We’ve Come a Long Way!

25 Years of Holistic Management
by Kirk Gadzia
healthy land.
sustainable future.
PBS Documentary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
From the Board Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Certified Educators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Making the Case for Soil Carbon
FRANK ARAGONA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Beyond Conflict to Consensus—
Addressing the Social ‘Weak Link’
JEFF GOEBEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Holistic Management in the Northeast
ANN ADAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Practicing What You Teach—
Livestock Treated Cropfields
SENANELO MOYO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Cocktail Mixes & Integrating Livestock
NO- TILL FARMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Daily Monitoring—
Holistic Planned Grazing
GRAEME HAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Voisin’s Vision—
Better Grassland Sward
JOHN KING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Using a “cocktail” mix of seeds (often
more than 11 different types of seeds)
can fix nitrogen, extend the growing
season, improve soil fertility, drought
proof your cropfields, and much more.
Learn about how Gabe Brown is using this practice
effectively on his farm in North Dakota on page 8.
This article was excerpted from a presentation by Kirk Gadzia at the Society for
Range Management Holistic Management Symposium in February 2009.
When asked to speak on 25 years of history of Holistic Management, Kirk decided
the easiest way was to just tell his own story, which spans that entire time.
joined Society for Range Management
(SRM) back in 1976 and attended my
first SRM meeting in Portland, Oregon in
February 1977. After graduating with my
MS in range science in 1979 from NMSU,
I eventually took a job as a range
conservationist with the Bureau of Indian
Affairs in Albuquerque in 1980.
In the early ‘80s the Savory Grazing Method
or SGM was a big buzz with lots of controversy
and even conflict—something I had never seen
in the range profession to this degree. And, I was
very interested in learning more to see for myself
what this was all about. I eventually attended the
SGM training in Albuquerque in 1983 and got
very excited about all the information. We
immediately began building grazing cells on
Sandia Pueblo grazing areas just east of I-25.
As a young man with lots of energy and drive,
I grew less excited about my agency job and more
excited about the prospects of working in my
chosen field within the private sector. In 1984, as
my first daughter was born, my wife quit her job
to stay and take care of our young family, and
I quit my job—to start my own consulting
business. I took out my small retirement savings
from the Federal service, took stock of what
savings we had, and jumped off into the deep end.
I have never regretted that decision.
A New Organization
I began attending most of the SGM week-long
schools and helping there during and after the
courses. My travels took me to many areas of the
western and mid-western United States, Canada,
and Mexico. Throughout this time I followed up
with alumni and began a consulting business to
help people implement the things they had
learned at the courses. I still have my course
notebook from that first course, and although my
interest was primarily the grazing management
side of the equation, the decision-making process
that is today known as Holistic Management was
already being formed.
A short time later, in 1985, I took a position
with the newly formed Center for Holistic Resource
Management (CHRM) in Albuquerque.
This new Center was the shift away from a
private ranch management consulting agency,
to a non-profit 501c3 which occurred in 1984.
2 IN PRACTICE July / August 2009
Holistic Management International works to reverse the
degradation of private and communal land used for
agriculture and conservation, restore its health and
productivity, and help create sustainable and viable
livelihoods for the people who depend on it.
Allan Savory Jody Butterfield
Peter Holter, Chief Executive Officer
Tracy Favre, Senior Director/ Contract Services
Jutta von Gontard, Senior Director / Philanthropy
Kelly Bee, Chief Financial Officer
Ann Adams, Managing Editor, IN PRACTICE and
Director of Educational Products and Outreach
Maryann West, Manager of Administration
and Executive Support
Donna Torrez, Customer Service Manager
Mary Girsch-Bock, Educational Products
& Outreach Assistant
Valerie Gonzales, Administrative Assistant
Ben Bartlett, Chair
Ron Chapman, Past Chair
Roby Wallace, Vice-Chair
Gail Hammack, Secretary
Christopher Peck, Treasurer
Sallie Calhoun Mark Gardner
Daniela Howell Andrea Malmberg
Jim McMullan Ian Mitchell Innes
Jim Parker Sue Probart
Dennis Wobeser Jesus Almeida Valdez
Robert Anderson, Corrales, NM
Michael Bowman,Wray, CO
Sam Brown, Austin, TX
Lee Dueringer, Scottsdale, AZ
Gretel Ehrlich, Gaviota, CA
Dr. Cynthia O. Harris, Albuquerque, NM
Leo O. Harris, Albuquerque, NM
Edward Jackson, San Carlos, CA
Clint Josey, Dallas, TX
Doug McDaniel, Lostine, OR
Guillermo Osuna, Coahuila, Mexico
Soren Peters, Santa Fe, NM
Jim Shelton, Vinita, OK
York Schueller, Ventura, CA
Africa Centre for Holistic Management
Tel: (263) (11) 404 979 • hmatanga@mweb.co.zw
Huggins Matanga, Director
The David West Station
for Holistic Management
Tel: 325/392-2292 • Cel: 325/226-3042
Joe & Peggy Maddox, Ranch Managers
(ISSN: 1098-8157) is published six times a year by
Holistic Management International, 1010 Tijeras NW,
Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505/842-5252, fax: 505/843-7900;
email: hmi@holisticmanagement. org.;
website: www. holisticmanagement.org
Copyright © 2009
healthy land.
sustainable future.
We’ve Come a Long Way
continued from page one
It represented a fundamental shift in the
development of Holistic Management from the
private sector alone, to include government
agencies, other non-profits, and diverse groups
of like interest.
In 1985, I, along with five other trainees,
would become instructors at the Center and
eventually employees and regional directors in
different areas of the country. Initial funding for
this was provided by the Noble Foundation in
Oklahoma. Our training at the Center was much
broader than just grazing management or cell
grazing. We focused on human resources to a
great degree and working and understanding
human resources, planning models, and the new
wave of focus in corporate goal setting processes.
We also developed financial planning skills and a
much deeper understanding of ecosystem processes
and function. I read on many of these subjects
voraciously and have kept up that habit still.
The following year, 1986, we had an inter -
national group from Zimbabwe and the Navajo
Nation join our team for six months. Following
their training I had the opportunity to join Allan
and Jody Savory in Zimbabwe and see firsthand
the origins of his theories and ideas on the ground.
In 1987 another international group from Tunisia,
Morocco, Algeria, and Jordan came to train at the
Center. I also followed up on with visits to all the
projects in their countries and learned much
about the Arab cultures and the history of
resource management in an ancient setting.
In terms of learning, this cemented in me
the fact that resource management is as much
a people issue as it is anything else. Also my
increasing international experience and work
in such different environments as those just
mentioned plus Canada in the north, Mexico in
the South, California and Hawaii to the west and
Florida and Virginia in the east really made me
focus on indicators of ecosystem process
functioning rather than species composition or
other common measures of land health.
This focus on “universal” principles in regards
to ecosystem functioning has been a central thesis
of the Holistic Management approach from its
very beginning. Understanding the basics of water
and mineral cycling, community dynamics
(succession), and energy flow were always given
primary attention in the courses.
This focus eventually helped lead to my being
selected as one of 14 members of the National
Academy of Science Committee on Rangeland
Classification. Our meetings in Washington D.C.
and field trips around the country were
fascinating exercises and very mentally
stimulating. In 1994 the book Rangeland Health
was published by the National Research Council
and represented the body of our work and
thinking, and our recommendations to the
profession on how to improve our methods to
classify, inventory and monitor rangelands.
I must say I am very gratified today to see
some of the influence that work has had in
shifting the thinking and focus about rangeland
health. Publications, such as Interpreting
Indicators of Rangeland Health, some aspects of
The National Range and Pasture Handbook
and many others, represent a fundamentally
broader shift in how we look at rangeland health.
The Practitioners
My work at the Center was very rewarding in
many ways. I had the opportunity to work with
some of the most amazing ranches I could have
ever imagined and amazing people I have ever
met. I remember visiting the Deseret Ranch in
Utah under the management of Gregg Simonds at
that time. The improvement of land and resources
they documented and that are still continuing
there today are truly remarkable.
So, too, is Gene Goven’s story. Gene ranches
and farms southwest of Bismarck, North Dakota at
a place called Turtle Lake. The first time I visited
him was back in the late ‘80s, and I remember
well how vibrant and healthy the land looked
under his management using Holistic
Management principles. The Holistic
Management® framework had by that time
really emphasized the importance of forming a
holisticgoal—one that has three interdependent
elements of the quality of life they are seeking,
stating the forms of production necessary to
achieve it, and then describing the future
resource base that will be necessary to ensure
both are achieved and sustained.
Gene always emphasized that the decisions
Kirk Gadzia
made on the farm were always in reference and
tested toward their holisticgoal. At the time he was
one of the only people in the area who had given
up feeding hay and had switched to later calving,
bale grazing, and planned winter grazing to
dramatically cut his costs of production.
The Evolution
The Center for Holistic Resource Management
also focused on the development of this
framework that influences and directs how
decisions are made. I would say that most people
who have only heard about “HRM” or “HM”
and not read more widely or attended a training,
probably do not have a good understanding that
it is this decision making process, condensed into
a framework for ease of use, that is the real work
of Holistic Management—not a grazing rotation
or planned grazing, which it has often been
simplified to represent.
Moreover, holistic planned grazing has
probably been the most misunderstood and
misrepresented aspect of Holistic Management.
Since my first SGM training in 1983 until today,
the process has always used a very detailed
planning regime that is often never mentioned
and bears almost no relationship to the grazing
rotations and experiments purported to represent
the methodology.
In my extensive consulting work with ranchers
practicing holistic planned grazing, I can say
that it has been my experience universally that
those who create and manage with the grazing
planning process outlined in the training and
Holistic Management Handbook, are successful
in moving towards their goals.
I would also reiterate that the grazing planning
process has changed little over that nearly 30 year
timeframe, while the Holistic Management®
Frameworks has changed a great deal with the all
the input and development focus of so many who
are working to continually improve it.
The grazing planning process is a procedure
which involves a rigorous step by step method -
ology. The process helps focus the planners’
attention on meeting a variety of goals that
are influenced by grazing livestock. The key as is
succinctly expressed in the Holistic Management
Handbook: putting animals in the right place
at the right time for the right reasons.
I have been involved in this grazing planning
process with many private and public land
ranches over the years. It starts and ends with no
preconceived rotational system boundaries as is
commonly believed. The people who are making
and will implement the plan are responsible to
think through all the factors that will influence
the plan including wildlife, people, nutrition,
recreation, watershed, riparian drought, etc. that
any manager will encounter.
Holistic planned grazing provides a step by
step procedure to focus the users’ concentration
on one factor at a time and get that on to the
plan. The next factor is focused on and this
process is repeated with each category of factors
until all potential problems and items are
catered for. It is then time to draft a plan to
have animals in the Right Place at the Right
Time for the Right Reasons.
When I use the word drafted, I mean the
plan is done in pencil with the expectation that
circumstances will likely change from the point
at which the plan was made until its
implementation. This means that aspects of
the planned grazing will also need to change
to best compromise with the needs of people,
land, and animals.
