Inspiration from Tradition: Restoring Health to Tribal Lands & Navajo Community
May 18, 2017
Rough Stone Ranch, Navajo Nation south of Farmington, New Mexico
Would you like to see how to manage livestock to improve land health and productivity?
Do you want to learn more about grazing planning and infrastructure needs?
Are you interested in Navajo traditional foods made with native plants?
Our Rough Stone Ranch Day is part of HMI’s Open Gate Learning Series. Open Gates are peer-to-peer action-based learning days with short presentations and small group exercises geared for participants to share discoveries and management techniques with guidance from experienced facilitators and producers.
Holistic Management works with nature, not against it. We will discuss planet and animal-friendly management techniques that lead to richer soil, improved water containment, nutrient-dense food, more successful farms and ranches, and thriving communities.
Come and be a part of this on-the-ground learning day, connect with others who care about a healthy food system and help strengthen your local communities. Because we all have a stake in the way our food is grown.
What to Expect
At the Rough Stone Ranch Day, you will…
- Learn how Holistic Management enables producers to better manage risk, make better decisions and enjoy the benefits of regenerative agriculture
- Meet the Diswood’s and how they are achieving their goals on the land
- Get a taste of some Navajo traditional foods and learn how they are keeping traditions alive
- See how they have applied Permaculture principles
- Hear about the benefits and considerations of planned grazing from Kirk Gadzia
- Learn about microloans and other financial programs from the Farm Service Agency (FSA)
- See different methods of rainwater storage and how to make more effective use of rainfall
- Learn how to assess your forage and figure grazing capacity
- Bring your issues about infrastructure to a discussion on fencing and water needs for grazing
- See a demo of College Dine’ ultrasound services to test livestock for conception and beef quality
- Share information with and learn from other experienced producers
Advanced registration is $25 per person (includes lunch). You can register for the Rough Stone Ranch Day by clicking on the button to the right. On-line registration closes May 16, 2017. Walk in registration is $35 per person, if available.
Student discounts are available! Please contact Stephanie at [email protected] for more information.
Register soon, as we have limited space available.
Sorry, registration fees are non-refundable. If you are unable to register online, please fill out the HMI Event Registration Form and mail along with your check or money order to:HMI Registration Dept.
5941 Jefferson St. NE, Ste B
Albuquerque, NM 87109
This is a rain or shine event. We will be spending parts of the day out on the land, and boots or other enclosed protective footwear, as well as long pants, are recommended. Please bring your own water bottle.
|Thursday||May 18, 2017|
|9:30 am||Welcome, Introductions & HMI Overview -K. Gadzia|
|9:40 am||Rough Stone Ranch Yesterday & Today: Family, Land, Community - E. Diswood|
|10:30 am||Enterprise Opportunities & Permaculture Applications - Homestead area tour|
|11:40am||FSA opportunities: micro loans & financial assistance – A. Mackrain|
|Noon||Lunch - (opportunity to visit individually with FSA officer)|
|1:00 pm||Ranch Tour - E. Diswood & K. Gadzia USDA/NRCS information on EQIP, CSP & range lands technical assistance - K. Hicks Risk management: overview of FSA rangeland & drought programs – M. Bentley|
|3:00 pm||Demo: Ultrasound - Dine' College|
|4:00 pm||Closing Panel, Q&A, Evaluations|
Location & Directions
Rough Stone Ranch
Navajo Nation Land South of Farmington, New Mexico
Directions from Gallup, New Mexico or Shiprock, New Mexico on Highway 491: Travel to Junction of Highway 491 and Navajo Route 5. Turn east and travel 24.7 miles on Navajo Route 4. There will be a yellow cattle guard on the south side of the highway as soon as you top the mesa. Turn south at the cattle guard onto a dirt road. Travel southwest for approximately one mile to the Rough Stone Ranch headquarters.
Directions from Farmington, New Mexico on Highway 371: Travel south on Highway 371 to near mile marker 85, turn west at the junction of Highway 371 and Navajo Route 5. Travel 3 miles west (past mile markers 25). Turn south at the yellow cattle guard onto a dirt road for approximately one mile to the Rough Stone Ranch headquarters.
Directions from Crownpoint, New Mexico on Highway 371: Travel north on Highway 371 to near mile marker 85, turn west at the junction of Highway 371 and Navajo Route 5. Travel 3 miles west (past mile markers 24). Turn south at the yellow cattle guard onto a dirt road for approximately one mile to the Rough Stone Ranch headquarters.
