Sunday, June 3, 2012
We've all heard of over grazing and seen the resulting land degradation but the fact is, contrary to popular opinion, grazing animals are not negative for the environment when they are managed properly. Conventional range management has encouraged the spreading out of animals over larger areas which promotes continuous grazing resulting in under grazed and over rested land. Holistic Management has shown us that managing grazing animals in a herd and grazing land intensely for short durations with long recovery periods mimics the natural system that got us here by building soil and advancing the ecosystem. This means that the problem is actually the solution. In reality we are the problem which is fortunate because we simply need to change our thinking and make new decisions to heal the land around us.
Livestock and Holistic Decision Making are the most effective tools available to heal land and ecosystems.
• Transition dry hillsides to green perennial grasslands
• Bring water sources back to life
• Sequester carbon in deeper and healthier soils
• Improve soil health and biodiversity of rangelands, pastures and savannas.
• Increase grazing and wildlife capacity
• Boost orchard health and fertility
• Reverse desertification
• Increase economic profitability
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:
A unique hands-on opportunity to participate and learn from the most experienced instructors in high density Holistic Planned Grazing on the West Coast. Participants will collaborate for two days of planning and execution of ultra high stock density grazing. Management decisions will be based on the holistic goal of the M.A. Center.
The GreenFriends Farm at M.A. Center's HOLISTIC GOAL is to alleviate poverty, hunger, and assure ecological resources for future generations and to advance innovation and integration of ecologically-conscious farming and land management practices through education and demonstration.
GreenFriends Farm sees high density grazing as the tool to demonstrate:
~ eliminating upstream erosion
~ creating microbial rich soils and deep-rooted perennial pasture/grassland
~ increasing water cycles for wells and springs
~ provide a fertile understory for sustainable design and food production
Pasture work in the morning and afternoon with classroom sessions after lunch.
Lunch will be prepared by True Grass Farms part of the Valley Ford Young Farmers Association.
Topics of instruction include:
Stewarding a Pleistocene Ecosystem - Understanding the critical relationship of grass and grazers in the balance of ecology.
Holistic Decision Making - Animals have been the scapegoat of poor decisions in a dysfunctional agricultural paradigm. Our decisions can change that.
The Grazing Plan - Creating and editing a road map to a functional ecosystem.
Low Stress Animal Handling - How to work with your animals not for them.
Stock Density VS Stocking Rate - Understand how resource allocation is the key to increased residue, recovery and production.
Water and Fencing Infrastructure - Turn obstacles and limitations into assets.
More info and registration: http://greenfriendsfarm.org/courses/grazing/
Richard King spent 36 years with the USDA NRCS as a rangeland specialist, ecologist, and biologist assisting landowners with restoration or enhancement of ecosystems and is a Certified Holistic Management® Educator teaching individuals or groups the simple framework for making decisions that are ecologically regenerative, economically viable, and socially sound, both short-term and long-term.
Richard King spent 36 years with the USDA NRCS as a rangeland specialist, ecologist, and biologist assisting landowners with restoration or enhancement of rangelands, wetlands, cropland, and woodlands, including riparian stream corridors. He is also a Certified Holistic Management® Educator teaching individuals or groups the simple framework for making decisions that are ecologically regenerative, economically viable, and socially sound, both short-term and long-term. Specific areas of experience and expertise include grazing planning, building soil organic matter, land infrastructure planning, biological monitoring, financial planning, and consensus building. He manages his family’s ranch holistically since 1991.
CNGA Board Member, Certified Professional in Range Management (SRM), Certified Rangeland Manager #M5 (CA Board of Forestry & Fire Protection)
Nate Chisolm has a BS in Range Management and Forestry from the University of Montana and has spent the last decade and a half working with innovative grazing managers around the world. From Holistic Management practitioners in the bush country of Africa, Bud Williams Low Stress Stockmanship School in Independence KS and three years in the Sandhills of Nebraska with Chad Peterson, managing his high stock density cattle mob and working with his large bison and goat herds. Currently, Nate works with multiple ranches on the California coast consulting on forage management, teaching low stress stock handling and is writing a book about the alternative history of agriculture.
Jeremiah Stent is the lead Grazing Specialist at Tomkat Ranch in Pescadero CA, running a cow/calf grassfed beef operation and is responsible for implementing the Holistic Management framework in their grazing planning. He has observed significant changes in quality, density and diversity in the forage under the new management. The combination of Jeremiah's talents as a land steward and animal handler combined with his diverse skills as a mechanic, welder and equipment operator make him an invaluable problem solver and inventor of creative solutions to portable infrastructure challenges.
Aaron Lucich, a video producer from the SF Bay Area, went on the road in the fall of 2005 to research and document the leadership of ecological agriculture. He spent the next 3 years circling the globe with Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, Elaine Ingham and others before entering the grass farming industry. He has since managed farming operations and brand development for Traders Point Creamery a 100% grassfed Organic farmstead creamery in Zionsville, IN and consulted to numerous land based organizations. He is the founder of We Are What We Eat a communications entity focused on changing the way we eat and Holistic Ag a production and consulting entity focussed on changing the way we produce food.