Furthermore, the process has always and
consistently warned of fixed rotational approaches
and ample evidence as exhibited by Briske et al—
that these approaches will fail. I have also
observed that the planning process with its goal-
oriented approach is always precisely what is left
out of designs for experimental tests on grazing
My Journey
I continued my work within the Center
until 1992 when I again decided to go back to
independently work within my own consulting
firm. From that time until now, over 16 years, I
have continued my independent work with
Holistic Management practitioners and been a
Certified Educator with the organization. I
continue to work with many organizations that
focus on land health and human relations,
including the Quivira Coalition.
I have created many lasting friendships and
working relationships with colleagues in many
agencies and on the land as managers and
business owners. One of the favorite aspects of
my work is to visit the land with ranchers and
see the changes and improvements that have
happened over time. Normally we do this in a
pickup or on four-wheelers and I have never
ceased to be amazed at the ingenuity of ranchers
in finding new ways to latch a gate! In fact, I am
often asked when I am going to write a book on
my experiences. My reply is that I know the book
I should write, but the one I probably will write
is “Gates I Have Opened”!
Although like many people in their mid-50s,
I am slowing down a bit; but, the thought of
retirement is far from my mind. My world of
experience keeps expanding and the excitement I
get to experience when I am involved with all the
groups I’ve worked with is infectious. There are so
many positive things going on out there, and I
am thrilled to keep being a part of the continued
development and progress that is happening.
One of the things I have seen happen over the
last 25 years is the expansion of the role of groups
like HMI, The Quivira Coalition, and others I have
worked with in creating new opportunities for
improved rangeland management and practices
that support it. I think we should all be pleased at
the opportunities this expansion has provided.
Kirk Gadzia can be reached at:
Number 126 IN PRACTICE 3
Gene has found that the brix reading on the grasses in the
bale grazed areas are two times higher than in surrounding areas.
With bale grazing and planned grazing Gene Goven of North Dakota has been able
to produce 300 percent more pounds of beef per acre as much as 180 pounds/acre.
His stocking rate is 230 percent more than when he started 20 years ago.
arbon is the hot topic that everybody is
talking about these days. For the
managers of our natural resources, there
are many pressing issues related to carbon
that require urgent attention: cost-effective
carbon measurement methodologies, scientific
data on managements impact to soil carbon
stocks, greater access and inclusion to
legislation and treaty debates, and a fair share
in the emerging carbon commodity market.
Fortunately, HMI has been working with other
partners to address some of these concerns.
In early December 2008, with a grant from the
Blackstone Ranch Institute, HMI and the
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
convened the Grasslands Carbon Working
Group (GCWG), an ad-hoc group of experts in the
fields of soil carbon science, farming, carbon
trading, and policy development. During a three-
day intensive seminar, this working group discussed
many of the key issues related to climate change,
grasslands, soil carbon, and carbon trading.
In that time, the GCWG articulated its
purposes in the following terms:
The purpose of the GCWG is to provide
science- and market-based information for
land managers, scientists, development
practitioners, traders and policy makers in
support of sustainably managed grasslands
as a means to adapt to and mitigate the
impact of global climate change.
The Scoop on Grassland Carbon
Grasslands are one of the most important
biomes on Earth; indeed, they represent 50-60
percent of the ice-free land base on our planet’s
surface. Native and cultivated pastures represent 8
percent of temperate grasslands and 17 percent of
tropical grasslands. According to Ratan Lal,
temperate grasslands control a significant portion
of the potential flux in global carbon cycles. Soil
carbon in improved pastures and healthy
grasslands, moreover, is significantly higher than
soil carbon in forested ecosystems.
Grasslands and livestock are also critical to the
well-being of people around the world. 200
million pastoralists and 240 million
agropastoralists depend on grasslands for their
livelihoods, and 70 percent of 880 million rural
poor are dependent on livestock for food and
security. In some nations, up to 80 percent of
GDP comes from livestock activities.
The effect that climate change will have on
grasslands, and consequently on the people who
depend on them, is still poorly understood. We
don’t know, for example, how soil carbon stocks
will respond to warmer climates. We do know,
however, that there is a clear relationship between
the loss of biodiversity, desertification, and global
climate change. We also know that soil organic
matter can help to regulate greenhouse gas
emissions. Some believe that soil carbon is so
critical that is should become the de facto
indicator for climate change.
We can say with great certainty that by
restoring degraded lands we can sequester
carbon in the soil. In particular, grasslands have
significant potential to sequester large amounts of
carbon. A global strategy with a key focus on soil
carbon could transform our world, and the lives of
the rural poor, on multiple levels. If successful,
such a strategy would have the obvious benefit of
a significant reduction in greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere. Securing access to carbon trading for
rural farmers and pastoralists would also improve
their economic well-being. A number of other
benefits come from improved soil carbon stocks.
Often referred to as “co-benefits”, these include:
• Improved water resources
• Improved soil quality and
agricultural production
• Improved habitat for wildlife
• Increased biodiversity
• Reduced vulnerability to drought,
flooding and fire
• Greater food security and sustainable
traditional lifestyles
The good news in all of this is that, in theory at
least, it is doable. Grassland pastoralists and
farmers have access to many of the tools they need
to make this possible: animal herds, technology,
human creativity, and labor. But a number of
complex and unanswerable questions lurk beneath
the surface: Can our policy makers be made aware
of the importance of soil carbon? And if so, will
they include sufficient provisions in policy and
legislation to allow for inclusion and successful
management of grasslands and soil carbon stocks?
Is our current policy framework and process even
capable of dealing with such a complex and
interconnected web of land degradation, climate
change, soil health, human decisions and resource
management? And in the presence of good policy,
will our institutions and communities be able to
effectively implement that policy at the massive
scale required and in the nick of time?
Again, these are questions that don’t have
clear-cut answers. The Grasslands Carbon
Working Group is now attempting to formulate a
clear and authoritative message for our policy-
makers and institutions. In so doing, we hope to
get soil carbon included in national and
international debates, with the ultimate goal of
influencing policy so that that the true
importance and potential of grassland soil carbon
is reflected in any national or international
climate change agenda.
In addition, the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) has expressed a willingness
to assume the role of facilitator to the GCWG.
It is our belief that this transition to a broader
and more inclusive platform will bring greater
support and exposure to our activities and
recommendations. In the future, look for more
news on the Grasslands Carbon Working Group
and its activities at http://agroinnovations.
com/hmi, my HMI Research Blog.
4 IN PRACTICE July / August 2009
The Grasslands
Working Group
in Santa Fe,
New Mexico
Making the Case
for Soil Carbon
by Frank Aragona
This was not an isolated case. Checking with
my colleagues in the field, I found them
grappling with the same frustratingly long start
up period, and the same shockingly frequent
“recidivism” once consultants had delivered their
services in complex organizational settings.
My holistic expertise had run into a snag:
the “weak link” and, in particular, the human
element as the weak link. We had achieved much
during the three years. We had effectively stopped
superficial erosion after storms, so that the ocean
around the extensive Hawaiian property was no
longer red with soil runoff. We made significant
cuts in costs of production and actually doubled
revenues. Using biological processes, we reduced
pests and we increased productive, more valuable,
“higher” successional species. We also improved
relations among management, owners,
employees, and neighbors, shifting them to a
respectful footing.
Even with this impressive list of successes,
however, I was convinced that much more could
have been done—and that our successes could
have been better anchored in the past and the
future. On the one hand, in the process of
transitioning from the “old” way of doing
business to the new, we lost a number of key
players. This, I realized, translated into a loss
of historical memory, critical in “reading” and
diagnosing current conditions. We also lost the
valuable experience of old hands, who often had
a storehouse of skills, practical wisdom, and
traditional lore acquired through generations
of tilling and grazing and foresting a particular
segment of land. On the other hand, although
our new holistic protocols delivered concrete,
positive results, these did not systemically graft
into existing attitudes, prejudices, and the
powerful force of “human inertia.” One
consequence of this was that the gains we had
achieved were not secured for the long run for
complex organizational settings.
Finally, because it lacked a specific protocol for
anticipating the “human variable” of distrust of
innovation, fear of outsiders, and attachment to
territoriality (interest in maintaining the existing
power hierarchy among the players), the holistic
process required a disproportionate amount of
time and energy be invested in building trust,
and inculcating accountability once my direct
participation ended. The painful and
disappointing experiences of those years set me
on a search for a more effective set of tools. Could
I come up with a set of tools and protocols that
would reduce the start up process to a matter of
days, and that would simultaneously “lock into
place” the successful behaviors and outcomes for
significant extents of time—decades rather than
years? Could these skills be replicated by the
members of the groups and communities working
independently of the consultant? Could they be
taught to newcomers into the system?
Integrating Holistic Decision Making
I turned first to the work of Don and Betty
Green. The Greens, family business consultants,
had been affiliated with the Center for Holistic
Management in the early days of its existence
and had explored many of its conflict resolution
strategies. They opened my eyes to the potential
productivity of non-conventional protocols.
I embarked on an ambitious research program
to learn about both traditional and scientific
methods, on the premise that what is new that
is good is always, in some way, also old. My
anthropological studies spanned native Hawaiian
Hoo’ponopono, Native American intra- and
inter-tribal protocols; traditional African
approaches to reconciliation and conflict; and
Aboriginal intercultural dispute resolution.
Among contemporary, Western models, I
explored the work and experience of the very best
theoreticians, and sought out formal training.
As my theoretical knowledge grew, I took
advantage of every consulting project to apply,
test, and refine my protocols. My most productive
experiences included work in northern California
with Frances Moore Lappe and in north central
Washington State, with the Confederated Tribes of
the Colville Reservation. At the Colville
Reservation, I was given the authority and scope
to fully integrate holistic decision-making into the
tribal government, which comprised 250
programs and a budget of $55 million. In the
course of my first year with the Tribes, I trained
200 people in holistic decision-making. However,
as far as Holistic Management was concerned, we
were making little headway. The community was
consumed with talk, with endless discussions that
seemed to only augment anxiety and demoralize,
demonstrating a reluctance to embrace systematic
problem solving. There was positive interest in
holistic solutions, but a resistance to take action.
Creating Commitment
It happened that just about that time, in 1993, I
traveled to a workshop in Burns, Oregon, with Bob
Chadwick, an old family friend, who had made his
reputation as a specialist in conflict resolution. Bob
was meeting with a group of ranchers, government
employees, and environmentalists, who were poised
for conflict. Instead of the confrontational
atmosphere I had come to expect in such multi-
agenda groups, Bob had created what seemed a
remarkably “happy” and respectful rapport among
the participants. Yet, oddly enough,
nothing concrete seemed to come of the
session. When Bob asked my opinion of
the process, I remember suggesting he
try adopting a more holistic decision-
making model. He agreed that I might
be right, and we left it at that.
Back at the Colville Reservation,
however, I just could not put Bob’s
Number 126 IN PRACTICE 5
Jeff Goebel has worked in a number
of African countries including Mali
to address issues of scarcity and
power through consensus building.
Beyond Conflict to Consensus—
Addressing the Social ‘Weak Link’
by Jeff Goebel
hile overseeing the Texas and Hawaii ranching operations for a large family corporation,
I encountered a broad range of challenges, some more interesting and resistant to
change than others. The thorniest involved three ranch managers who were unwilling
to consider holistic decision-making. Their distrust infected the union employees under
their supervision, so that the initial stages of the project consumed valuable months in struggle
and negotiations before we could turn to doing the job I had been hired to do. Eventually, we did
manage to achieve some striking results by using the Holistic Management decision-making
framework, but, once I left, the management slipped back into old patterns of doing business.
process aside. I decided to invite him to help me
resolve an ugly conflict over clear-cutting that was
building up between the elders and the foresters.
