Written by Wayne Knight, HMI Executive Director
Dear Land Steward,
As we stand at the threshold of a brand-new year, we find ourselves reflecting on the journey we’ve shared and the growth we’ve collectively experienced in our pursuit of our regenerative journey. The essence of Holistic Management lies in the interconnectedness of our decisions and their impacts on the land, the animals, and our communities.
My experience is that there is a high correlation between the adoption of practices that improve land and the clarity of focus and ability of the manager to envision and articulate their personal passions and strengths in their business operations. Articulating passion, business model and ecological imperatives are at the core of most Holistic Managers’ holistic goals. Likewise, translating these passions and priorities to a planning and decision-making process, with lead-indicator monitoring to ensure, as soon as possible, that progress towards the goal is being achieved, is also critical.
The Japanese philosophy of Ikigai beautifully encapsulates the convergence of passion, mission, vocation, and profession, which distills into a reason for being. We invite you to embark on a transformative journey with HMI in 2024. As stewards of the land, your Ikigai is deeply rooted in the sustainable practices you cultivate each day.
The diagram below shows how Passion, Mission, Vocation and Profession overlap to create Ikigai, the “magical place” where these quadrants overlap.
At Holistic Management International (HMI), we are dedicated to empowering you to find your Ikigai within the realm of Regenerative Agriculture. We believe that every decision you make on your farm or ranch is an opportunity to align your passion, expertise, and values.
Ikigai in Agriculture: Nurturing the Heart of Land Stewardship
Rooted in the principles of Ikigai, we find parallels in the heart of farming and ranching. As stewards of the land, our Ikigai lies in the convergence of our reverence of natural processes, environmental responsibility, community contribution, and profitability.
Passion for the Land: Sowing Seeds of Purpose
What fuels your passion for farming? Whether it’s sustainable practices, regenerative agriculture, or animal welfare, let’s align our daily efforts with the aspects of agriculture that bring us joy. This year, let’s sow seeds of purpose and cultivate the harvest of fulfillment.
Mission: Nourishing Communities and the Earth
Holistic Management encourages us to view the farm or ranch as a whole, interconnected system. Reflect on how your agricultural practices contribute to the health of your community and that of your land. Let’s nurture a life’s mission that builds land, soil health, profits, and resilience, leaving your land better off than you found it. Plan to balance the harvest of short-term profits with growing long-term wealth that encompasses resilience, ecosystem health, nutrient dense foods, and intimate knowledge of these processes.
Balancing Act: Harmony on the Homestead
Holistic Management emphasizes the need for balance in the ecosystem. Just as in Ikigai, let’s strive for harmony in the home— intentionally building a happy family and motivated, harmonious team.
The Journey of Discovery: Uncover Your Agricultural Ikigai
As stewards of the land, let’s embark on a journey of self-discovery throughout the coming year. Encourage fellow farmers and ranchers to explore peer mentorship, collaboration, and open communication. Let’s uncover our agricultural Ikigai and foster a sense of purpose in every seed row or pasture we manage. It is a community of learning that unlocks knowledge and potential.
Embrace the Seasons of Change
The New Year is a tapestry waiting to be woven with the threads of our agricultural aspirations. Let’s welcome the changing seasons with open hearts and minds, ready to adapt our practices to our ever-evolving needs and align them with the timeless needs of the land.
Here’s to a year filled with purposeful farming, holistic stewardship, and the joy of cultivating our agricultural Ikigai. May each day bring us closer to the fulfillment of our deepest agricultural dreams and the sustainable nourishment of our communities.
Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with bountiful harvests and prosperous fields!
Executive Director, Holistic Management International