Gabe and Shelly Brown’s lives changed when Gabe went to hear Holistic Management Certified Educator Don Campbell speak at a conference. “It just made sense to me,” says Gabe. The first step was creating a holistic goal. Once that was completed, they began to make changes to their operation. “It’s all about having a plan with options, so you can roll with the punches,” says Gabe. “Now we have a drought management plan in place. When you practice Holistic Management, decisions are so much easier. You just have to ask yourself if that decision will help you achieve your long term goal.”
“Holistic Management will work anywhere in the world.”
By focusing on the regeneration of their resources, they have been able to eliminate the use of chemical fertilizer, pesticides and fungicides, all while seeing increasing yields. The county average corn yield where the Browns live is 100 bushels per acre yet their average yield is 127 bushels per acre which is achieved at a cost of only $1.42 per bushel. The average cost to produce a bushel of corn in the United States is over $5.00 per bushel. “It is much easier to make money in agriculture when you practice Holistic Management,” says Gabe. “In twelve years we went from facing a mountain of debt to having enough money to retire.”
Gabe remains concerned about the state of production agriculture. “We can’t continue down this path. Our practices do not just impact farmers and ranchers. It has ramifications on all people as well as future generations. We are headed for a crisis. We need all farmers and ranchers to manage holistically, so we can regenerate our resources while producing more nutritious foods for everyone,” says Gabe, who remains very optimistic about the future for small farm and ranch operators who practice Holistic Management. “The interest is really picking up. People are starting to see the writing on the wall. Change is coming.”
Read more about Gabe in this article from The NY Times.
Be sure to visit our website for more information about regenerative farming and ranching.
alan butterfield says
This should be done a much wider scale.. I am from Brasil and its difficult to change the mind set and tra regenerating. A form of international communication should be put in place, Often thought rural banks could do much more.
Carrie Stearns says
Hi Alan, and thank you for your comment. We strive for a world where Holistic Management is practiced and supported on a larger scale and see it as an important part of regenerative agriculture and farm/ranch success. We offer several course formats that are place-based, online and one-on-one to train in holistic decision-making, land/crop/grazing and financial management so farmers and ranchers can make the most of their resources. You’re right! Changing the mindset is a challenge and we feel, a necessary one, for both producers and consumers.