The unresolved question of whether or not to
remove all the trees from the multiple sites was
paralyzing timber sales, shrinking revenues, and
threatening jobs. The session was marked by
genuine and deep sharing of feelings, thoughts,
and perceptions. The foresters expressed pride in
filling up logging trucks and seeing them moving
timber to the mills to create jobs that supported
the community. The elders, on the other hand,
decried the abuse wreaked on “Mother Earth”
and compared the loggers’ projects to “raping
their mother.”
The session, like the Burns workshop,
concluded on a note of solid respect and the
participants were deeply satisfied. But once again,
no concrete actions had taken place and I again
thought to myself, “What a waste of time and
On the other hand, I had a deep trust in Bob,
so that I did not hesitate when, two months later,
he had me bring together the elders, foresters,
biologists, and the logger on a gravel road next to a
proposed clear-cut. We walked the forest and came
back to a circle of folding chairs set up on the road
to talk about how we felt about the future outcome
of the forest and what we could learn from the
experience we had just had to help us be successful.
To my utter astonishment, after listening
to the foresters and the elders, the logger said,
“I would be fine with cutting the forest to meet
the silvicultural prescription and leave five to
seven big pumpkin pine trees for the benefit of
the elders.” That’s all it took! The result was a
consensus of agreement with behaviors that
worked for everyone!
Immediately, the timber sales stalemate ended
and a solution was put in place that met the needs
of all parties. The three-day workshop, which in
my view, had ended inconclusively, turned out to
have been the pivot point, the dealmaker, in
shifting the participants. In the interim between
the harmonious, respectful listening and talking
that had gone on in the workshop, and the
meeting in the forest, the participants had
processed the lessons they had learned. The results
of this shift were dramatically manifested in the
meeting in the forest. All the parties in the conflict
had witnessed the powerful change: shift happens!
Moreover, from this moment on, the entire
community of diverse interests and backgrounds
manifested a unanimous “consensual”
commitment into the process and the work. Holistic
decision-making took a strong hold
reduced the tribal budget without losing any jobs,
passing the budget three months early with 100
percent agreement at the Department and Council
levels. This vote of confidence soon took on a
concrete reality in the land, the forests, the water,
the natural resources, and the cultural and
material wellbeing of the Tribes.
Concrete Results
This “experiment” proved to me that the
combination of holistic decision-making and
consensus building tools allowed us to move
rapidly, confidently, and respectfully toward the
Tribe’s holisticgoal that had involved over 700
tribal members using the consensus process.
The Tribe continues to move toward their
“living holisticgoal,” to this day. The rigor of
practicing the formal holistic decision-making
through the testing guidelines has long been
dropped. Even though power struggles periodically
surfaced within the leadership of the group and
the original training team was dismantled, a
practice of self-government that combined
traditional values with the new protocols remained
in place. The changes which the original members
had implemented—including preservation of
three native languages; Washington state
accreditation of elders as certified teachers;
acquisition of over 100,000 acres of new tribal
lands; adoption of international legislation in
U.S. environmental law to enforce pollution
controls in Canadian factories—all these changes
were part of the living reality of the Tribes and
served as daily reinforcements for the validity and
efficacy of the methods that had been adopted
nearly two decades earlier.
Since that time, I have refined my
combination of tools to accomplish enduring,
seemingly impossible, outcomes. In a West African
project, I helped villagers significantly increase
food production with their own resources
following a workshop that asked them to address
the question, “How to increase food production
50 percent without Western technology?”
In another context, I was able to help a
lagging national forest end the year attaining
126 percent of the annual objectives. The key
component in my success is addressing the social
and psychological weak links through an array
of exercises in respectful listening; diagnostic tools
for identifying, mapping, and defusing unresolved
and often repressed conflict; and activities
centering on expressing fears that paralyze action.
I use a Five-Module Paradigm for the
Consensus Process. These modules include:
an introduction to conflict resolution; managing
change; overcoming scarcity; harmonizing
diversity; and mediating power. With a diverse
group, I often use this approach to help the
participants develop a consensual holisticgoal,
and to generate the motivation to take action to
overcome obstacles in achieving their holisticgoal.
I have incorporated elements of the consensus
building process into the introduction to Holistic
Management (change issues), financial planning
process (scarcity issues), and policy analysis
(power issues).
I have taught the full series of five three-day
workshops numerous times. My own observations
of results and the feedback of participants, have
confirmed that the process is best learned through
experience and that it is highly transferable. A
learning manual is available for each independent
module. I have found this approach to be the most
effective and efficient method for overcoming a
variety of social “weak links”

unresolved conflicts, lack of committed goal,
scarcity issues, fear of transition, power imbalances
and fear of losing control, or lack of knowledge.
Using the new beliefs and behaviors that are
identified, defined, and designed to be responsive
to the specific issues, the specific context, and
the specific strengths, weaknesses, fears, and
aspirations of the participants, the individuals,
groups, and communities with whom I have
worked have found their way to make conflict
an opportunity for productive, harmonious,
and sustained growth.
Jeff Goebel of Goebel and Associates, the
trainer of the Five-Module Paradigm for the
Consensus Process, is a facilitator offering
training and consulting services nationally
and internationally, and can be contacted at
goebel@aboutlistening.com or 541/610-7084.
For more information, see his website at
6 IN PRACTICE July / August 2009
“This ‘experiment’ proved to me that
the combination of holistic decision-making
and consensus building tools allowed
us to move rapidly, confidently,
and respectfully toward the Tribe’s
holisticgoal that had involved over
700 tribal members using the
consensus process.”
Beyond Conflict to Consensus
continued from page five
at the Tribes. By the end of another year, we
had succeeded in doubling land treatment while
voluntarily cutting the budget in the Natural
Resource Department. It turned out that we actually
did not need all that money to do a better job!
When the Tribal Council heard this, they asked if I
could apply the same approach to the entire Tribal
government. Six months later, we significantly
Seth has co-written four grants exceeding
$246,000 to fund Holistic Management programs
and offset costs to participants. In addition to
the farm families and communities he has
worked with, he has also conducted trainings
for agency staff in New Hampshire and
throughout the Northeast.
To date over 220 participants have been
trained and over 28 farm families in New
Hampshire have developed and implemented
a whole farm plan as a result of this program.
Below are some examples of impacts measured
from this program:
• Farms hold weekly meetings to
communicate about major issues and decisions
and have increased their farm efficiency, saving
them valuable time as a result.
• Farmers have said that their decision-
making has changed and is more inclusive
and positive. Specifically, wives and kids have
been able to share in major decision making
and farm risks.
• Farmers have said that this process
significantly increased the quality of their lives
on their farms and/or in their families. They have
documented a reduction in conflicts, less stress,
improved and open communication, increased
time spent as a family, and greater happiness.
• Farmers learned about farm employees’
skills they had not previously known of and
changed their management to take advantage
of these skills.
• Participants have developed family
budgets and monitor these regularly, reducing
overspending and debt levels.
• Farmers have increased their knowledge about
each others’ skills and desired quality of life and
used this to change their management practices.
• A land trust consisting of 5 farm families
and a 12 member Board of Directors used this
process to construct new governance procedures
and as a result significantly reduced conflicts
between Board members and also reduced the
average meeting time by an estimated two
hours per meeting. They also used this process
to identify the locations and extent of logging
in their woodlands, as well as how to lower
environmental impacts of the logging.
• Farm families learned about members’
hopes, dreams, and fears for the first time.
• Farmers cited increased confidence to
tackle on-farm problems.
• Farm youth reported that it increased their
self-confidence, understanding of their family
decisions, and also said it would likely reduce
any risky behaviors they might engage in.
• Farmers have adopted financial record
keeping systems and monitor these regularly.
• Farmers reported that the plan increased
the effectives of their communication, improved
the quality of their lives on the farm, and brought
family members closer together.
Demonstrating how valuable this program is,
Lockwood Sprague from Edgewater Farm, one of
the largest and most profitable farms in Seth’s
county wrote the following: “Seth came to our
county pretty green in the areas of horticultural
sciences. Needless to say we were initially somewhat
disappointed. But in truth, he has done more for
the profitability of this farm than if he had been a
national fruit or vegetable specialist. When first
approached by Seth to engage in Holistic
Management, we were concerned about its “touchy-
feely” content, a perceived impression on our part.
We resisted for a year, but then the family agreed to
sit down and find out what it was all about late in
2006. Much came out of that meeting.
“For the first time we talked about what we
liked about our work, what our individual long
term goals were, and how to address our short term
needs and approaches to our problem solving. We
realized how important it is that we keep an eye
toward the business end of things even though we
remain at the core a family farm comprised of
farmers with non-business inclinations.
“The Holistic Management process has
addressed this as well as made us all think about
and work towards improving the quality all our
lives as well as all who work here. We truly feel that
we are on the right track as we look to the future.”
Another farm couple wrote about their
experience with Seth and his Holistic
Management program. They wrote, “Seth has
repeatedly helped us focus to include both of
us in defining our goals and values, and to
work toward creative ways rather than emotional
ways to resolve differences. When we’ve been
stuck, Seth has been able to help us refocus on
what we were aiming toward and to identify
options for action.
“Seth has opened our eyes to understanding
that we are primarily running a business. We
thought we were farmers and farming was what
we did. A business was not of interest. Through a
Holistic Management workshop, Seth raised our
awareness of the importance of managing our
farm as a business. One outcome is that we now
see the farm as a set of systems that need to be
identified and managed productively whether it’s
creating planting schedules or hiring farm help.
“As a result of Seth’s help, our annual gross
sales have increased from $5,000 to $37,000 in
four years. We have learned from Seth to evaluate
each new enterprise before implementing it on
our farm. We write down our goals, what will be
achieved, and projected costs and income.
It has all been helpful. I’m not sure that either
the farm or our relationship would have
survived without Seth.”
Congratulations, Seth!
Number 126 IN PRACTICE 7
Seth Wilner
Holistic Management in the Northeast
by Ann Adams
Farm youth reported that Holistic Management increased their
self-confidence, understanding of their family decisions, and also said
it would likely reduce any risky behaviors they might engage in.
n April, Seth Wilner won the prestigious New Hampshire Menard and
Audrey Heckle Extension Educator Fellowship for his work in Holistic Management.
This award recognizes one individual each year for exemplary program
accomplishments achieved through innovative and creative approaches.
8 July / August 2009 Land & Livestock
or North Dakota no-till farmer Gabe Brown, failure isn’t an option—
it’s a requirement. That’s because Brown believes constant change
drives an ever-improving system.
“We want to fail at something on this farm every year,” says the
Bismarck-area producer who crops 1,500 acres (600 ha). “If I don’t fail at
something, I’m not trying enough new things.”
And try he does. Brown’s acres have a research farm feel. A trip up the
driveway treats visitors to more than a dozen different crops from corn to
radishes spread through only a few fields. Calling his cropping system diverse
is an understatement.
