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Holistic Management® Introduction, Financial and Grazing Planning

Holistic Management grazingPlease note that this is an example from earlier in the year for reference; we intend to run similar events later in 2017/2018; please register your interest if appropriate.

An Introduction to Holistic Management with specific focus on Financial and Grazing Planning

with Tony McQuail, and Rob Havard

Co-sponsored by Holistic Management International (HMI)Holistic management international

16th-18th January, 2017, Three Parishes Village Hall, Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire, WR7 4PG

Would you like to increase the health and productivity of your land and animals?

As a farmer or land manager you know that one of your greatest assets is the land you work with, and managing that land can be tough due to weather conditions, environmental pressures and high input costs, and farming is still a business.  This course was designed to help you regenerate your land for better soil health, bio-diversity, productivity and profitability through the practice of Holistic Planned Grazing and Holistic Financial Planning.  We know that to create a sustainable, healthy agricultural enterprise, you need to run it like a business and we've created this course to give both new and experienced farmers and land managers the knowledge and tools they need to do just that.

Holistic Management is a farm planning and decision making process developed to help farmers and land managers achieve a triple bottom line of healthy land, people and profits. It has a full toolbox of planning resources to help farmers reach this goal. In this three day workshop we will be focusing on the Financial Planning and Planned Grazing systems and will highlight the key features of each which make them so effective.

In the Planned Grazing portion participants will learn how to develop a grazing planning paddock map, use a forage assessment worksheet, establish their grazing priorities, and determine the considerations they need to keep in mind when planning their grazing and use a grazing planning chart.  This will include use of the concept of Animal Units to evaluate pasture productivity and plan paddock utilization and moves.
There will also be an opportunity to visit a local farm to see Holistic Management grazing principles and concepts in the field.  

In the Financial Planning sessions they will learn how to assess their net worth, use the chain of production and weak link analysis with individual enterprises, understand the value of the gross profit analysis in assessing their overall farm operation and the use of the financial planning chart to anticipate cash flow during the year.

This is an active hands-on course and by the end of the three days you will have the resources to return home and complete your own financial plan and grazing plan for your operation.  Being a participatory workshop, registrants are encouraged to bring questions and information about their own operation which they can use during the workshop to develop resources they can use when they return to their farm.

Tony McQuailTony McQuail is the workshop leader. He and his wife, Fran, have operated a mixed livestock farm since 1973 in the rolling hills of Huron County, Ontario, Canada inland from Lake Huron (https://meetingplaceorganicfarm.ca/). They are in the process of transitioning their farm to their younger daughter, Katrina.

McQuail credits the Holistic Management Course they took in 1995 as being transformative for their farm family and a major reason their daughter wants to return to the farm.

“The course helped us develop a farm that was profitable, enjoyable and improving ecologically. We were able to manage the farm so that it felt like the farm was working for us – not us slaving for the farm.”

McQuail is a founding member of the Ecological Farmer’s Association of Ontario which has been providing farmer to farmer education, farm tours and courses for over 35 years.


The Course will include:

Financial planning
- Introduction to the key concepts and steps in financial planning.
- Planning for profit and paying yourself first.
- Using the enterprise weak link analysis to prioritize expenses to generate new wealth.
- Develop an appreciation for the power of “planning, monitoring, controlling and re-planning” as an approach which can keep a financial plan on track to meet a farm family’s larger goals.
Planned Grazing
- Introduction to the key concepts in Holistic Management Planned Grazing.
- Discussion of recovery periods and how to manage livestock to improve both pastures and livestock performance.
- Use of the Planned Grazing Chart and how to use the concept of Animal Units to evaluate pasture productivity and plan paddock utilization and moves.
HMI will issue certificates according to attendance.

What people said last time:

' Extremely valuable experience - I have both learned a lot from the course but also from other participants.  I will be heading away with a new confidence and even more enthusiasm than I had when I arrived.  I also found the farm walk extremely useful as you were able to physically see what had previously been discussed - invaluable for a novice.'

'The course is fantastic, inspirational and thought provoking.  I came in being unsure whether it would help - but was keen to learn and listen.  I think the general concepts can be widely used in many aspects of life.  Understanding mob grazing in more detail (especially about recovery times) will help me set up the system on my own farm.'

