The eight day course facilitated by one of Australia’s top educators, Brian Wehlburg, will be delivered in four, two day sessions on a monthly basis until September. It begins on June 17 at the South Coast NRM Learning Centre, 39 Mercer Road.
Holistic management was first developed by Banksia and Buckminster Fuller Challenge award winner Allan Savory more than 40 years ago and globally, has been applied to around 12 million ha.
It has been credited with being one of the world’s most promising methods of sustainable agricultural management and decision making, but until recently, training opportunities have largely been restricted to the eastern states.
Holistic management is more than a rotational grazing method for managing livestock, focussing more on identifying and addressing the core issues that affect environmental, financial and social performance.
Many of the 3,000 Australians who have undertaken the training speak of a new found confidence in understanding how they can best manage for sustainable and long term gain.
“Once we started following the methods and teachings properly, we found that our pasture growth improved, moisture retention is better, pasture mix is better and we feel more at ease with what we are doing on the farms,” Torbay farmer Mike Shipley said.
“Financially, we’re more comfortable now we’re working closer to the way the system teaches,” he said.
The gaining popularity of this holistic approach can be attributed to its proven ability to improve water retention and stocking capacity, reduce erosion and increase the ongoing profitability of farming land in a short amount of time.
Although developed primarily for this reason, the effectiveness of holistic management as a decision making tool has seen the methodology applied at universities as well as government and non-government organisations with great success.
Session 1: 17/18 June : Introduction, history of Holistic Management and its success, how we think and change – power of paradigms, ecosystem function – how nature functions holistically, incorporating livestock as a tool for making change to our environment, diagnosing the root cause of problems, what is causing biodiversity loss.
Session 2: 29/30 July: Review ecosystem function and the tools, Holistic Diagnosis of environmental problems, The change process – how people change, personal profiling – what moves you, conventional decision making, Holistic Context formation and goal setting, discovering the testing matrix, testing decisions using a testing matrix, testing decisions – personal examples, time management.
Session 3: 26/27 August: Review and photos, mastering the basics for Holistic grazing planning, feed budgets and plant monitoring, paddock walk and practical feed budgeting, complete case study for growing and non-growing season grazing plans, complete personal grazing plan, electronic spreadsheets for grazing planning.
Session 4: 16/17 September: Introduction to Holistic financial planning, small business financial plan example, communication exercises, review non-growing grazing plan, biological monitoring theory, paddock walk – set up a bio-monitoring site, introduction to Holistic land planning and key line, review, evaluation.
Ongoing telephone, email and teleconference support will be provided through the duration of the course to assist with implementation of the lessons.
The eight day course conducted two days per month over four months from June to September including study materials and textbooks is ,480. This fee includes a generous subsidy provided by South Coast NRM through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. Cost for a second participant from the same property is 60.
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