Brown raises alfalfa, peas, corn, sunflowers, barley, turnips, radishes,
lentils, hairy vetch, red clover, sweet clover, sugar beets, buckwheat, oats,
cowpeas, millet, sorghum and sudan grass to name a few. These crops are
mixed together in complex polycultures that Brown has created through trial
and error for maximum benefit to soil health, production and his bottom
line. But city-raised Brown didn’t come by his adventurous agronomic spirit
easily; nature gave him a not-so-gentle push in the right direction.
Brown and his wife, Shelly, purchased their farm from her parents in
1991. The land was conventionally tilled and produced small grains. After
reading about no-till farming, Brown decided it made sense and jumped in
with both feet. In 1993 he sold all of their tillage equipment and bought a
John Deere 750 15-foot no-till drill and went completely no-till. He also took
his first foray into diversification, seeding field peas.
In 1995 Mother Nature dealt the Browns a nasty blow, hailing out 1,250
acres (500 ha) of spring wheat the day before harvest. The next year they had
100 percent crop loss to hail again.
“Two years of crop failure hurt,” says Brown. “We started thinking about
how we could cut back on our inputs because you can’t keep putting money
in without getting something back.”
That’s when Brown started to experiment with crop combinations. He
planted peas and hairy vetch or barley paired with red clover in an effort to
help fix nitrogen for their main commodity crops. But the weather wasn’t
going to cut them any slack. In 1997 severe drought resulted in not a single
acre being combined. In 1998 it was more of the same. The Browns once
again lost 80 percent of their crops to hail. But for Brown that wasn’t the end,
it was just the beginning.
“Four years of crop failure was the best thing to ever happen to us,” says
Brown. “It made us realize that we had to focus on soil health, soil structure
and improved infiltration. If we did that, the soil would provide us what we
needed to produce crops efficiently. We also realized over time that we had to
diversify the cropping system to make it more sustainable.”
Brown’s cropping system now mimics native prairie plant composition.
They have a diversity of warm and cool season grasses and broadleaf plants.
In the years since their dramatic crop failures, the Browns have managed to
make great strides in reducing input costs.
“We’ve been able to reduce commercial fertilizer inputs by more than 90
percent and herbicide inputs by 75 percent. At the same time we have seen
our yields increase,” reports Brown. Brown does
rotate in a few monoculture crops, including alfalfa,
corn and sunflowers, but he has started adding
legumes as companion crops in the corn and
sunflower fields as well.
Monocultures are the exception, however, not the
rule. A peek in Brown’s seeder reveals a concoction
that more closely resembles a bird seed mix than a
planned crop. But looks are deceiving because a lot of
planning goes into Brown’s planting scheme. Here’s a
glimpse at a “typical” year on the Brown farm.
Brown starts seeding in mid April with cold-
Cocktail Mixes & Integrating Livestock
by the No-Till Farmer
Complex polycultures are
used to address soil needs,
including nutrient input
and infiltration. Brown
has planted seed cocktails
that include 11 or more
plant species.
This cover crop mix was planted
the end of May 2006. This
picture taken the end of July
2006 during which less than
one inch (25 mm) of rain fell.
There was also less than three
inches of rain that fell that year
prior to this picture.
Number 126 9 Land & Livestock
tolerant crops such as a field pea/radish/turnip combination.
Those crops are seeded into the remains of heavy residue-type
crops such as corn. They are planted without any herbicide or
fertilizer inputs.
“We usually put radishes or turnips on most of the cropland
to help infiltration,” says Brown. “Even after
15 years of no-till you can see the old tillage layer. The
deep-rooted plants help break up the compaction.”
After planting peas, Brown starts on the small grain
combinations. He’ll seed a barley/red clover mix, an
oat/pea/turnip/radish combination and then will move
on to the corn and sunflowers.
The peas are harvested as forage, haylage or dried hay,
so there is no need to separate out the different crops. In years
that the peas are combined the seed is easily separated.
“In most of our seeding combinations the companion crop
stays beneath the canopy and doesn’t take off and grow rapidly
until the other crop is harvested and the canopy is removed,”
explains Brown. “Then that companion crop serves as a cover crop.”
Double Cropping
Brown heavily utilizes cover crops, or double cropping,
to keep his acres producing, tackle specific soil management
challenges and integrate his farm.
“As soon as we get one crop off the field we’re seeding in another crop,”
says Brown. Upon harvesting peas, Brown immediately seeds a nine-crop seed
cocktail for cover. “In July we’ll seed warm season cover crop mixes like pearl
millet/sorghum/sudan grass/ cowpeas/soybeans/radishes and sunflowers.”
These crops can withstand the soaring July and August temperatures.
“People say they can’t use cover crops because it’s too dry or the growing
season isn’t long enough. But they’re doing it in Canada and that’s 300 miles
north of here and they’re doing it in regions of Africa where they only get two
inches (50 mm) of rain per year,” says Brown. “If Canada and Africa can
produce cover crops in those growing conditions, anyone in the United States
can do it. It’s simply a mindset.”
Brown says the purpose of cover crops goes beyond just covering the
ground. They increase organic matter, which increases the water holding
capacity of soils and lowers soil temperatures. Deep rooted cover crops also can
bring deep nutrients to the surface to be recaptured by a more valuable crop.
“You might as well use the moisture to grow a cover crop and increase
organic matter. It’s a good way to help alleviate water problems in an arid
environment,” says Brown. “Our crops are able to withstand drought much
better because we have increased the water holding capacity of our soils and
we get much higher utilization of the moisture we do have. We lose much
less to evaporation because the soil surface is covered with residue and soil
temperatures are cooler.”
Brown uses cover crops to address problems specific to each field. If
infiltration is a challenge, he uses deep-rooted, taproot-type crops, such as
radishes or turnips, to break up hardpan soil and improve infiltration. If the
focus is on lowering inputs, he plants a legume-type crop to help fix nitrogen.
Gabe is constantly trying new plant
mixes in small-scale plots to hone in
on the combinations that best suit
his specific growing conditions.
Some of these mixes have shown
surprising results, with plants
forming symbiotic relationships that
result in amplified crop yields and
improved quality. This picture is of a
mix of radishes, hairy vetch, sudan
grass, sugar beets and much more.
Gabe hopes to pass the farm
—along with his tradition
of constant change and
improvement—to his son,
Paul, who is currently working
toward a degree in range
management at North Dakota
State University. He jokes that
he’ll take the farm back if he
doesn’t see evidence of change.
Gabe uses the following cover crop mix
diversity applied at 70 pounds/acre (79 kg/ha)
The Four-Legged Factor
Cover crops also allow Brown to further bring his operation together.
Brown runs 250 head of Balancer, Gelbvieh and Angus cows on 2,000 pasture
acres (800 ha).
“One thing we’re doing with cover crops is integrating crop and livestock
production,” says Brown. “Instead of harvesting by mechanical means, we
use our cow herd to harvest for us.”
The cattle graze the cover crops from September through January 1.
Besides saving in might-as-well-be-made-of-gold fuel, Brown has discovered
that getting cattle on cropland has a wide variety of benefits. The hoof traffic
helps get crop litter in contact with the soil surface; fecal matter serves as
fertilizer; the livestock get higher nutritional value forage, which relates to
better rates of gain; and soil health is improved through increased organic
matter, better infiltration and moisture conservation.
“Too many people look at livestock separate from cropping. On our
operation we look at the system as a whole. It’s about what is best for the
livestock and the crop,” says Brown. “For example, hairy vetch is tremendous
for grazing and it fixes 100 to 150 pounds of nitrogen per acre. Plus, the
cattle provide the phosphorus needs.”
His livestock operation also weathers drought better thanks to this system.
“When we purchased the farm we could only run 65 cows, now we
easily sustain 250 head and leave more forage than ever even grew before
because we are able to graze cover crops and rest our pastures,” says Brown.
“When drought hits we can easily sustain because we have a good supply
of grass to fall back on.”
Water Management
Following low organic matter, water infiltration was one of Brown’s
biggest challenges. When he started no-tilling, an NRCS water infiltration
test on his fields showed that if it were to rain one inch 25 mm), only
.4 inches (10 mm) of rain would infiltrate in the first hour and only
10 July / August 2009 Land & Livestock
.25 inches (6 mm) per hour in the second hour.
“In 2006 we had a four-inch (100 mm) rain and it infiltrated so well that
the agronomy center was able to get in the field and spray our corn the next
day. Our neighbor had water sitting in his field for more than six weeks,”
recalls Brown. “Our soil now can infiltrate several inches per hour.”
Improving infiltration helps with extreme water situations, including
getting more production with less precipitation. In 2005 Brown had a dryland
corn field that received only 12.5 inches (313 mm) of moisture that year and
it averaged 177 bushels per acre (443 bushels/ha) at harvest. The county
average on a good year is around 80 bushels per acre (200 bushels/ha).
Brown regularly averages 127 bushels per acre (318 bushels/ha).
Team Work
Brown is the first to tell that his farming practices are not a product of
his invention alone. Brown works extensively with scientists, researchers,
conservationists and community groups to uncover better practices and
help other area farmers put those practices to use. For example, Brown works
closely with Jay Fuhrer, the Bismarck NRCS district conservationist, to bring
no-till and polycultures to other producers in the county and serves as a
supervisor himself on the soil conservation district board.
Brown also has teamed with Kris Nichols, a soil microbiologist at the
ARS research center in Mandan. They are looking at some of the secondary
benefits of the polycultures that populate Brown’s fields including how the
plants interact, build better soil structure, make the soil more efficient at
moving nutrients and water and more.
“One thing that we’ve found is that with the polycultures we get a lot
of mycorrihzal activity and symbiotic relationships among the plants,”
says Brown. They also look at the role soil organisms play.
“When we started our soil organic matter was 1.7 percent to 2 percent
on most of the fields. Today we’re consistently 3.7 percent to 4.3 percent,”
explains Brown. “But just because you have organic matter doesn’t mean
it’s available to the plants right away.”
One year Brown soil tested and had 14 pounds of available Nitrogen.
He applied 50 pounds, planted corn and ended up with 200 pounds
available nitrogen because of microorganism activity.
“When you have organic matter you need bacteria to consume the
organic matter and protozoa to consume the bacteria and excrete nitrogen
that is usable to plants,” explains Brown. “Focusing on organic matter,
improving soil health and creating an environment conducive to bacteria
and protozoa health allows you to use fewer commercial inputs.”
Accidental Proof
Commercial sprayers joke that it’s good business to leave some skips in
the field so producers know how good the control really was. In similar
fashion, Brown was able to see the advantages of his production system.
In 2006 hairy vetch seed was hard to come by. Due to the shortage,
Brown didn’t have enough seed to cover the whole field he was planting,
so he seeded part to triticale/vetch and the rest to straight winter triticale.
In spring of 2007 he topdressed the straight triticale with 100 pounds
(45 kg) of urea. When they harvested the field in June, Brown recorded
some surprising data.
“The triticale/vetch mix yielded 11 tons per acre (27.5 tons/ha) while
the straight triticale with the commercial fertilizer yielded only 8 tons
(20 tons/ha). The combination tested 19.5 percent crude protein while
the triticale alone tested 12.9 percent crude protein,” reports Brown.
“It cost me the same for 100 pounds of urea as it did for the hairy vetch
seed, so why not just plant triticale and hairy vetch together?”
Brown can’t explain the differences in production and quality, but
he’s seen it time and time again.
“We are seeing tremendous crop response from these and other
combinations in many situations, and we don’t really know why,”
says Brown. But he’ll use the combinations to his advantage.