'Common sense approach to grazing and financial management'

'A revolutionary experience that helped lots of us refreshingly pleased to be a farmer and excited about our opportunities to build brilliant lives for ourselves, our families and our planet.'

'Inspiring - hopeful - Practical'

'Inspirational and enlightening insight into the potential for sustainable and multi-beneficial agriculture.'

Tony McQuail 1'Good 3 days, packed full of info, amazing food!'

'Go and do it! It will open your eyes!'

'Daunting, refreshing, amazing, life changing, scary'

'It's a really good course which equips you with some really useful tools and set of guidelines/worksheets/plan sheets to facilitate & support "Financial & Grazing Planning". Tony was great, with personal experiences explained in context which I could relate to, also willing to answer all the questions, & bring sense of a "practicality" to the course.'

'It will pay for itself - great depth and range of practical knowledge applicable to much in life.'

 'Go and participate in something that may not be immediately obviously beneficial.  Its an eye opener'


Draft Schedule:
Day 1
Gather and introductions of participants - Introduction of instructor
Introduction to Holistic Management - a powerful tool box
The Holistic goal - and how to develop one for your operation
The Testing Questions - what they are and how to use them to move toward your Holistic goal.
Principles of Holistic Management planned grazing
Day 2
Putting the principles to work - Grazing priorities, Grazing Considerations, Paddock #’s & design, Forage Assessment, Grazing Planning Chart
Farm tour - Seeing grazing principles in practice (note the timing of the farm tour is weather dependent and may have to be elsewhere in the schedule)
Concluding Holistic Management planned grazing section - insights, questions, next steps
Introduction to Holistic Management Financial Planning
Day 3
Getting Started - Using Net Worth to track change - Planning for Profit - Enterprise Analysis
Chain of Production - Resource Conversion, Product Conversion, Market Conversion
Identifying the weak link in an enterprise chain of Production
Categorizing Expenses - Wealth Generating, Inescapable and Maintenance AND Overhead or Variable
Putting it all together - Worksheets and Financial Planning Chart
Concluding Circle and Course Evaluations
Our intention is that those who are able share in food preparation, a meal (for which a costs-based contribution will apply), and clear up afterwards (many hands light work and all that).  If we have a few people at a time helping with this then during free time participants can be supported on completing their 'homework' - compiling/refining their holistic goal; and getting into grazing and financial plans - and whatever other worksheets are applicable to their situation - and of course chatting and building the network which we need to sustain us all.
This will be somewhat curtailed on the second evening though, since we need to be out of the hall by 7:30 pm for a Parish Council meeting - so we'll head to the pub and conversations can continue there.
Rob Harvards cows

Fees (Booking Essential):

All fees include a £15 per day charge for full refreshments throughout the day including lunch; we will do our best to cater for medical diets when given appropriate warning.  We seek to source food 'regeneratively' where possible, so if you are able to contribute part of that please let us know well in advance (including pricing) and we will see whether we can incorporate your produce (and bring the course cost down a bit for you in the process).
Thanks to the support of HMI, we also have a limited bursary fund. The intention of these scholarships is dual purpose:
- To train those who would like to first learn and apply, and then share with others their Holistic Management experiences (perhaps by hosting a future training program) for the purpose of spreading the regenerative practice of Holistic Management.
- To allow spouses or partners of paying registrants to attend with their partner.
Standard Rate (for independent individuals): £345
Organisation/Institution/Business Rate (for representatives of larger organisations - those which will be taking their learning back to benefit a larger organisation, who are claiming the cost on the expenses of that organisation): £445

For those who both enroll before the Early Bird deadline (12th December) and fulfill the requirements for certification, HMI is additionally offering a free online ‘Getting Started’ class - note that there will also be a new Cropping Planning module available in early 2017. 


Please bring: appropriate clothing for the weather (remember that we will be outside for a significant amount of time - a hat is no doubt a good idea); clean boots (think biohazards); notebook and pens, and perhaps a camera; flask.

Booking: email Natasha or call 07866 674 205













Three Parishes Hall map