Roots of Resilience

Author Archives: Pnchm

Grazing Conference 2015

Grassland Management Featured At Conference

Planned multi-paddock grazing restored soil and vegetation, increased productivity and profitability, while improving the quality of life for ranchers, reported Dr. Richard Teague, Rangeland Research Scientist at Texas A & M University. Teague was the keynote speaker at the grazing conference, Roots of Resilience, held in May at the Washington Family Ranch near Antelope, Oregon.

 

The grazing conference was sponsored by Country Natural Beef, Washington Family Ranch and the Pacific Northwest Center for Holistic Management (PNCHM).

 

Teague’s research involves whole ranch units in which the managers are monitoring and adjusting their activities in order to achieve their goals relating to the nutrition and health of soils, plants, animals and the people involved.

 

He told about a grassland restoration that was accomplished over a ten-year period on the Noble Foundation’s Coffey Ranch. Animal unit days per acre, which is a measure of grassland’s livestock carrying capacity, increased to more than three times its original amount. Teague said the success was achieved by managing for desired outcomes. This type of management is accomplished by having an adequate number of pasture divisions or paddocks so that plant exposure to grazing is for a short time and plants have adequate time for regrowth before being grazed again.

 

Most of the conference attendees stayed a second day and took in one of two workshops that were offered. Planned grazing was taught by father-daughter team, Maurice and Beth Robinette, of the Lazy R Ranch near Cheney, WA. A workshop on grassland monitoring was taught by a team led by Tip Hudson, WSU Extension Rangeland Specialist, and Sandra Matheson, manager of a beef cattle operation near Bellingham, Washington.20150509_5

 

Evaluations from the individual participants showed that a majority of attendees want to learn more about planned grazing, biological monitoring and land planning. Financial planning was another topic of interest. PNCHM plans to follow-up with conference participants and schedule additional workshops.

 

Teague emphasizes the importance of creating an annual grazing plan for the individual ranch, utilizing what was learned from previous years. He has found that ranch management decisions should be based on a goal; land restoration and wildlife needs are to be incorporated into the plan each year; managers should regularly assess the forage available and adjust either stock numbers or the area grazed; and grazing periods should be based on the recovery rate of the plants, which change by season during the growing year.

 

Planned grazing includes annual planning, monitoring, adjusting as needed and focusing on the triple bottom line, caring for the environment, making a profit and being socially responsible.

 

Grazing Conference – Roots of Resilience

Grazing Conference – Roots of Resilience

Chances are, if you’re involved in livestock production, you’ve heard something about rotational grazing. Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve also heard a thing or two about Holistic Planned Grazing and the difference between the two. Many of you have seen the dramatic fence-line pictures, the breathtaking before-and-afters. But many folks, from producers to environmentalists,  are left with nagging questions about the scientific validity of a multi-paddock approach to grazing. Many livestock producers, at least in the Pacific Northwest, where our Savory Hub, the Pacific Northwest Center for Holistic Management, is located, wonder why, in a time of record-high beef prices and profitability, they should worry about spending extra money for infrastructure.  Environmental groups argue that there is no basis for claims that livestock can be kept from degrading ecosystems, let alone improving them.

Dr. Richard Teague

Dr. Richard Teague

One of academia’s biggest champions for multi-paddock grazing, Richard Teague, will be the keynote speaker at the Roots of Resilience grazing conference in Antelope, Oregon on May 6-7. Teague, originally hailing from Rhodesia, and now a researcher at Texas A&M, has brought a whole-ranch approach to his research of adaptive management and multi-paddock grazing, more typical of how ranchers deal with real life situations than your typical scientific trial. His research has found that planned grazing yields better production, higher profits, and healthier, more resilient forage plants. Teague is one of the most knowledgeable authorities on planned grazing and how it impacts ranch managers, measuring biological, financial, and social results.