Rough Stone Ranch
The Range Management Unit (RMU) was established for Edwina Diswood’s maternal grandmother in the early 1990’s and was withdrawn from open grazing. The Range Management Unit’s exterior boundaries were fenced along with part of the interior cross fences. This grazing area was however not properly managed and livestock were allowed to graze with minimal oversight. The RMU and grazing permit was transferred to Edwina in late 2011. Since that time the Diswood family has put in additional fences, addressed infrastructure that had fallen into disrepair, began to address overgrazing and deteriorated land conditions, utilized NRCS EQIP to install water sources and qualified for the NRCS Conservation Stewardship Programs.
The Diswood family has worked with Federal, Navajo Tribal, State, and other organizations to continue to improve the land within the RMU. Currently they have successfully implemented and continue to implement various conservation practices, rotational managed grazing program, a small permaculture project, and are working on increasing the available water for livestock use using water harvesting and seep developments. They are also working to implement projects that will benefit the wildlife and traditional usage of this land. The Diswoods have also had success in using the RMU as a model for other land users and permit holders. Their future goals are to implement a multi-species operation utilizing HMI practices to produce grass-fed livestock and other products for a successful reservation based livestock operation while maintaining respect for traditions and cultural practices and concerns.
Kirk has over 20 years experience teaching the concepts of Holistic Management® worldwide. Combined with his extensive international consulting work on many agricultural operations, he is uniquely qualified to help ranchers achieve their learning objectives. Kirk is co-author of the important National Academy of Sciences book: Rangeland Health. He holds a BS degree in Wildlife Biology and an MS in Range Science. Kirk works directly with producers to achieve profitability in their operations. He also provides customized training and consulting to a wide variety of conservation organizations. Kirk’s interactive, hands-on style approach comes from years of assisting people on the land. His courses are known for a relaxed atmosphere, open dialogue and practical real-life examples.
Ernest Diswood currently resides with his family on the New Mexico portion of the Navajo Reservation and is retired to managing the family Ranch. He studied and received Degrees in Range Science and Animal Science. His work experience has spanned a number of disciplines (Safety, Teaching, Reclamation, Environmental Compliance, Information Technology, Project Management and Ranching). He has the skills and abilities to work with teams, small groups, and individuals, at every level for both individuals and organizations. He has successfully worked with businesses, non-profit associations, and government agencies (Tribal, State and Federal) levels to implement new and creative solutions to various issues.
The Land Grant Office(LGO) of Diné College develops and implements education, research, student orientated hands-on activities and community participation, to promote and provide a learning environment in agriculture, food science, and environmental science. LGO also provides services in community outreach and extension education, curriculum development, rural community development, as well as economic development. The Land Grant Office is located on the main campus of Diné College in Tsaile, AZ . For more information, call 928.724.6941.
Allen Mackrain, FSA Loan Manager, Estancia NM
The Estancia, NM Service Center makes and services Farm Service Agency, FSA, Direct and Guaranteed
loans to the farmers and ranchers in the NW 10 counties of New Mexico. Allen Mckrain has been the Farm
Loan Manager for the FSA Farm Loan Office located in Estancia, NM for the last 15+ years. In January,
2014 there were 89 Direct Loan borrowers in the NW 10 counties and at the present time there are 175
Direct Loan borrowers in the NW 10 counties.
Mark Bentley, County Executive Director, San Juan County FSA, Aztec, NM
Mark was born and raised on a small “ranchette” in Maricopa, AZ where they raised Hereford cattle and irrigated grass/hay. He also raised show animals throughout his childhood through the 4-H program and FFA. He went on to graduate from Eastern Arizona in 1989 with a degree in machining/drafting. Since then Mark has been working with the Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation Service (ASCS) which later became the Consolidated Farm Service Agency (CFSA) as the County Executive Director in Safford, AZ, Yerington, NV and now in Aztec, NM. He owns and operates an eight acre farm in Cedar Hill, NM.
Kendal B. Hicks – USDA / NRCS
Kendal serves as the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations for Area 1 which is the north half of Arizona. Before that he was the District Conservationist for Saipan, which is located in the northern Pacific Ocean near Guam.
Thank you to the generous support of our Sponsors for helping to make this day possible:
Thank You to our Collaborators
Navajo Lands Grazing Committee
Sponsor This Series
Our Open Gate series offers organizations, agencies and businesses a great opportunity to network with farmers, ranchers and consumers interested in sustainable agricultural ideas, products and services. We offer a variety of affordable Sponsorship Opportunities to connect you with our community. Please email Stephanie von Ancken at [email protected] for more information.