It is with great sadness that HMI learned about the passing of long-time Holistic Management practitioner and soil health consultant, Betsy Ross of Granger, Texas.
Betsy Ross was dedicated to the principle that healthy soils grow healthy plants and these are necessary for healthy livestock, and ultimately, healthy people. Betsy had been a Certified Soil Foodweb Advisor since 2004. In addition to being a founding partner in Sustainable Growth Texas, she operated, with her family, a 530-acre stock farm in eastern Williamson County along the San Gabriel River. The farm is used as a ‘lab site’ for Sustainable Growth Texas work. Grass-fed finished beef is marketed as Betsy Ross Grass-fed Beef to Peoples Rx Pharmacies and Greenling Organic Food Delivery in Austin, TX, as well as through the Internet and farm sales. Tenderness, flavor, and consistency are Ross Farm‘s mark of excellence. No corn, hormones, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides are used in the grass-based production system.
Betsy was a wonderful resource to HMI and the Holistic Management community in Texas, never turning down a request for sharing her knowledge. She served as a mentor and instructor in HMI’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher program in Texas and took extra time to train a number of the participants in soil health, compost teas, and biological preparations so they too could be a resource to their communities.
As one Holistic Management trainee from the Beginning Women Farmers and Ranchers Texas Program wrote: “[In that class] 30 women had the passion, no doubt; but just as strong was their need—for knowledge, and methods, and processes, but perhaps their most pressing need was for community—other women doing what they were doing, sharing their passion for the land and the way of life that comes from being a woman of the land. Mentoring was part of that program; and one of those amazing mentors; Betsy Ross, felt the urge to download her seven-plus decades of learning into this pool of eager women.
Betsy Ross has been around Holistic Management a long time. She had been a science teacher, rancher and as a retirement career, followed her passion for understanding the life beneath the soil surface. Betsy has combined years of self-education and observation with formal study and certification by Elaine Ingham to form Sustainable Growth Texas, a landscape and consulting firm to help folks regenerate soil and set the table for the desired plant communities. As she mentored the Beginning Women Farmers, she naturally lit fires from her own flame. Several of the women in that first class chose to go into training to become Holistic Management Certified Educators. Others took Betsy up on her many generous offers to “ride along” on pasture walks all over Texas. As the women graduated and continued their close relationships with each other and the rest of the Holistic Management community, Betsy continued to be a mentor and an inspiration to them.”
Betsy will be missed by all of us at HMI and within the Holistic Management community! HMI offers our condolences to the Ross family.