As many of you know, we've been practicing some facsimile of Savory's holistic livestock management on our farm since 2012—to tremendous effect. Our yields are up. Our resiliency is up. The nutrition of our forage is up. Our sheep are incredibly healthy and now 100% grass-fed. Our dollars generated-per-acre is WAY up. And our inputs are...zero.
None of this would have been possible had I not stumbled across Allan Savory's TED Talk at 3am one night while bouncing my colicky baby boy and panicking about the state of our farm. The chain of events (and research and experiments) that started that night have transformed our farm and my life in amazing ways.
But, we can do better. I will admit that—while I did watch hundreds of videos on YouTube from holistic managers about the practice to learn the basics—I never read Mr. Savory's books. They're on my shelf collecting dust. They're formidable...and I'm a farmer with young children and vision problems. So there they sat.
Years ago, I was contacted by The Savory Institute and invited to apply to become one of the hubs in their network—an example farm and learning center for holistic management. It was very flattering, but, at the time, the cost of the training was more than we could cough up. So we did nothing.
More recently, an incredible farm not far from us—Stonewall Farm in Keene, NH—became a Savory Hub. We were thrilled for them—especially because they are a small dairy operation, and our area's dairies need this kind of innovation—and we reached out immediately to see if we could help in any way.
One thing led to another and we were very generously offered a full scholarship by New England Farmers' Union to attend Stonewall's first holistic management training intensive in May. With this training I will become a Savory Institute Holistic Management Accredited Professional, and (hopefully) satisfy the first training requirement in the process of making Studio Hill a Savory Influencer Hub. (I will have SO MANY more ecosystem-restoration tools in my regenerative-ag toolbox.)
I hate to leave the family and farm for nine days (especially during lambing season), but, I couldn't be more excited to attend the intensive—nor more grateful to the New England Farmers' Union for the chance.
I can see no other decision-making-framework today that, if adopted, could—as quickly—have such a huge impact on the global environmental catastrophes and challenges we face.
I will be blogging about the training throughout the course. So, if you're interested, stay tuned.
I don't know if we'll succeed or not in maintaining a planet that's inhabitable by humans. All we can do is get up every day and take on the challenge.
If you want to learn more about the training, or you want to join me, you can read about the intensive here on Stonewall's eventbrite page: Savory Institute Accredited Holistic Management Intensive.