HMI’s Online Learning Series Getting Started Introduction to Holistic Management® course ran from March to April 2017 with 29 participants from the United States, France, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal and Canada. This course focused on key Holistic Management planning concepts and principles to help participants manage their farm/ranch for the triple bottom line (social, environmental, and financial sustainability) and more effectively manage resources. Participants were excited to learn how to improve their ability to observe, understand, and make decisions based on what they can control. Through these new skills participants now have the knowledge and tools to improve their ability to work with nature and to increase productivity.
“I can’t remember how I first heard about HMI, it was probably when I was researching grazing practices.
I do remember though my husband and I were in a bad place back then. Our farm was not feeling like a “real” farm, relationships with neighbor farms where getting worse and worse, and on top of it, my husband was suffering from a burn-out at his new workplace. When I discovered HMI as a global method to conduct agricultural projects in a sustainable way, I was hooked. Building a holistic goal helped me believe in my vision as something being possible. It was the perfect way to step back and think about what I really wanted to achieve. It also helped me to see that despite the fact we weren’t satisfied with how our farm was evolving, we both had learned a lot during the past 10 years, and that we were ready for the next step, whatever that would be.
When the opportunity to buy a bigger, run-down but affordable farm came up, I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I knew it was the best way to get closer to my holistic goal. Thanks to the tools I got from the program, I have also been able to help my husband to get over the issues he had at his workplace. After building his own holistic goal and working together on our common vision, he had the courage to quit his job after 21 years of unhappiness and to get trained as an equitherapist. We now work on a common project that satisfies both our needs, with a clear common goal. We also are in the process of learning that a holistic goal is a journey, not a destination, and that helps with coping with the daily hassle and the feeling that nothing is ever going to be perfect!
All the examples featured in the program were a great help too, because they show there are so many different, creative ways to find solutions for a given problem, when you just think about them in a positive, open minded, sometimes adventurous and mostly bold manner.
Now I’m the crazy lady housing her goats in a greenhouse, building up fertilizer during winter for tomatoes planted in there in summer instead of having built a big expensive barn and shoveling manure like crazy every spring…That’s a great feeling!
Now I’m impatient to start the land management course!”
“When I saw on YouTube Allan Savory talking about Holistic Management, I wanted to learn more because I bought a farm and I want to regenerate the land and turn it into my paradise.
The course Getting Started Introduction to Holistic Management was excellent because I learned the basic tools and by applying them I now have clarified my ideas and decide more confidently what I need to do to achieve my goals, following my values but also being economically and environmentally sustainable. Now I’m eager to learn more!”
I learned what I feel is the groundwork for management that is applicable far more than agriculture. The teachers really imparted their experience and knowledge that is unattainable anywhere else. I was able to network and meet many peers that are on the same journey to learn, grow and impact, which was very encouraging.
Here’s the best things participant’s learned/experienced:
“The best thing I learned was to step back and truly look at the big picture, to include the real decision-makers and make sure the stated goals are shared by all.”
“The best things I learned were making a well thought out decision between two options, working towards your holistic goal and defining the management team.”
“I learned about how to successfully manage everything through Holistic Management. Even though I took this class for the Holistic Management part, I liked learning about the farming part of it. I gained a lot of understanding of Holistic Management.”
“Great teacher, Great canvas, very useful!”
“The most useful thing I learned was the Ecosystem Processes”
“Very good, I am impressed at how much more I understood things after the webinars.”
“Good set up. Nice change in webinars, reading and exercises. I liked the time management.”
Based on the survey responses, here are the changes that occurred:
Getting Started Introduction to Holistic Management® Whole Farm/Ranch Planning Course Survey Results
|Knowledge/Behavior and Confidence Increase||% Increase|
|Your ability to define your management team after session||100%|
|How to inventory your farms resources after session||100%|
|Your ability to develop a whole farm goal after session||100%|
|Your ability to identify needed systems and protocols to create a successful farm after session||96%|
|Ability to integrate social, economic, and environmental factors into your decisions after session||94%|
|Your ability to make complex on-farm or ranch decisions after session||92%|
|Your ability to assess ecosystem health after session||93%|
|Overall satisfaction with the instructor’s effectiveness||100%|