Using Holistic Management to Produce and Market Grassfed MeatsJanuary 29, 2015 Seco Valley Ranch Hondo, TX
This Open Gate ranch day is unique in that we are partnering with the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA), as part of their 2015 Annual Conference. At the Seco Valley Ranch day, you’ll see how local ranchers are using Holistic Management to improve profitability and land health, while producing and marketing grassfed beef.
You can register for the entire TOFGA conference or just this Open Gate Pre-Conference Workshop. Just select “HMI Open Gate” under Pre-Conference Workshops. The Pre-Conference fee is $50 per person, including lunch.
This is a rain or shine event. Please bring appropriate clothing and footwear. If the weather is chilly we will have a roaring fire in the lodge.
If you attend the full conference, be sure to visit the HMI Booth and say Hello.
What to Expect
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.
Whether you are an agricultural producer, have an interest in how to market what you grow, or just interested in ranching, land stewardship and grassfed meats, this day is for you.
At the Open Gate: Seco Valley Ranch day you’ll…
- See what fellow land managers are doing to maintain land health and profitability in a changing environment
- Learn how Holistic Management practices can improve the quality of your life
- Practice Holistic Decision-Making
- Learn how to profitably market grassfed meats
- Discuss practical grazing strategies to finish your animals and improve wildlife habitat
- Hear how Holistic Management enables producers to better manage risk, make better decisions and enjoy the benefits of sustainable agriculture.
|Thursday||January 29, 2015|
|9:30||Check-In & Networking|
|10:00||Introductions and Orientations - P. Cole|
|10:05||Seco Valley Ranch: Decisions in Producing and Marketing Grassfed Meats – D. Davis|
|10:25||Making Better Financial Decisions - P. Sechrist|
|11:45||Decision Testing Exercise - P. Sechrist|
|1:30||Tour of Seco Valley Ranch - D. Davis|
|1:30||Water Cycles on the Ranch – P. Gayler & L. Celella|
|2:30||Marketing Options for the Triple Bottom Line - D. & D. Davis, P. Sechrist|
|3:00||Profitable Marketing Discussion and Brainstorming - P. Sechrist|
|3:45||Q&A & Evaluations – P. Sechrist|
Location & DirectionsSeco Valley Ranch 3361 County Road 211 Hondo, TX 78861
The Seco Valley Ranch consists of 1883 low-fenced acres on the Balcones Escarpment in the Hill Country of Medina County. The terrain varies from rough and brushy limestone hills to open pasture broken by live oak motts and juniper breaks with plenty of underbrush. Don and Debbie Davis produce Grassfed Texas Longhorn Beef. They have managed their property holistically, making management decisions based on effects on the water and nutrient cycles in the soil, impact on wildlife, and financial profitability. They have improved range conditions from their management and have received a Conservation Security Program contract. They are working to restore native prairie grasses, while controlling invasive brush, improving soil tilth, managing wildlife and increasing livestock carrying capacity.
From the Hilton San Antonio Airport, take loop 410 W about 2.6 miles to Interstate 10 north toward El Paso. In about 23 miles take exit 540 onto TX 46 W toward Bandera. In about 12 miles turn right onto TX 16 N. When you come to Bandera, TX 16 makes a right turn down Main St. and continues west through town. From the intersection of TX 16 & TX 173 N, drive 2.3 miles west on TX 16 N then turn left onto RR 470 toward Tarpley. In 12 miles turn left onto FM 462 S. In 5 miles turn right onto CR 211. Once on County Road 211, drive west 6 miles. Turn left at the wooden Seco Valley Ranch sign and follow the easement road 3/10 mile to the front gate. Once through the gate, the headquarters is 2 miles south. Landline phone is (830) 562-3650. You will not have a cell signal once you turn onto CR 211.
Peggy Sechrist, Holistic Management Certified Educator & Grassfed Beef Producer
Peggy Sechrist, a student and practitioner of Holistic Management for nearly 25 years has also been a Certified Educator in Holistic Management since 1992; and resides in the Hill Country of Texas near Fredericksburg with her husband, Richard. Through application of Holistic Management, Peggy and Richard were the first ranchers in Texas to create a certified Organic, grass-fed beef operation in 1995 and added production of poultry in 1998. She has advocated for and served sustainable agriculture for many years in collaboration with numerous agricultural and wildlife agencies including Texas A&M University, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Dept of Agriculture, NRCS, serving on the SSAWG Board of Directors (Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group), and the USDA/SARE Administrative Council. Currently, Peggy and Richard also operate a local food co-op and serve membership groups in Fredericksburg, Kerrville, and Boerne.
Debbie and Don Davis; Seco Valley Ranch; DWD Longhorns®, LLC; Grassfed Livestock Alliance, LLC and Bandera Grassland™
Don is a fifth-generation Austinite, educated in Photographic Science with a Masters in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Debbie is the fourth-generation in her family to graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, so the Texas Longhorn was a logical choice of breed when the Davises decided to return to their families’ farming and ranching heritage. Debbie was educated in Fine Arts and returned to Southwest Texas State University to gain knowledge in Animal Science. They became passionate about preserving historically correct, genetically pure Texas Longhorn cattle when joining the Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Registry. Both having served as president of that organization, they founded the Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Conservancy, a public charity. Debbie was introduced to Holistic Management in 1999 when she was fortunate to be invited to attend the HRM of Texas Annual Meeting in February of that year. This was the same year the Davises moved from Austin to their new ranch in the Tarpley/Utopia area and immediately began managing it with holistic principles after completing a three-day introductory training taught by Peggy Sechrist that same spring. In an effort to preserve the Texas Longhorn, the Davises decided to build a beef marketing company to create demand for this breed. From its infancy in 2003, the Davises grew their longhorn beef business, Bandera Grassland,™ beyond capacity of their property, so they found themselves leasing land and contracting with other breeders and graziers. Debbie made the decision in 2006 to scale back the longhorn operation to only the numbers their land can carry while Don took the business model they developed to create the Grassfed Livestock Alliance, LLC (GLA). The Alliance provides multiple sustainable ranchers a means to market their product at a well deserved premium because of the added quality from care given to their soils and humane animal treatment. The GLA supplies locally produced grassfed beef to the southwest region of a major natural foods retailer. The Davises experimented with various popular grazing management practices through the years and arrived at a model consistent with their values and chosen degree of input that allows them travel time and the ability to pursue other interest while continuing to maintain the means for a rural lifestyle surrounded by the animals they love.