HMI is excited to announce our newest Certified Educator, Doniga Markegard. Doniga comes to ranching with a background in wildlife tracking and permaculture. Along with her husband and four children, Doniga owns and operates Markegard Family Grass-Fed, raising grass-fed beef, lamb, pastured pork, chicken and dairy supplying the community with local, nutrient dense foods. The family ranch leases coastal grasslands in San Mateo and Sonoma Counties spanning over 10,000 acres. The mission of Markegard Family Grass-Fed is stewarding grasslands by mimicking natural systems through regenerative agriculture practices.
Doniga is dedicated to finding ways to regenerate lands and community through ranching practices that build soil, sequester carbon, capture and purify water and enhance habitat.
Markegard Family Grass-Fed also serves as an HMI Learning Site. Customers can order beef, lamb, and pork online through their shop to be delivered around the Bay Area at Farmers Markets. The Markegards’ philosophy in grazing is to manage the cattle herd to simulate the large herds of elk and antelope which once roamed California’s grasslands. They accomplish this by keeping the herd moving with Holistic Planned Grazing, so as never to overgraze an area, but to stimulate growth and grassland health through properly timed grazing. Watershed stewardship is at the forefront of our management practices. Doniga can be contacted at: [email protected]
Doniga has also written a book, Dawn Again: Tracking the Wisdom of the Wild. In this memoir, Doniga shares her journey, including the wilderness immersion school where Indigenous elders and wildlife trackers were among her teachers, hitchhiking across the Pacific Northwest, how she learned to track, and her time in Alaska where she fell in love with tracking white wolves and the rigor of wilderness survival.
Dawn Again includes not only tracking but chapters on food, Permaculture, and Holistic Management, as well as the love story that begins with Doniga tracking mountain lions and meeting Erik, a rancher, she eventually marries and together they raise a family on a California cattle ranch.
Congratulations to Doniga for her successful completion of HMI’s rigorous two-year Certified Educator Training Program!