On Saturday, June 17th, 2017, 39 people gathered on the rolling plains at Bunchgrass Flat in Waukomis, Oklahoma to hear how grazing can help soil health. Participants were welcomed with homemade cinnamon rolls and hot coffee as they listened to Bunchgrass Flat owners Sara and Jesse Bullis tell their story of how they improved their land health with grazing management. Since 2010, they’ve consistently increased their herd and stocking rate, decreased hay consumption to almost zero, and have improved the overall diversity and health of their pastures using the grazing practices they learned. “Using the grazing practices we learned from Holistic Management has been a game changer for us,” said Sara.
Next up was a resource panel representing different agencies and organizations including Keith Whiteneck from FSA, Brandon Reavis from NRCS, Julie Gahn and Nick Lorax from OFRA, and HMI Certified Educator Tracy Litle.
With a hayride out to examine the pastures, Gregory Scott from Oklahoma Conservation Commission talked about land health, and how it’s really no different than the health of our bodies. Gregory also talked about the importance of soil diversity and plant diversity, and how different species contributed different things to the overall system. Gregory also talked about the importance of grazing management to maintain health root systems and how soil biology creates a synergistic system that works to benefit all.
After a delicious lunch of shredded pork, homemade rolls and pickles, and kale slaw, Tracy led a brief overview of biological monitoring. Next, participants headed out to the pasture to read the land using Bullseye Monitoring. A group discussion followed.
Blane Stacey from Oklahoma Conservation Commission took participants back out to the pasture to identify plants; pointing out the basic characteristics of grass, legumes, and forbs. The day ended with Chuck Grimes from Grasslander speaking about the principles of how to plant native grass seeds, explaining the no-till native seeder he developed, sending all participants home with a baggie full of his wildlife-prairie buffet seed mixture.
Here are just a few of the results from this event:
Expanded network – 100%
Would recommend event to others – 100%
Overall event satisfaction – 100%
Increased ability to see soil health indicators – 91%
Increased ability to identify forage grasses – 87%
Intend to biologically monitor land – 81%
HMI would like to thank FSA for funding this program, as well as Oklahoma NRCS, OFRA, Grasslander, and Oklahoma Conservation Commission for participating in this event.
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Holistic Management International’s mission is to educate people in regenerative agriculture for healthy land and thriving communities.
We have helped farmers and ranchers in 130 countries learn and practice Holistic Management for the past 3 decades. You can read some of their Success Stories to learn how Holistic Management has changed their lives and impacted their land.
As a non-profit organization, HMI is always grateful for donations in support of our mission. You can help regenerate land for healthy food and healthy lives with many giving options including scholarships for farmer/rancher training. Learn more here.