Making decisions

Lennox Louw, who raises cattle near Vryburg, South Africa, believes that being proactive, making a fundamental choice, is a must.

"Most people don't make any decisions, never mind holistically. Just get them to make a decision. Then go on from there."

Growing up on his father's ranch in Namibia, he learned from some Bushmen. "For them it's the whole that's most important, not the parts. There is nothing negative in nature for them. It all has a place. A snake -- they are afraid, and they leave it. They don't try to eliminate it."

"They dance in the evening around the fire, about an insect and its life."

"When they are on a track, they aren't just looking at the ground there. They look 2 meters up there, where a horn breaks a branch, over here, up there. They look 20 meters ahead. They see the whole situation."

Dave Duncan raises Angus cattle near Ellensburg. He says there are plenty of refinements, but these are the basics when making decisions:

  1. Look at the whole -- people, soil and biology, and dollars.
  2. Take a look at where you are.
  3. Take a look at where you want and need to be.
  4. Make some decisions.
  5. Monitor and learn.