HMI is excited to announce four new board members that were elected at HMI’s Board of Directors meeting in November 2019. Please welcome our new board members.
Ariel Greenwood lives in New Mexico in the winter and Montana in the summer. She studied psychology and agroecology in college, and started farming as a teenager in North Carolina and began working with livestock in California. For the past five years she has worked with pigs, goats, and sheep, but primarily has managed and raised beef cattle in operations ranging from small herds with locally marketed grassfed beef to managing multi-thousand head of yearling stocker cattle.
She and her partner, Sam Ryerson, have a management LLC, Grass Nomads. They sometimes consult other operators and landowners as well as practice holistic planned grazing. Their work is generally on large, rougher country where they utilize dogs, horses, and aim for relatively short grazing periods.
Ariel writes for such websites as Civil Eats, Humans and Nature, and Fibershed, as well as her own blog, and regularly speaks to media about the issues and complexity surrounding grazing. She also serves as founding board member/treasurer for Contra Viento Journal, an arts & literature periodical about rangelands.
Her first exposure to Holistic Management was in 2012/2013 when she took grazing planning, financial planning, and biological monitoring courses through Spencer Smith of the Savory Institute’s Jefferson Hub. She feels fortunate to have entered livestock agriculture largely motivated by the principles inherent to Holistic Management and with a lot of support from other practitioners and teachers. She finds the grazing planning principles and context/goal development framework to be absolutely indispensable.
Ariel feels honored to be asked to join HMI’s board as she sees HMI’s focus on high-quality, on-the-ground instruction and influence to be sorely needed. She sees herself helping connect with younger/aspirational producers and practitioners. She is also passionate about helping to bring distant, marginal land into focus for urban or non-practitioners—showing the real change happening on the landscape with the broader public who are intrigued and skeptical of “regenerative grazing.” She sees the psychological savvy inherent to Holistic Management as most needed in farming, ranching, and land management.
Colin Nott lives in Namibia and is married to Anna Davis and has two daughters Zoe (13) and Tuli (10). He has a Masters of Science in Rangeland Science from the University of KwaZulu Natal and became a HMI Certified Educator in 2003. He and his wife have worked in community development since 1991 in Namibia in the establishment of communal conservancies and worked to facilitate that organized rural communities receive equitable benefits from the wildlife and tourism assets they manage. Since 2005, he has worked within conservancies to support improved management of the degrading communal rangelands in Namibia. This has involved a series of projects under NGOs and development contracts and they have established that communities are willing to organize themselves to apply Planned Grazing and Combined Herding in all communal areas of Namibia. He was later involved in the drafting of Namibia’s National Rangeland Management Policy (2012), which moves away from fixed stocking rates and fixed rotations and focuses rather on the principles of sound rangeland management.
Colin is currently rounding up a project working with the Ministry of Agriculture and the three Namibian Farmers Unions. They are publishing a Best Practice document that investigates the current state of Namibia’s rangelands, highlights the main drivers of livestock profitability and looks to incentivize the application of sound rangeland management principles – through the development of Namibian Regenerative Standards and later low interest bank loans and hopefully tax incentives in the future.
He is also looking into mechanisms to upscale learning and support to farmers in the 60 million hectares that are in need of regenerative practices. The document highlights practical best practices that include more than 12 regenerative best practices, five of which are based on Holistic Management. They estimate that applying these principles throughout Namibia can add USD $200 million to Namibia’s annual GDP and produce livestock that are profitable for the farmer, healthy for the consumer, good for the environment and good for the planet, while adding value and resilience to the entire market chain.
Colin is eager to join HMI’s board and learn from the successes outside of Namibia and learn from what others are doing as well as share his experiences.
Breanna Owens lives in Los Molinos, California with her son Will. She runs a small cattle and sheep operation based in Tehama County, California utilizing mostly leased private and public lands. She recently started working with the California State University—Chico Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems, along with working the last few years with a ranching-conservation collaborative called Working Circle Proactive Stewardship that developed as a result of wolves expanding their range to Northern California.
For the past six years she worked with Point Blue Conservation Science as a Senior Range Ecologist and Program Coordinator for the Rangeland Watershed Initiative, a partnership program with NRCS. She is a mentor through Quivira’s New Agrarian Program. She is also the current chair of the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition and a California Certified Rangeland Manager.
Breanna grew up in Northern California on a cow-calf ranch, attended Chico State and Colorado State University—Fort Collins. She is motivated by a love for the agriculture industry…for the people, land and livestock that are a part of it. She is inspired by the current conversations and opportunities in highlighting the linkages between the agriculture and conservation communities.
Breanna was first introduced to Holistic Management when working for her family in high school and college on a cattle and sheep ranch on the big island of Hawaii. She was also introduced again during courses through the Western Center for Integrated Resource Management at Fort Collins, and more recently through a series of Holistic Management workshops with the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management (a Savory Institute hub) as part of the Ecological Outcome Verification program.
Breanna believes that the Holistic Management framework has critical value in supporting people, communities, and industries in decision-making and management at all scales and within all contexts. She would like to learn from others how they have used Holistic Management, how they’ve put the principles into practice, and engage in conversation and programs to effectively support others in thinking about systems-based decision making and management.
Brad Schmidt lives in Volga, South Dakota where he is a Regional Agronomist for Ducks Unlimited. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Agriculture Science and has been involved with Regenerative Agriculture for about seven years. He was able to convert the family farm in southwest Minnesota to 100% no-till, with diverse cropping rotations, diverse livestock enterprises, cover crops, and rotational grazing. He is also a co-owner in the farm’s direct marketing business for their meat products. The farm goal is to be 100% pasture and grass-fed in the near future.
When Brad was in college he came across a video of Gabe Brown on YouTube, thus starting his obsession. During college he was fortunate to work for Dr. Dwayne Beck of Dakota Lakes Research Farm who became his mentor. After college he was employed by Cronin Farms of Gettysburg, South Dakota working alongside Dan Forgey. He was then hired on with Ducks Unlimited to head up their Soil Health Program. He has traveled around the United States and Canada, working with producers to help change and adapt their practices. He also works with large companies on their “sustainability” goals and how they can better work with the farmers and ranchers that produce their products.
Brad’s first introduction to Holistic Management was a conversation he had with Ray Archuleta during college who advised him to read Allan Savory’s book. After reading Holistic Management, he attended a number of Savory’s talks and watched his YouTube videos. Brad’s first introduction to HMI was through HMI’s Board Chair, Walter Lynn.
Brad is looking forward to sharing his experiences and failures as a young producer interested in regenerative agriculture and Holistic Management. He wanted to serve on HMI’s board because it’s important to future generations of this world to understand the system processes. “No matter what walks of life we come from whether it’s urban or rural, we are all connected,” says Brad. Like Dr. Beck always says, we need to be forward thinking 600 years into the future. In my short tenure of that 600 years I hope I can help make a difference any way I can.”
HMI would also like to thank Robert Potts of the Dixon Water Foundation for his years of board service. He steps off from the board after completing his board term.