23 participants from all over the United Kingdom participated in the Advanced Grazing and Financial Planning course offered by ReGenAg UK and co-sponsored by HMI on January 16-18, 2017 in Worcestershire. These participants manage 12,377 acres. 100% of the participants noted in a post-program survey that they would change practices as a result of this program. The instructor for the course was HMI Certified Educator Tony McQuail from Ontario, Canada, assisted by Rob Havard, a Holistic Management grazier from the UK.
One of HMI’s scholarship recipients, Lynn Cassells of Lynbreck Croft, wrote a great blog about her experience at the course and what she learned.
She writes: “There were lots of different people in attendance from long established beef and diary farmers as well as aspirational farmers to representatives from bigger organisations including the National Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust. And there was no sitting back and simply getting fed information – interaction and involvement was key! The best thing about the whole model is that in addition to the business side, it pays particular attention to good environmental land management. It’s all about having healthy, organic matter rich soils that grow plentiful herb and wildflower rich grasslands providing food for happy, relaxed cows.”
There was much appreciation for the practical knowledge shared by both Tony and Rob, which helped participants learn more quickly the key principles and practices for holistic financial and grazing planning. In particular, here are a few highlights of increased knowledge or intended changed behavior
- 76% will plan profit up front as part of their new management strategies
- 95% increased their confidence in their ability to determine the weak link in an enterprise
- 95% improved their knowledge of how to determine recovery periods
- 90% increased they knowledge of determining how many animals a pasture could support
- 90% increased their knowledge of how to determine grazing periods
- 81% increased their confidence as a grazier
- 95% are going to create or modify a grazing plan as a result of this training
Thanks to Natasha Giddings of ReGenAg UK for a great job of coordinating this event.