Q: What does HMI do?
A: Holistic Management International is a 32-year old 501(c)3 non-profit based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We educate people in regenerative agriculture for healthy lands and thriving communities. We teach and share information about the importance of Holistic Management in farming, ranching, nature conservancy and in everyday decision making. We facilitate workshops, classes and field days and partner with numerous organizations to provide training and learning opportunities all over the world. Through this we work to educate farmers and ranchers about how to sustainably manage for a triple bottom line—planet, people and profits.
Q: What does holistic mean?
A: Simply put, holistic means looking at the whole. Webster defines holistic as relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts. When decisions are made holistically they take into account all aspects of the problem and all stakeholders. A key principle of Holistic Management is “Nature functions in Wholes.” For this reason we work to make decisions and develop plans that create symbiotic relationships within the whole to create synergy and multiple benefits.
Q: What is Holistic Management?
A: Holistic Management is a framework for making decisions and managing with a greater awareness of nature and how to partner with it for multiple benefits. Because Holistic Management includes goal setting, decision testing, financial planning, marketing planning, business planning, grazing planning, biological monitoring and land planning, it is considered a whole farm/ranch planning system that helps farmers, ranchers and land stewards better manage natural resources in order to reap sustainable environmental, economic and social benefits. Click here for further information.
Q: Do you teach people how to farm/ranch?
A: HMI teaches a framework for making decisions that helps us manage the complexity of nature whether it be in relation to farming, ranching, land planning, land stewardship or all of these things. This framework is also useful in everyday life because it provides a set of tools to make better decisions and to more quickly and sustainably reach our goals. We do offer a beginning farmer/rancher course which teaches participants how to apply Holistic Management principles and practices in order to build successful agricultural businesses. This course covers holistic financial planning, biological/crop monitoring, soil health, effective human resource and time management. More information about all our training programs can be found here.
Q: Do you teach or consult?
A: Both! HMI works with a network of Certified Educators from all over the world who consult with individual farms/ranches and who also facilitate group workshops and classes. Here is a list of Holistic Management Certified Educators. Feel free to contact them with any questions you may have! We also provide highly successful training programs at both the practitioner and educator level, as well as courses for food advocates and environmentalists. To learn more, see our Training Programs page.
Q: How do you do what you do? How do you teach Holistic Management?
A: We teach Holistic Management in a variety of ways. We offer hands-on, interactive programs that allow farmers and ranchers to learn by doing and to connect and develop relationships with others interested in practicing Holistic Management. Our programs include the Whole Farm/Ranch Land Management and Whole Farm/Ranch Business Planning Series, the Beginning Farmer/Rancher Series and a one day field course called Open Gate. We also offer online and individualized distance learning courses so you can learn Holistic Management from anywhere in the world! Learn more about our Training Programs here.
Q: Is Holistic Management mostly about grazing?
A: Understanding the relationship between grazing animals and the land is an important concept in Holistic Management, but it is much more than a grazing system. Because Holistic Management is such a versatile management and decision making system it can truly be applied in all aspects of life. It has been successfully used by people in every part of the world whether they are farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, conservationists, wildlife enthusiasts, food advocates or community activists. To learn more about Holistic Management, click here.
Q: How do I know if my practices are sustainable?
A: Holistic Management has 7 testing questions to help you analyze any decision you are making and consider the social, financial and environmental ramifications in the context of your holistic goal. For any action to be truly sustainable, all 3 legs of this “sustainability stool” must be considered. To learn more about the decision making, visit our Free Downloads page and choose the Introduction to Holistic Management option.
Q: How can I use Holistic Management in my everyday life if I am not a farmer or rancher?
A: Because Holistic Management is a decision making tool it can be applied to any decision you are faced with. It is a method to achieve the life you want in a holistic manner. It does not matter if you own land—we are all still dependent on healthy food, soil, water and air. To find out more, read At Home with Holistic Management.
Q: If I only have a small urban farm, can I use Holistic Management?
A: Yes! Holistic Management is not size or location dependent. Decisions need to be made in all scale of operations. We work successfully with people who farm on less than one acre all the way up to thousands of acres.
Q: How do I get money to farm or ranch?
A: There are many grants available for farm/ranch funding. Many of these grants have restrictions and requirements regarding education; HMI training is one way to receive the education you need to apply for these grants. For example, the USDA recognizes many of HMI’s educational programs as fulfilling the educational requirement for Farm Service Agency (FSA) funds. Please follow these links for more information and opportunities for funding.
Q: How does Holistic Management help financially?
A: Holistic Financial Planning helps in prioritizing spending and focuses on controlling expenses so that your businesses is profitable. Holistic Management planning and monitoring gives you the necessary information needed to be able to make decisions or revisions to your plans early enough in the process when they are less costly. Because the Holistic Financial Planning is based on your holistic goal, this value-based decision making focus helps prioritize financial goals and provides more motivation to achieve those goals. HMI offers courses in Holistic Financial Planning as well as Holistic Business Planning and Marketing. More information about those courses can be found here.