass Prairie, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. They graze their animals year-round on native tallgrass prairie grasses. Holistically Planned Grazing, high stock density and planned recoveries, moving our cattle daily in the growing season and twice weekly in the dormant season mimics the movement of animals that historically lived on the prairie and is in concert with how the prairie evolved. As an HMI Certified Educator in training Linda works to help others learn to manage their resources in a way that keeps the business, land, family, and community healthy and thriving.

Louis Martin – Owner/Operator, Brett Gray Ranch
Louis Martin currently serves as the CEO and general manager for Round River and oversees management of the Brett Gray and Lyme BX Ranches, working in collaboration with the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners (SLB), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and others to achieve the desired goals of all stakeholders. He has been involved in the livestock and ranching business for over forty years, and has served sixteen years as general manager for the Texas A&M University Beef Cattle Center in College Station, Texas, where he oversaw all cattle operations and facilitated the teaching, research and extension activities at the Center. In addition, he has been involved in Holistic Management for over thirty years, consulted for numerous ranches and managed large ranches in Texas, northeastern Utah and Colorado before coming to the Brett Gray Ranch. Louis received a BS and Master’s degree in Animal Science and Ranch Management at Texas A&M University, has trained with several certified Holistic Management instructors, is an alumni of Ranching for Profit, is an Executive Link board member, and participates in numerous education opportunities annually..

Storm Casper
Michael “Storm” Casper grew up in Southeast Colorado and has spent most of his life working on a farm and ranch that continues to this day.  He and his wife Larae have a daughter Rylee Scates of Mustang, Oklahoma, and son Garrett Casper of Denver.

He received his BA in Business Administration with a minor in Earth Science from Oklahoma Panhandle State University of Agriculture and Applied Sciences in Goodwell, Oklahoma in 1991.  He attended the University of Denver from 1993 to 1995 working towards an MS degree in Finance while working in the mutual fund industry.  Since that time he has completed ungraduated courses in soil and water conservation, soil fertility management, soil ecology, and rangeland ecology.

He started his conservation career with the Baca County Conservation District in 1999 developing a noxious weed map for the weed and pest district.  Highlights of his conservation career include developing new conservation practice standards, promoting groundwater conservation and protection, reducing soil losses due to annual tillage, restoring habitat for threatened and endangered species, implementing the NDFU Carbon Credit Program, and overseeing the largest CRP enrollment in the nation.

He was hired in 2006 as a Soil Conservation Technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and since that time he has attended and participated in conferences and workshops throughout the Great Plains on the topic of Soil Health.  He is a past President of the Colorado Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and he was also a member of the Colorado NRCS Soil Health Team.  Storm continues to write and speak on the topic of Soil Health since his retirement from the NRCS in 2018.

He continues to practice the principles of Soil Health on his own farm. Inspired by tours of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, the Menoken Farm, and other farms across the Great Plains, Storm has implemented continuous no-till practices on his farm and has implemented livestock grazing on cropland. Storm is expanding his no-till rotation to include no kill permacultures, organic production, and other forms of regenerative ecosystem management.  In 2017 he began a Soil Health demonstration project to document and improve the understanding of healthy ecosystems and the protection of natural resources.


Ranch History:

The Willhites moved to the Holly area sometime in the early 1900’s.  They’re not sure why they chose Holly, Colorado. One thought was that the flat land with no rocks, cool summer evenings, and mostly mild winters were good homestead qualities. The other thought, however, was that a wheel fell off the wagon and this is where they stayed. They moved to California in the late 1920’s looking for more opportunity, but moved back right before the beginning of the dust bowl.

J. Marvin Willhite was born in Holly in 1931 and attended school in Holly. He completed a college degree in Fort Collins, CO.  He then enlisted and spent four years in the Air Force. He came back to Holly in 1956 and started his farming operation. He farmed sugar beets, corn, wheat, alfalfa, and cattle.

David Willhite, J. Marvin’s son, went to school in Holly, earned a degree at CSU in Fort Collins, and joined the farm in 1980.  J. Marvin and wife Patricia with David and wife Cherie formed the corporation Willhite and Willhite, Inc. in 1985. W-W, Inc. is mainly a dry land farming and ranching business.

Corey Stephens and wife Alysse joined the farm in 2014, and Matthias Hilger joined in 2020. J. Marvin retired in 2009, and David is beginning his semi-retirement  in 2022. The future of their farm is in the capable hands of Corey and Matthias and they are proud to continue the tradition of a true multi-generational family farm.

Thank You to our Funder


Made possible by a generous contribution from Martha Records & Rich Rainaldi


Thank You to Our Sponsors and Collaborators


Thank you to our Scholarship Sponsors

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