Income versus Profit
One thing Brown has had to do to succeed is to think about profit
differently. Some crops are not as profitable as others, but are needed to help
the system as a whole. Peas, for example, aren’t overly profitable, but have
the benefit of lowering input costs for subsequent crops. Also important to
Brown are the long-term benefits he can leave for his son, Paul.
“I’m a conservationist first and a farmer/rancher second,” says Brown.
“We need to improve the resource for future generations. Fortunately, if you
do that it also will improve your bottom line.”
And that’s one thing he knows from experience.
“We were on the verge of going broke after those four years of crop
failure,” recalls Brown. “But through the changes that situation brought
on I’ve seen the profitability that can come from improving the soil health.
In 2007 it cost us only $1.19 to produce a bushel of corn. Farming is much
more profitable for us today.”
Brown continues to work to further develop his farm and help those in
his community. He is a supervisor on the Burleigh County Soil Conservation
District, a North Dakota Grazing Land Coalition board member, a supervisor
for the Area Four soil conservation district research farm, a member of the
ag advisory board for Bismarck State College and brings in thousands to tour
and learn from his farm. In the past two years he’s had visitors from 42 states
and 14 countries.
“The profitability that can arise from focusing
on soil health and sustainable systems is
unbelievable,” says Brown. “With input costs rising
like they are, producers need to focus on their
soil resource and become least-cost producers.
Nitrogen is free. You just have to plant crops that
produce it. Don’t complain about input costs—
do something about it. Diversify.”
This article was first printed in the
No-Till Farmer (www.no-tillfarmer.com)
as “No-Till Farming for the Future.”
Gabe Brown lives in Bismarck, North Dakota
and can be reached at: 701/222-8602;
Gabe uses cover crops to integrate livestock and crop production, grazing cattle on cover crops
from September through January 1. The system benefits his cattle, helps him continue production
on his acres throughout the year, serves to improve soil quality and allows him to rest his pastures.
Cocktail Mixes & Integrating Livestock
continued from page nine
Number 126 11 Land & Livestock
s a trainer/coach for agricultural producers, my role is to
make them more successful using the Holistic Management®
framework. Producers generally define success as being financially
stable, with their land regenerating, while at the same time
enjoying their work. This definition of success has led me to modify
the way I have been presenting planned grazing. The following is an
attempt to explain how I have modified the planned grazing training
to improve success.
As we all know the key to success is to start regenerating our land.
The first step in regeneration is stopping erosion which I have been
describing as stopping the bleeding. This analogy clarifies that there is no
point worrying about other issues such as weeds, fertilizers, stocking rate,
etc. while your land is bleeding to death. The first step must be to stop the
bleeding. With land management this means covering the soil with plants
and litter and managing the litter to ensure it is composting—
litter in brittle environments requires monitoring and management to
continually promote active composting.
We have been trialling simplifying the planning part of Holistic
Management planned grazing and then providing simple monitoring
tools to help keep on track with land regeneration and animal health
and performance. Monitoring has shown that a greater percentage of
people trained are using grazing charts
to plan recovery. More important though
is that they are reporting that their land
is improving.
The planning simplification is based
on a combination of Sam Bingham’s
work in Grassroots Restoration: Holistic
Management for Villages through to the
complexity of the holistic grazing
planning in the Holistic Management
Handbook. The simplification allows
producers to decide if they want to use
pins or pebbles to determine actual
grazing time in a paddock through to the
mathematical rating system used in the
Handbook. Many producers favor a
minimal mathematical variation that
uses their knowledge of their land.
A major struggle that we all have
when shifting to planned grazing is land
and animal performance. There is also a
tendency for initial success to decline
over time. It was only when I was trying
to explain to our children and some
international exchange students working
on our property that I realized that much
of the “art of grazing” was not readily
transferable. This realization was also
assisted by my wife, Susie, exclaiming
that “no one knows what you are talking
about!” The daily monitoring sheet
Daily Monitoring—
Holistic Management
Planned Grazing
by Graeme Hand
evolved from this assisted realization.
I have found that by placing a score on some monitoring point’s
results in a greater connection to the land and animal performance
which increases our success and the people we have been working with.
This “language” also gives a quick summary of the planned grazing.
A typical response when the management is on track will be the
indicators are all score 4’s and 5’s.
Acknowledgements: This material is based on material developed
from many sources including Allan Savory, Sam Bingham, Mark Bader,
Jerry Brunetti, Joel Salatin, etc. As we all know, we need to be exposed to
material three to four times before we absorb and process it.
This article is an excerpt of a presentation on a simplified approach
to holistic planned grazing Graeme presented in Abilene, Texas in
March 2009. The Gut Fill photos are adapted from the UK Dairy website:
Graeme Hand is a Holistic Management® Certified Educator
who lives in Branxholme, Victoria, Australia. He can be reached at:
This is a picture of the Hands’ property in a drought year. They carried 2/3rds of the
district stocking rate without feeding. Large properties nearby lost approximately
$30 per sheep or $300 per cow that year with purchased feed costs.
12 July / August 2009 Land & Livestock
Daily Monitoring continued from page eleven
Ground Cover
Score 1: Bare ground between plants which
shows plant recovery is too short.
Score 3: Approaching 100 percent ground
cover but lack of stable composting litter layer
possibly due to plant recovery too short and
plants not producing sufficient litter. Lack
of trampling to push litter into contact with
soil may also be a related cause.
Score 5: 100 percent ground cover with
stable/building composting litter layer
showing recovery and trampling adequate.
Also demonstrates patience of border collies
Score 1: Grass plants far too
young with excess non-protein
nitrogen (NPN) which will result
in animal health/ metabolic
issues. Animals will be in negative
energy balance and need older
grass or hay/ straw/ energy
Score 3: Grass plants too young
(NPN) or mismatch between
rumen flora and level of protein
and fiber which if not corrected
will result in animal health/
metabolic issues such as calf
scours, lameness, mastitis,
poor fertility etc.
Score 5: Good match between
rumen flora and protein/ energy/
fibre. Animal health and
performance balance optimized
Score 10: Feed low in
protein/energy and high
in fiber. Animal performance
usually low.
Where To Look What To Look For
PADDOCK ANIMALS ARE LEAVING • 100% ground cover with a stable litter layer between perennial grasses.
• Composting litter
• Ground Cover scored from 1-5 – See Photos
PADDOCK THE ANIMALS ARE IN • Dung consistency scored from 1-10 – See photos
• Clean tails and rumps
• Gut fill—left-hand side paralumbar fossa scored from 1-5 – See photos
• Water drinking—no snuffling or walking away
• Electric Fence—Voltage checked
NEXT PADDOCK ANIMALS ARE GOING INTO • Highest successional grasses recovered—bunch grasses contain fresh dead/dry leaves or litter
• Multiple layers of plants—grassland community with structure and function
• High mass or volume—increasing overtime—Scored from 1-5 – See photos
Number 126 13 Land & Livestock
Plant Recovery
Score 1: Plants have regrown some leaf but are
light green in color and have square tips.
Score 3: Plants have regrown leaf,
which are dark green in color but do
not contain fresh litter.
Score 5: Plants have fully recovered
and contain fresh litter which ensures
plants recovered while building ground
cover and litter stocks.
Gut Fill
Score 1: The cow has eaten little or nothing,
which could be due to sudden illness,
insufficient feed or a mismatch between
rumen flora and feed available.
Score 2: This is a sign of insufficient food
intake, or a rate of passage that is too high.
Score 3: This is the bottom score for cows
on well recovered grass.
Score 4: This is the correct score for a portion
of the mob on well recovered grass.
Score 5: This is the correct score for
cows on well recovered grass and show
a good match between rumen condition
and food available.
Score 1 Score 2 Score 3
Score 5 Score 4
14 July / August 2009 Land & Livestock
Voisin’s Vision—
Better Grassland Sward
by John King
olistic managers celebrate Andre Voisin for discovering the
significance of time when planning grazing. His masterpiece
Grass Productivity lays the foundation for grazing planning from
the soil up. The book explains the ecological relationships between
grazing animals, plants, and soils and the resulting pastures farmers
observe in the paddocks of northern Europe.
Throughout Grass Productivity Voisin mentions another book focusing
on pasture ecology. That book is Better Grassland Sward. It explores
pasture sward composition resulting from various grazing, fertilizer, and
cultivation practices.
Grazing Influences Sward Composition
Within this book is a striking graph (Fig. 1) from 1930s German research
highlighting the impact of grazing frequency (recovery period) on pasture
species. Sheep grazed one pasture weekly over 4 years, the other every 3 weeks for
the same period. Both show a very different sward at the end of the experiment.
Which one is which? Such questions challenge farmers to reflect on
outcomes of their own grazing practices. These graphs record the evolving
sward composition when rigid grazing management ignores both seasonal
growth patterns and the changing ratios of pasture species.
A similar spectacular graph in Grass Productivity demonstrates the
dynamic sward changes from another 1930s German study with cattle (Fig.
2), showing preferred pasture species increasing. This research highlights
how sound pasture management improves pasture diversity and quality. The
research conducted four different grazing regimes and followed the sward
dynamics of a range of plant species. While there is little information on the
nature of the grazing regimes, the shift to intensive grazing management
reveals how greater control over recovery periods and stock density produces
better pastures.
The trials regenerated long abandoned grazing commons and the sites
were modestly fertilized. What surprised researchers was the emergence of
better quality species without sowing. The range of grazing regimes
• Controlled passage of grazing animals through paddocks
changes the diversity of pasture species.
• Weeds and undesirable grasses disappear under intensive
grazing and moderate fertilizer levels.
• Seeds are often already there, they germinate and establish
in the sward as volunteers.
• Partial rest in temperate climates without fertilizer reduces
diversity and quality of feed.
• Productive pasture swards can become incredibly diverse.
• Animals are tools to create diverse swards through disturbance.
Figure 3 shows the flora changes over the three-year period from the
rotational grazing with small paddocks (2.5 acres or 1 hectare) in Figure 2.
Voisin provides no information on the number of grazing animals and their
stock density, yet the results show grasses like sweet vernal, crested dogstail,
meadow grass, red fescue, and creeping soft grass succumbing to Kentucky
bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and cocksfoot proving that higher fertility and
rotational grazing favored particular species. While there is no doubt about
the relationship between pasture composition and grazing, the lack of
grazing details muddies the connection.
The Timing of Spring Grazing is Critical
Voisin coined the phrase “Comparative Phenology,” the science of timing
farming operations with the development of wild plants. Examples he gave
were planting beets at the spring burst of chestnut buds, or sowing oats as
wild primroses flower. With grazing, he suggested starting the spring rotation
when wild cherry trees blossomed.
However, if farmers want diverse pastures, they need to think carefully
Figure 1: Which Pasture has the Shortest Recovery Period?
Figure 2: Changes is Pasture Flora on Old Pastures after 3 Years of Grazing Treatments
Figure 3:
Changes in
Grazing with
Number 126 15 Land & Livestock
about when they execute their grazing plans. Martin Jones, a British pastoral
scientist demonstrates the key to changing pasture composition is the timing
of spring grazing (Fig 4). His 1930s research highlights the need for some
forethought about a paddock’s productive role over the summer months
when determining the nature of grazing in the spring.