One of the most impactful moments in my life occurred the last time that Teague visited the Northwest United States. I distinctly remember him standing in front of a skeptical group of central-Washington ranchers, imploring them to think about the potential impact of climate change on their ranches.  “You don’t buy home insurance because you think your house is going to burn down,” he told them. In other words, even if you don’t totally buy into the concept of global warming, you still ought to manage for resiliency. You don’t have to believe in climate change in order to take advantage of better water infiltration, healthier forage, and higher profits.

Washington Family Ranch at Sunset

Washington Family Ranch at Sunset

Work plus R&R. Ahhh… just what you need. WFR is peaceful, picturesque, and fully focused on hospitality.

I hope this message hits home again as Teague speaks to a diverse group of policy makers, ranchers, and environmental groups at the picturesque Washington Family Ranch in Antelope next month. Livestock, properly managed are integral to land health. Proper management is also integral to the social and financial profitability of ranchers. This conference is an opportunity to learn both from experts and each other in interactive, hands-on exercises to create a grazing plan and evaluate your results.

Visit pnchm.org for more information. Details at:

http://pnchm.org/grazing-conference-and-workshops/

Register Here

Evenings will feature the musical stylings of internationally renowned yodeler, Beth Robinette.

Author bio: Beth Robinette is a fourth-generation cattle rancher and food systems activist in Spokane, Washington. She is also a second-generation Holistic Management Educator and founding member of the Pacific Northwest Center for Holistic Management, a Savory Institute Hub. She loves red cows (even though she only owns black ones), fast ponies, and making small children laugh. She is not actually a world-renowned yodeler, but she has yodeled outside of the United States, and isn’t that basically the same thing? Learn more about her family ranch at http://www.lazyrbeef.com.

The author Beth Robinette

The author Beth Robinette

Upcoming Grazing Conference

Roots of Resilience: Rejuvenating Grasslands through Grazing Management

 May 6, 2015

Also: Two concurrent workshops May 7, 2015

Register Here

Grazing Conference to Create Resilience, Improve Production, Increase Profit and Enhance Quality of Life

Learn about grazing management from experienced and informed ranchers and researchers on May 6, 2015 at a spring grazing conference to be held at the Washington Family Ranch near Antelope, Oregon.   The conference will be followed by two concurrent one-day workshops on May 7, 2015 – Monitoring Grasslands and Holistic Planned Grazing.

The first 30 people to register will get one free night’s stay with meals!

This two-day program is being co-sponsored by Washington Family Ranch (WFR), Country Natural Beef (CNB) and the Pacific Northwest Center for Holistic Management (PNCHM).

Conference Program

Register Here

Roots of Resilience Conference

Healing Qualities of Dirt

I came across this interesting article about the healing powers of dirt. I always felt I was healthier than my city friends. Now there is proof!

http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/the-surprising-healing-qualities-of-dirt

 

Healing the Planet

Welcome to the website of the Pacific Northwest Center for Holistic Management new2(PNCHM). We are part of a global network of organizations inspired by the Savory Institute to promote the large-scale restoration of the world’s grasslands using properly managed livestock. PNCHM is in honored to be in the first “class” of hubs and is in the process of accreditation to do this important work.       new1   Our group is no stranger to Holistic Management. Several people on our team have been long time members of Managing Change Northwest – a group of Holistic Management educators, consensus facilitators and field professionals working throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We joined forces early in 2012 with several other professionals and activists to explore how to best improve the grasslands, farms, and ranches in our region. Our hope is that by rejuvenating grasslands through a holistic approach to managing land and livestock, we can sequester carbon, reduce climate change, improve relationships

between ranchers and agencies, and help farmers/ranchers stay in a sustainable and viable business. An additional benefit of these is to help improve local economies and support local sustainable food systems.   Rejuvenating Grasslands   PNCHM representatives have already begun speaking at conferences, participating in trade shows, and presenting workshops. We are in the process of seeking and establishing demonstration and learning sites throughout the diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Watch this blog for announcements of training and other activities!   This is the beginning of a journey for us. We hope you will join us along the way to a healthier environment, happier people, and more stable farms, businesses and local economies.