In 2018, HMI teamed up again with the Quivira Coalition and their New Agrarian Program (NAP) to bring Holistic Management training to their apprentices as part of HMI’s Hands On Learning Program. In the Hands On Learning Program we have partnered with a select number of organizations who provide residential production training and Holistic Management so young agrarians can learn basic farming and ranching skills to prepare them for a farm or ranch manager position or start their own farm or ranch businesses.
A total of 20 people participated in the online learning portion of the program as we were able to provide scholarships to other apprentices and interns from other programs beside the Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program. 19 people successfully completed the Introduction to Holistic Management course, with 11 graduating from the Land Planning/Biological Monitoring Course, nine from the Financial Planning Course, and 7 from the Marketing and Business Planning Course.The 2018 New Agrarian Program started off with a hands on, one-day introduction to Holistic Management Whole Farm/Ranch Planning course taught by Dr. Ann Adams in Albuquerque, NM. This workshop included developing draft holistic goals and practicing testing on-farm/ranch decisions and time outside on the land learning how to read ecosystem health and understand the impact tools make on the landscape. The remaining modules were taught by various HMI Certified Educators through interactive online webinars.
The Land Planning and Biological Monitoring Module was taught by Phil Metzger. It focused on the key holistic land planning design principles and practices that allow participants to more effectively manage all their resources. This simple approach to land planning helped the apprentices explore key infrastructure/land improvement projects in the context of their whole farm/ranch goal to better analyze design possibilities for improved return on investment. Participants developed management consideration lists, land plan options, explored tool options and the return on investment of the different land planning options using the Holistic Management decision making framework and considering how such options will affect land productivity.
The Financial Planning Module, taught by Phil Metzgar, focused on key financial principles that helped participants create a budget for themselves as well as for their future businesses. This simple approach to financial planning assisted participants to understand the big picture view as well as make critical production decisions based on a clear sense of cost of production for different enterprises. Participants were able to develop a financial plan and identify ways to implement and monitor that plan. The participants learned the key economic analysis tools for improved financial decisions for both annual budgets and long-term investment.
In the Marketing and Business Planning Module, Cindy Dvergsten led the apprentices through the basics of developing a marketing and business plan. The apprentices were given the opportunity to explore different business models and marketing options so they can more effectively create marketing and business plan outlines for their future operations. Participants were taught how to determine the right price for their products and how to use the financial information they gained in the Holistic Financial Planning Module to prioritize key investments in their future businesses.
|Key Outcomes of Program||% of Participants|
|Overall satisfaction with the course||100%|
|Your ability to improve the ecosystem health of your farm/ranch||100%|
|Your ability to incorporate natural resource management into your operation||100%|
|Are you more confident in your ability to promote your products||100%|
|Are you more confident in your ability to identify your target market||100%|
|Are you more confident in your ability to write a SWOT analysis||100%|
|Improved ability to monitor your farm/ranch financial plan||100%|
|Improved ability to identify log jams and adverse factors||100%|
|Improved decision making ability||88%|
|Did this training improve your apprentice/mentor experience?||75%|
|Your ability to monitor your farm/ranch’s ecosystem health||67%|
|Do you intend to change management practices as a result of this training||67%|
|Improved business planning skills||63%|
What are the most important things you learned as a result of this training?:
- Using a marketing strategy to begin to create a business plan, looking at the customer’s needs, developing marketable business, practicing testing questions, understanding the possible steps and prioritizing, and so much more.
- How to break down decision making in a holistic manner
- How to better assess overall ecosystem health
- The financial section and planning profit! Abandoning the idea that I can start a business and just figure out the challenge in covering cost and having a buffer for retirement, vacation etc.
- How to incorporate these methods into my team
- How to consciously look at the health of your farm, and know how to change it as needed
- Adding my holistic goal in my personal life
- Recognition & reckoning of holistic goal