Figure 4 shows how two years of changing old sward (OS) grazing timing
of spring grazing with sheep influences the presence of pasture species over
the summer. Want high clover? Set stock all spring (A). Want ryegrass? Then,
allow the pasture to recover over the first six weeks of spring and then graze
(B). Want cocksfoot? Hammer the ryegrass for the first month, then let the
pasture recover when cocksfoot is at its most aggressive growth phase (C).
The timing of grazing when emerging from drought also provides similar
opportunities to influence pasture swards.
The New Zealand practice of set stocking at lambing during the spring
months (A) creates ideal conditions to overgraze many emerging grasses.
This practice leads to the dominance of clover, essential to maximize lamb
growth rates, but reduces overall pasture production. The result is the
common sight on New Zealand sheep properties of very short pastures and
grasses with short root systems prone to summer drought.
The danger of grazing paddocks at the same growth stage each year is
decreasing plant diversity, pasture quality, and animal health issues. In New
Zealand, high clover rates lead to high blood urea levels, lower liveweight
gains and milk production over the summer, higher animal health costs, and
compromising the performance of breeding stock as young stock are carried
longer to finish. Voisin warns that clover should only be between 15-20
percent of pasture species as excess protein reduces animal performance.
He examines the impacts of pasture nutrition on animals’ health in greater
detail with his two other books, Soil, Grass, and Cancer, and Grass Tetany.
Recovery Period and Harvesting
Not only is the timing of grazing important, Voisin also reviews the
frequency and method of harvesting grass. More German research from the
late 1930s (Fig 5) illustrates how summer cutting and grazing pastures with
sheep (dung and urine was removed immediately) produces notably different
swards when applying the same treatment over four years from sowing.
Grazed pastures had greater diversity and balance of species than cut
pastures, especially as recovery periods lengthened. However, the trend
emerging from the longest recovery periods of both methods were similar
in that cocksfoot was beginning to dominate pastures.
Cocksfoot enjoys longer recovery times and the fact it survived
so well under sheep grazing was surprising to Voisin.
Ryegrass and white clover remain relatively stable under
grazing but almost disappear under cutting. Voisin states the
study proves light is essential for white clover to survive,
therefore it prefers short pastures. Ryegrass, too, likes shorter
pastures as it declines under longer recovery times. Elsewhere
in Better Grassland Sward, New Zealand trampling and
excreta studies establish sheep at high stock densities
invigorates perennial ryegrass.
The German study shows annual meadow grass almost
disappears under longer recovery reflecting its growth habit
cannot compete with year round perennials. Kentucky
bluegrass grass likes intense grazing with short recovery times
but meadow grass (rough bluegrass) did better on longer
grazing recovery than cutting. Tall oat grass likes longer
recovery times and thrives in permanent hay paddocks.
Birdsfoot trefoil likes longer recovery times and why it fades in
short, intensively grazed sheep pastures. While other species
emerged, none thrived under the cutting and grazing methods.
The results clarify how populations of grass species change due to the
frequency and nature of grass harvesting. They demonstrate that too much
disturbance can lower pasture diversity, whereas Figure 3 shows not enough
does the same thing. Holistic managers understand this balance due to the
phrase “a species only invades an area when the conditions are right for it to
establish and thrive, and leave an area when the conditions prevent its
reproduction.” It is the principles embedded within this phrase that drive
holistic planned grazing by having animals at “the right place at the right
time for the right reason.” Monitoring pasture species provides direction
when planning the movement of grazing animals across a landscape where
pasture diversity is the focus.
However, changes in grazing practice alone may not account for
transforming pasture, especially in newly sown pastures. In Holistic
Management, we talk about bottlenecks when managing ecological
populations and with pasture plants—two important factors are soil
function and fertility.
Cultivation Reduces Pasture Productivity
Better Grassland Sward reveals a phenomenon that farmers are aware
of but few can prove. Voisin was deeply concerned with the declining
productivity of cultivated and sown pastures, a concept he called “years of
depression.” After sowing, the pasture is a blaze of growth for the first two
years, then its performance decreases over eight more years compared to
unplowed pastures. This is why conventional practice accepts the ongoing use
Figure 4:
Changes in Flora
of a Three Year Old
Sward after Two Years
of Spring Grazing
Figure 5: Pasture Composition after Four Years of Summer Grazing or Summer Cutting
16 July / August 2009 Land & Livestock
of chemical fertilizers and renewing pastures every few years.
Voisin found a rare example of research focusing on sward changes in
newly sown pastures. Using the means of three different grazing regimes and
mown like a lawn (Figure 6) a 1930s German study shows the decline of
desirable pasture species over four years thereby hinting something other
than grazing as the cause. Four years after sowing, these pastures were
averaging production at 80 percent of that recorded in their first year.
Researchers noted the smothering action of newly sown species reduced
plants per area. Furthermore, tillering of these plants also reduced over
time (the complete opposite of what plant breeders were trying to do)
leading to patches of bare soil and reducing pasture productivity in a
non-brittle environment.
The Germans called the areas depression spots because soil life dies to
such an extent it cannot maintain the soil structure. These patches stayed in
some pastures for over 12 years and were particularly visible during drought.
White clover and lower fertility grasses such as bent grass and sheep’s fescue
covered these areas. These species signify ecological succession was reverting
to a pioneering stage primarily due to the decline in fertility.
Voisin believed sowing new grass cultivars did not reduce this
phenomenon because plant breeders didn’t look beyond establishment and
production characteristics. As he often observed, cows preferred indigenous to
commercial varieties of the same species, a result of plant breeders
systematically ignoring the preferences of the supreme judge of pasture
management—the grazing animal. Furthermore, Voisin reports farmers
saying their animals were more prone to health problems on the newly sown
pastoral lays than old permanent pasture, testifying that animals avoided
new commercial species for good reason.
Voisin links years of depression to soil compaction from cultivation (Fig
7) and shows how organic matter, soil aggregates, and soil moisture are
notably lower after plowing compared to permanent pasture. The extent of
depression is more marked with years of cropping between pastures. Farmers
easily notice the difference when walking across newly sown pastures. The
soil feels like concrete compared to the sponginess of permanent pasture.
Higher organic matter, soil aggregates, and soil moisture are the reasons
permanent pastures hang on longer in drought primarily due to the root
mass and the associated soil life living there. This is where advances in
biological farming could shorten the recovery time for soils that undergo
cultivation and stimulate the soil activity of worn out permanent pastures,
especially if combined with soil aerating technologies like Keyline ploughing
or the practice of pulse grazing.
The Plow or the Hoof?
While much of this research is 80 years old, Voisin’s books demonstrate
two things: animals can heal the land and the plow is a poor substitute for
grazing management. Influencing the dynamic nature of grassland ecology
requires insight when managing the intensity, frequency, and timing of
grazing. Pastures are not static entities. The growth phase, whether during
spring or following a drought, is especially sensitive to grazing timing and
influences the sward composition over the entire season. Coupled with the
fertility status of the soil, particularly soil structure through good organic
matter, Voisin showed these factors strongly influence pasture performance.
For modern farmers it highlights a long history challenging the mantra
pasture renovation must involve plow. Voisin’s work highlighted the need for
diversity and variety in grazing regimes and pasture swards to maintain
pasture health. Many modern practices do the opposite because the farming
industry ignores ecological principles for short term profits leading to pasture
burn out and the need to resow. The evolving professional image of
sustainable farming requires biological monitoring for farmers to optimize
the benefits of disturbance and diversity. Observing and monitoring the
landscape are strong themes throughout Voisin’s work.
For holistic managers, Voisin clarifies how the use of tools influences
community dynamics in non-brittle environments. As with fire and
technology, consistently repeating too much or too little of rest, grazing,
and animal impact reduces pasture diversity and performance. His focus
on newly sown pastures illustrates how the soil’s living organisms influence
the pasture sward when cultivating and disrupting the mineral cycle. As the
backbone to the holistic planned grazing procedures, Voisin’s insights
provide the foundation for holistic managers to create Voisin’s vision;
a better grassland sward.
Note: Figures 3, 5, 6, & 7 are adaptations from Grass Productivity and
Better Grassland Sward.
Figure 6: Evolution of Pasture Species Four Years after Sowing “Years of Depression”
Figure 7: Characteristics of Soil under Pastures of Different Ages
Better Grassland Sward continued from page fifteen
Number 126 IN PRACTICE 17
PBS Documentary —
Debut in Wyoming
n May 6th and 7th, high school
students from Gillette and Wright
(Wyoming) were introduced to
issues of land health and animal
impact through clips from “The First
Millimeter: Healing the Earth” and talks
by John Flocchini, long-time bison
rancher, Holistic Management practitioner,
and—now—a local celebrity. John was
joined by Chris Schueler, the film’s
director/producer, who talked to several
groups of students about film making. A
group of these students got to visit the
Flocchini family-owned 53,000 acre
(21,500 hectare) bison ranch just outside Wright, where John and Certified Educator Roland
Kroos followed the previous day’s teachings with on-the ground demonstrations of animal
impact on different sites on the ranch.
On the evenings of May 6th and 7th, John had arranged for screenings of the film for
the whole community. The Gillette screening took place at the local Cam-Plex theatre and
attracted an enthusiastic crowd of 130 people who stayed long after the screening for a
lively Q & A period. The May7th screening brought together over 60 people at the
Wright Town Hall and generated an equally animated response.
A big draw for both events was the fact that 18 Emmy award-winning producer Chris
Schueler had taken time out of his busy schedule to be there; Chris talked about the filming,
the amazing people he met , and about his unequivocal commitment to helping spread
the word about the importance of healing the earth so that future generations can survive.
Those of us who know Chris know how contagious his unbridled enthusiasm can be.
John also took the opportunity to get the media involved and managed to get cover stories
in both local newspapers just prior to the screening events. And, unbeknownst to him,
the Colorado Wire Service picked up the story and it’s now spreading through Colorado.
Jennifer Womack, Managing Editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, who attended
the Wright screening had a particularly interesting observation to share:
“I walked out the door of the Wright City Hall building glad I’d attended for yet a
third reason, one that didn’t occur me until I visited with Mr. Schueler. I’ve long believed
mainstream media too often portrays rural residents as naïve and simple-minded. By allowing
livestock producers to tell their stories and the planning and thought processes
that go into animal husbandry, Mr. Schueler shone a light of sophistication and intelligence on
the people who make their living in agriculture around the world.”
And because of all the publicity and interest John has been able to generate in his
communities, the Wyoming PBS station will be broadcasting the film sometime this summer.
(Please check our website www.holisticmanagement.org for broadcast schedules.)
Our heartfelt thanks go to John Flocchini and Chris Schueler for this well orchestrated
series of events. Thank you, John and Chris!
What’s Next for the Documentary?
Executive Producer Tony Tiano has pitched the film to over twenty-five PBS stations in
key areas of the country, including California (North & South), Texas, Arizona, Washington,
Nebraska, Idaho, and Iowa. By the time you read this, you may actually already have seen it
on your local PBS station. If not, call or e-mail your PBS station manager and ask that they
“grab” it from the satellite feed (“bird” in TV parlance) and add it to their broadcast schedule;
it won’t cost them anything! Also, keep checking our website for broadcast schedule updates at
www.holisticmanagement.org. And while you’re there, check out the invitation to host a house
party to introduce your family, friends, and neighbors to Holistic Management and the
importance of healthy soil for the health of the planet! If you have any questions about hosting
a house party, contact Mary Girsch-Bock at marygb@holisticmanagement.org.
