17 producers and agricultural professionals from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas attended a two-day workshop hosted by Linda Pechin-Long, a rancher and HMI Certified Educator, and her husband, Keith Long, a long-time Holistic Management practitioner. Distinguished speakers and experts in the field shared valuable insights with the attendees, who were able to immerse themselves in Holistic Management has helped improve profitability and land productivity.
Wayne Knight, HMI Executive Director, explained how Holistic Management is a flexible management tool for achieving sustainable livestock management. The attendees gained a deep understanding of how these principles can be utilized to create a lasting impact.
Participants engaged in interactive exercises, learning to measure available forage using the STAC method and rangeland monitoring techniques using Bullseye Monitoring. These exercises enhanced comprehension and offered tangible strategies for implementation.
Unlocking Potential through Grazing Practices
A well-known grazing expert, Mike Wallace, also explained the benefits of multi-species grazing and its positive impact on pasture and livestock health. Attendees learned strategies to optimize grazing practices for maximum efficiency and profit.
Insights into Small Ruminant Farming
Keith and Linda Long provided excellent advice on how to raise small ruminants on limited acreages. Their comprehensive discussion covered various pasture management techniques and the nuances of planned grazing. Attendees gained practical and actionable guidance and insight into the financial benefits of raising small ruminants on small acreages.
Prioritizing Livestock Health
Keith Long also stressed the importance of monitoring livestock’s body condition and health. Specialists highlighted the need for various ecosystem monitoring techniques, which are critical for land health and effective livestock management.
Guarding Livestock and Ensuring Health
During the event, Bill Costanzo, a livestock specialist from Texas A&M, delivered a presentation on how to train and use livestock guardian dogs to protect livestock from predators. He emphasized the crucial role that these dogs play in safeguarding livestock. Additionally, he addressed several challenges in raising and training Livestock Guardian dogs and offered practical solutions. Attendees found his expert advice informative and helpful, and they asked many questions during the session.
Linda Pechin-Long then delved into vital parasite control measures for small ruminants, stressing their direct correlation to overall health and productivity.
Nourishing Livestock through Nutrition
Nutritionist David Pankaskie highlighted the indispensable role of minerals and vitamins in livestock nutrition. Attendees gained insights into maintaining optimal animal health and reproductive success through proper nutrition strategies.
Evaluations showed that 100% of participants thought this workshop was excellent or good and would recommend it to their network. Additionally, 100% of participants increased their ability to use dogs to work and protect their livestock. 82% increased their knowledge on how to assess forage availability to match animal numbers while improving pasture yield and quality. That same number also increased their ability to assess quantity of forage in pasture.