Earth Day always prompts me to think how much my understanding of and relationship with nature has shifted since I learned about Holistic Management 21 years ago. I have always enjoyed being in nature whether it was camping, hiking, or being among growing plants. But, when I began my training as a Holistic Management Certified Educator, I finally understood the concept of holism and how I truly am a part of nature with great influence in the health and function of the planet (for good or bad). I learned how through my decision-making I could improve the biodiversity in the landscape around me, not only through my direct actions on the land I owned but also through what I chose to buy.
But what influenced me even more profoundly than the curriculum was the people I met from all walks of life from all over the world who make up this wonderful, global Holistic Management community. I have never met a more positive and passionate group of folks who care about the environment, families, and communities and who are rolling up their shirt sleeves to do what they can to improve the health of the soil, the animals, and their businesses so they can keep providing the ecosystem services of carbon sequestration, improving water quality and wildlife habitat, including pollinators like bees and butterflies. And, most of them are doing it without tax payer support.
HMI and our collaborators have trained over 50,000 people in the 32 years we’ve been providing environmental and sustainable agricultural education services. We’ve worked with people in 130 countries and together we have influenced over 40 million acres.
That level of impact has occurred because of a dedicated staff and Board of Directors and Advisory Council and the hard work in the field of a host of Certified Educators and practitioners willing to share their knowledge and experience. Together we train 5,000 people a year around the world, people like Leah Gibson, who received a beginning farmer scholarship as part of a USDA-funded training program we implemented. In fact, we’ve gotten support from generous funders and donors to provide $50,000 worth of scholarships over the last three years.
If you believe that we need more farmers and ranchers managing land to improve biodiversity and mitigate climate change, then please make a gift today to our scholarship fund.