HMI and
Holistic Management
by Ben Bartlett
hile many of you understand the
relationship between Holistic
Management International (HMI)
and Holistic Management (HM), it is
important the relationship is kept in perspective.
Holistic Management, first developed by Allan
Savory and Jody Butterfield, is the practice of
managing your life, your land, and/or your
communities toward your holisticgoal. Allan
and Jody are the Founders of Holistic
Management. HMI is the organization whose
statement of purpose is to “Advance the practice
and coordinate the worldwide development of
Holistic Management to heal the land while
improving quality of life and creating healthy
economies.” Both the practice of Holistic
Management (Holistic Resource Management)
and the organization (Center for Holistic
Management, The Savory Center) have had
different names in the past, yet the relationship
has remained consistently committed to the
statement of purpose.
HMI is a 501c3 non-profit organization based
in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The organization
has a managing staff of 11 people. HMI gains
oversight and policy from the current Board of
Directors of 12 domestic and four international
volunteer board members. USA board members
serve up to two concurrent, three-year terms and
receive no compensation for service and expenses;
100 percent make donations to HMI. International
Board members are non-voting members. Due to
travel costs, these international Directors receive
financial travel support to attend, in person, one
meeting per year. They participate regularly in
email and conference call meetings. This
organization of staff (management) and Board
(policy and oversight) works to maintain, develop,
and grow the practice for future generations. The
third significant component of this effort is YOU,
the practitioners and Certified Educators, the
Holistic Management network. Holistic
Management, HMI, and the people within the
Holistic Management network are woven
together within this whole.
Changes in 2009
The HMI organization celebrates 25 years
in 2009. That accomplishment speaks volumes
18 IN PRACTICE July / August 2009
to the need and importance of the practice of
Holistic Management. With six billion people in the
world, we have a way to go to reach the global
marketplace, but the number of people and acres
managed holistically continues to grow. Currently,
we have close to 30 million acres across the globe
managed holistically! However, our challenge
continues. Just as the names of Holistic Management
and HMI have changed over time, the organization
in the last two years has worked on a tighter market
focus. HMI offers products and services to those
clients and audiences who would be the most receptive
to Holistic Management and is establishing
measurable outcomes so we can more accurately
monitor our efforts.
The current economic downturn is a challenge
for all non-profits and businesses, but since HMI
practices Holistic Management, the staff is busy re-
planning and revising the financial plan to maintain
our economic stability. A particular goal I have as
Board Chair is improved HMI communication of
all things it is doing to advance and coordinate the
practice of Holistic Management.
In 2008, HMI had a key change in our IRS status
from a “public charity” to a “private operating
foundation,” due to the changing income ratios.
We still maintain a 501c3 classification, but there
are different regulations for these different types of
non-profits, and we are making sure we do everything
to be in compliance.
In early 2009, HMI completed another key
compliance effort towards HMI’s funding of the Africa
Center for Holistic Management (ACHM). ACHM is
now its own international non-profit organization,
able to receive funds from any entity. HMI continues
to fund ACHM and is working to build ACHM capacity
so they can maximize their new status and solicit
funds from other entities to create sustainability for
that organization.
I am very pleased with HMI’s Board and staff and
their commitment to the organization and to the
practice of Holistic Management. These big changes
in status take a great deal of time and energy to work
through all the ensuing details. Likewise, strategic
focus and policy are ongoing concerns within any
organization wishing to keep current with the times
while keeping grounded in its culture and traditions.
The HMI Board and staff appreciate the efforts of the
Holistic Management network and look forward to
working with you to advance and coordinate the
practice of Holistic Management worldwide.
Ben Bartlett is the HMI Board Chair. He can be
reached at bartle18@msu.edu.
Practicing What You Teach—
Livestock Treated Cropfields
by Senanelo Moyo
icolas Ncube joined the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in 1994 as a
volunteer training to be a community facilitator in Holistic Management.
Nicolas and his wife, Sithabisiwe, have three children—Privilege, Praisemore,
and Petnetty. This family lives in an area governed by Chief Mvutu.
Traditionally the family grows millet, maize, round beans, groundnuts and
pumpkins. They have been using an ox-drawn plow to till the land and never ever
used manure. The family owns six cattle and eight goats which they bought in 2007.
The family decided to change their farming methods after Nicolas saw that the
livestock treated crop fields as part of the USAID grant funded programs produce a
very good yield. He saw this process used in Monde at Mpisi’s crop field last year.
So Nicolas started talking to his wife about this farming method and told her he
wanted to practice what he teaches.
“At first Sithabisiwe did not understand, and thought the work was tedious and
labor intensive,” says Nico. But his son Privilege helped Nicolas with this work by
digging the holes together that are necessary for forming the kraals (corrals)
to keep the livestock in the crop field.
In normal circumstances the family harvests six 198–lb bags (90-kg) of maize
and two 198-lb bags (90-kg) of millet. But this year the family is expecting to harvest
10 198-lb bags (90-kg) of maize. This is a 67 percent increase in productivity!
Sithabisiwe is excited about the results and is already harvesting cow pea leaves,
pumpkin leaves, and other traditional vegetables.
This year the family is planning to start crop field fertilization using livestock as
early as June so that a large area is fertilized. Their neighbors are planning to use the
same method too.
HMI and Holistic Management
continued from page seventeen
To the left is Nicolas’s
fertilized field and
the control side on
the right.
The fertilized side
has healthy crops
and no bare
Number 126 IN PRACTICE 19
Bill Burrows
12250 Colyear Springs Road
Red Bluff, CA 96080
530/529-1535 • 530/200-2419 (c)
Richard King
1675 Adobe Rd.
Petaluma, CA 94954
Kelly Mulville
P.O Box 323, Valley Ford, CA 94972-0323
707/431-8060; 707/876-3592
N Rob Rutherford
CA Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Joel Benson
P.O. Box 4924, Buena Vista, CO 81211
719/395-6119 • joel@outburstllc.com
Cindy Dvergsten
17702 County Rd. 23, Dolores, CO 81323
Daniela and Jim Howell
P.O. Box 67, Cimarron, CO 81220-0067
970/249-0353 • howelljd@montrose.net
Byron Shelton
33900 Surrey Lane, Buena Vista, CO 81211
719/395-8157 • landmark@my.amigo.net
Tom Walther
P.O. Box 1158
Longmont, CO 80502-1158
510/499-7479 • tagjag@aol.com
Constance Neely
635 Patrick Place, Atlanta, GA 30320
706/540-2878 • cneely@uga.edu
N Margaret Smith
Iowa State University,
CES Sustainable Agriculture
972 110th St., Hampton, IA 50441-7578
515/294-0887 • mrgsmith@iastate.edu
Tina Pilione
P.O. 923, Eunice, LA 70535
phone: 337/580-0068
Vivianne Holmes
239 E. Buckfield Rd.
Buckfield, ME 04220-4209
Ben Bartlett
N4632 ET Road, Traunik, MI 49891
906/439-5210 (h) • 906/439-5880 (w)
Larry Dyer
604 West 8th Ave.
Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783
906/248-3354 x4245 (w)
906/253-1504 (h)
Wayne Burleson
322 N. Stillwater Rd.,
Absarokee, MT 59001
Roland Kroos
4926 Itana Circle
Bozeman, MT 59715
Cliff Montagne
P.O. Box 173120
Montana State University
Department of Land Resources &
Environmental Science
Bozeman, MT 59717
Terry Gompert
P.O. Box 45
Center, NE 68724-0045
402/288-5611 (w)
Paul Swanson
5155 West 12th St., Hastings, NE 68901
N Seth Wilner
24 Main Street, Newport, NH 03773
603/863-4497 (h)
603/863-9200 (w)
N Ann Adams
Holistic Management International
1010 Tijeras NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Kirk Gadzia
P.O. Box 1100,
Bernalillo, NM 87004
(f) 505/867-9952
Phil Metzger
99 N. Broad St., Norwich, NY 13815
607/334-3231 x4 (w) • 607/334-2407 (h)
John Thurgood
15 Farone Dr., Apt. E26
Oneonta, NY 13820-1331
North Dakota
Wayne Berry
1611 11th Ave. West
Williston, ND 58801
Andrea & Tony Malmberg
P.O. Box 167, LaGrande, OR 97850
Jim Weaver
428 Copp Hollow Rd.
Wellsboro, PA 16901-8976
Christina Allday-Bondy
2703 Grennock Dr., Austin, TX 78745
Guy Glosson
6717 Hwy. 380, Snyder, TX 79549
Peggy Maddox
P.O. Box 694, Ozona, TX 76943-0694
Chandler McLay
P.O. Box 1796, Glen Rose, TX 76043
303/888-8799 • mclay90@gmail.com
R. H. (Dick) Richardson
University of Texas at Austin
Section of Integrative Biology
School of Biological Sciences
Austin, TX 78712 • 512/471-4128
Craig Madsen
P.O. Box 107, Edwall, WA 99008
509/236-2451 • Madsen2fir@gotsky.com
Sandra Matheson
228 E. Smith Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226
360/398-7866 • mathesonsm@verizon.net
Doug Warnock
1880 SE Larch Ave., College Place, WA 99324
509/540-5771 • 509/856-7101 (c)
Andy Hager
W. 3597 Pine Ave.,
Stetsonville, WI 54480-9559
Larry Johnson
W886 State Rd. 92, Brooklyn, WI 53521
Laura Paine
Wisconsin DATCP
N893 Kranz Rd., Columbus, WI 53925
608/224-5120 (w) • 920/623-4407 (h)
To our knowledge, Certified Educators are the best qualified indivi duals to help others
learn to practice Holistic Management and to provide them with technical as sis tance when
necessary. On a yearly basis, Cer ti fi ed Educators renew their agree ment to be affiliated
with HMI. This agreement requires their com mitment to practice Holistic Management in
their own lives, to seek out opportunities for staying current
with the latest developments in Holistic Man age ment and to
maintain a high stan dard of ethical conduct in their work.
For more information about or application forms
for the HMI’s Certified Educator Training Programs,
contact Ann Adams or visit our website at:
Judi Earl
73 Harding E., Guyra, NSW 2365
Mark Gardner
P.O. Box 1395, Dubbo, NSW 2830
Paul Griffiths
P.O. Box 3045, North Turramura, NSW 2074,
Sydney, NSW
61-2-9144-3975 • pgpres@geko.net.au
George Gundry
Willeroo, Tarago, NSW 2580
61-2-4844-6223 • ggundry@bigpond.net.au
Graeme Hand
150 Caroona Lane,
Branxholme, VIC 3302
61-3-5578-6272 (h) • 61-4-0996-4466 (c)
Helen Lewis
P.O. Box 1263, Warwick, QLD 4370
61-7-46617393 • 61-7-46670835
N These educators provide
Holistic Management
instruction on behalf of the
institutions they represent.
These associate educators
provide educational services
to their communities
and peer groups.
20 IN PRACTICE July / August 2009
Ian Mitchell-Innes
P.O. Box 52, Elandslaagte 2900
Dick Richardson
P.O. Box 1853, Vryburg 8600
tel/fax: 27-082-934-6139;
Aspen Edge
Apartado de Correos 19,
18420 Lanjaron, Granada
Philip Bubb
32 Dart Close, St. Ives
Cambridge, PE27 3JB
44-1480-496-2925 (h)
44-1223-814-662 (w)
Sunny Moyo
Africa Centre for Holistic Management
P. Bag 5950, Victoria Falls;
263-13-42199 (w)
Richard Hatfield
P.O. Box 10091-00100, Nairobi
Christine C. Jost
International Livestock Research Institute
Box 30709, Nairobi 00100
254-20-422-3000; 254-736-715-417 (c)
Belinda Low
P.O. Box 15109, Langata, Nairobi
Arturo Mora Benitez
San Juan Bosco 169
Fracc., La Misión
Celaya, Guanajuato 38016
52-461-615-7632 • jams@prodigy.net.mx
Elco Blanco-Madrid
Hacienda de la Luz 1803
Fracc. Haciendas del Valle II
Chihuahua, Chih 31238
52/614-423-4413 (h) • 52/614-415-0176 (f)
Ivan A. Aguirre Ibarra
P.O. Box 304, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000
52-1-662-281-0990 (from U.S.)
Usiel Kandjii
P.O. Box 23319, Windhoek
Wiebke Volkmann
P.O. Box 9285, Windhoek
264-61-225183 or 264-81-127-0081
John King
P.O. Box 12011
Beckenham, Christchurch 8242
Wayne Knight
P.O. Box 537
Mokopane 0600
Jozua Lambrechts
P.O. Box 5070
Helderberg, Somerset West,
Western Cape 7135
27-21-851-5669; 27-21-851-2430 (w)
Brian Marshall
P.O. Box 300, Guyra NSW 2365
61-2-6779-1927 • fax: 61-2-6779-1947
Bruce Ward
P.O. Box 103, Milsons Pt., NSW 1565
61-2-9929-5568 • fax: 61-2-9929-5569
Brian Wehlburg
c/o “Sunnyholt”, Injune, QLD 4454
Jason Virtue
Mary River Park
1588 Bruce Highway South
Gympie, QLD 4570
Don Campbell
Box 817 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y6
306/236-6088 • doncampbell@sasktel.net
Len Pigott
Box 222, Dysart, SK, SOH 1HO
Kelly Sidoryk
P.O. Box 374, Lloydminster, AB S9V 0Y4
780/875-9806 (h) • 780/875-4418 (c)
John Ikerd
Terry Gompert
Pam Iwanchysko
Don Campbell
Ann Adams
Blain Hjertaas
Tony & Fran McQuail
Kelly Sidoryk
Allison Guichon
Brian Luce
Ralph & Linda Corcoran
Finding Purpose in Peril,
Building a New Economy,
Profitable Farming,
Cropping and Land Management,
Financial Management,
. . . AND MORE!
For more information,
call 206/622-2006 or go to
Online registration will
begin December 1, 2009.
Save the
Western Canadian
Holistic Management
February 8-10,
Holistic Management® (Terry Gompert, Kirk Gadzia)
Broadacre Permaculture (Doherty, Lancaster, Dolman)
Effective AID (Howard Yana Shapiro, Warren Brush)
Soil Food Web (Dr. Elaine Ingham, Paul Taylor)
Pathways to Relocalisation (Joel Salatin)
Natural Building (Jack Stephens, et.al.)
Fungi (Paul Stamets)
ZERI, Pyrolysis, BioChar, Energy Systems & More...
Columbus, NM (20 day) – May 2009
‘The Farm’ ,TN (20 day) – August/September 2009
Marin County, CA (26 day) – September/October 2009
Santa Barbara, CA (43 day) – 0ct/Nov/Dec 2009
Number 126 IN PRACTICE 21
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Understanding Soil Tests and Nutrient Relationships
For consulting or educational services contact:
Kinsey Agricultural Services, Inc.
297 County Highway 357 Ph: 573/683-3880, Fax: 573/683-6227
Charleston, Missouri 63834 Email: neal@kinseyag.com
All-Day Farm Tour to farms using
the program in Southeast Missouri
Cost: $125/person and includes motel room for
Wednesday night and transportation from the
motel and return and lunch Thursday.
Soil Test Lab Tour and Lunch
Cost: $125/person and includes motel room for
Thursday night and transportation from the motel to
lab and return. Arrive back at motel by 2:30 pm.
July 27-29, 2009
COST: $650 per person,
includes lodging (Sunday through
Tuesday night and breakfast next
morning), plus lunch each day.
Dinner is not included.
call 573/683-3880, or see
the Courses and Meetings page
at www.kinseyag.com.
Program: Each day from
8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn Express,
St. Louis, Mo.
22 IN PRACTICE July / August 2009
2918 Silver Plume Dr., Unit C-3
Fort Collins, CO 80526
By World Famous Dr. Grandin
Originator of Curved Ranch Corrals
The wide curved Lane makes filling
the crowding tub easy.
Includes detailed drawings for loading
ramp, V chute, round crowd pen, dip
vat, gates and hinges. Plus cell center
layouts and layouts compatible with
electronic sorting systems. Articles on
cattle behavior. 27 corral layouts. $55.
Low Stress Cattle Handling Video $59.
Send checks/money order to:
Realize Immediate Benefits
Offered By Whole New Concepts, LLC
P.O. Box 218 Lewis CO 81327 USA
At Home
– All You
Need Is A
Cindy Dvergsten, a Holistic Management® Certified
Educator, has 12 years experience in personal practice,
training & facilitation of Holistic Management, and 25
years experience in resource management & agriculture.
She offers customized solutions to family farms &
ranches, communities and organizations worldwide.
Apply What You Learn As You Learn
With Our Hands On Approach, Step
by Step Workbook And Personalized
Mentoring. Enjoy Flexible Scheduling.
Choose to Work Independently or In
Small Groups. Get Started Now.
Start Using Holistic
Management Today!
Join Our Distance
Learning Program
Find More Details On The Web at
By Phone at 970-882-4222 or e-mail us at
4926 Itana Circle • Bozeman, MT 59715
The Business of Ranching
Roland R.H. Kroos
(406) 522.3862 • Cell: 581.3038
Email: kroosing@msn.com
• On-Site, Custom Courses
• Holistic Business Planning
• Ranchers Business Forum
• Creating Change thru
Grazing Planning and
Land Monitoring
Kirk L. Gadzia, Certified Educator
PO Box 1100
Bernalillo, NM 87004
How can RMS, LLC help you?
On-Site Consulting:
All aspects of holistic management, in-
Training Events:
Regularly scheduled and customized
training sessions provided in a variety
of locations.
Ongoing Support:
Follow-up training sessions and access
to continued learning opportunities and
Land Health Monitoring:
Biological Monitoring of Rangeland
and Riparian Ecosystem Health.
Property Assessment:
Land health and productivity assess-
ment with recommended solutions.
Resource Management
Services, LLC
www.resourcemanagementser vi ces.com
earn how to analyze and design policies at
the local and state levels using the Holistic
Framework. This workshop
includes Natural Resource Structured Diagnosis
as well as techniques on how to determine the
root cause of a problem the policy was designed
to address. This is an experiential workshop so
bring a policy you want to analyze or design.
Policy Analysis and Design Course
September 29 & 30, 2009
Knox County Extension, Center, NE
402-288-5611 • knox-county@unl.edu
Knox County Courthouse Annex, Center, NE
Number 126 IN PRACTICE 23
Let me get you the
information you need
to improve the health AND
productivity of your land.
• Over 40 years of experience
with ranching and rangeland
• Public and private land experience
• 100% satisfaction guaranteed
or your money back!
The Land Clinic @Red Corral Ranch
combines training or facilitation
and sightseeing in a 3-day retreat
in the Texas Hill Country on demand.
We work with you to schedule
within your needs and plan in
local sightseeing as work breaks.
• Fundamentals of Holistic Management
• Dollars and Sense: Holistic Management
Financial Planning
• Biological Monitoring
Christina Allday-Bondy, Certified Educator
at 512/658-2051
or email, thelandclinic@redcorralranch.com
the LAND
Asesoría y capacitación para el
desarrollo integral de empresas agropecuarias
rentables, ecológica y socialmente sanas
Contamos con ranchos particulares demostrativos,
donde podrá observar los resultados del
Manejo Holístico en zonas áridas
CALLE 16ª N° 3200 • COLONIA PACÍFICO 31030
Teléfonos: (614) 410 4642 • (614) 410 5363
Fax. (614) 415 0176 • Celular: (614) 220 8019
Agro Cultura
Empresarial SA de CV
Elco S.
Blanco Madrid,
Boss Up Your Life!
To learn more about workshop
opportunities or trainings:
Please call 866/938-6963 OR
“Converted Grain
Farmer to Grass
Books & Multimedia
Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision-Making,
_ Second Edition, by Allan Savory with Jody Butterfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39
_ Hardcover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $55
_ 15-set CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $99
_ One month rental of CD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35
_ Spanish Version (soft). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25
_ Holistic Management Handbook, by Butterfield, Bingham, Savory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $27
_ At Home With Holistic Management, by Ann Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20
_ Holistic Management: A New Environmental Intelligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10
_ Improving Whole Farm Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $13
_ Video: Creating a Sustainable Civilization—
An Introduction to Holistic Decision-Making, based on a lecture given
by Allan Savory. (VHS/DVD/PAL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30
_ Stockmanship, by Steve Cote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35
_ The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, by Shannon Hayes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25
_ The Oglin, by Dick Richardson & Rio de la Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25
_ Gardeners of Eden, by Dan Dagget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25
_ Video: Healing the Land Through Multi-Species Grazing (VHS/DVD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30
Subscribe to IN PRACTICE
_ A bimonthly journal for Holistic Management practitioners
Subscribe for 1 year for only $35/U.S. ($40/International)
2 years ($65/U.S.; $70/International) 3 years ($95/U.S.; $105/International)
_ Gift Subscriptions (same prices as above).
_ Special Edition: An Introduction to Holistic Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5
_ Compact Disk Version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$14
_Bulk subscriptions available.
One year for $17 each/U.S., or $22 each/International
______ Please indicate number of one-year subscriptions
_ Back Issues: $5 each; bulk orders (5 or more issues) $3 each. List
Please indicate issue numbers desired: ___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___,___
_ CD of Back Issues: #71 - 89 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25
Planning and Monitoring Guides
_ Policy/Project Analysis & Design
August 2008, 61 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17
_ Introduction to Holistic Management
August 2007, 128 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25
_ Financial Planning
August 2007, 58 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17
_ Aide Memoire for Grazing Planning
August 2007, 63 pages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17
_ Early Warning Biological Monitoring— Croplands
April 2000, 26 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$14
_ Early Warning Biological Monitoring—Rangelands and Grasslands
August 2007, 59 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17
_ Land Planning—For The Rancher or Farmer Running Livestock
August 2007, 31 pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17
Planning Forms (All forms are padded – 25 sheets per pad)
_Annual Income & Expense Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17
_Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 7
_Livestock Production Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17
_Control Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 5
_Grazing Plan & Control Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17
Amount $_____________ Please designate program you would like us
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Pocket Cards
Holistic Management
Framework & testing questions, March 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$4
a publication of Holistic Management International
1010 Tijeras NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
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healthy land.
sustainable future.
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Indicate quantity on line next to item, make sure your shipping address is correct, mail this page (or a copy) and your
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