Teaching Holistic Management so learners succeed

In 1991 I began teaching Holistic Management to farm and ranch families as a full-time occupation. I had received a Master of Agriculture degree that year, as well as becoming a Certified Educator in Holistic Management.

A matter of method: Merve Wilkinson's Wildwood Tree Farm

Peter Donovan photos
Wildwood forest


Wildwood Forest

BLM rents cattle for mine restoration

In a pioneering experiment in federal land management, a Bureau of Land Management team out of Baker City, Oregon has contracted with cattle ranchers to provide hoof action and organic matter to help restore an open-pit mine site to productivity. The hope is that 200 cows, temporary electric fencing to concentrate the animals, a water system, 130 tons of grass hay, over 40 tons of straw, and seeding with native grasses, forbs, and shrubs will create results that previous restoration efforts--including seeding--have not.

Collision: nature as domain vs. nature as process

The crisis of sustainability is the central drama of our time. Are humans part of nature, or somehow separate?

There are two views or perspectives on nature, and as a result there is little listening/communication between people who hold differing views. What follows is an attempt at description, parody, or stereotyping of these two belief systems. Corrections and amplifications would be welcome.

1.   The view of what I will call "mainstream environmentalism" or "modernism"

Restoring a nonfunctioning waterway

Summary: Faced with invasive weeds, the managers of Boomerang Farm used holistic decision-making to create an environment that favors the plants we want.

Joy Livingwell
Norman Neave
Norman Neave

An evolution, not an event: how the WSU/Kellogg project started and where it's going

Don Nelson is the principal architect and project director of the WSU/Kellogg holistic management training project. The following are excerpts from a recent conversation.

LINKED: Network science and the diffusion of innovations

Physicist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi's new book Linked: The New Science of Networks demolishes many of the assumptions about networks--human, computer, and biological--that have prevailed, often unconsciously, for a long time.

Networks consist of nodes and links. In social networks for example, people are the nodes, and relationships are the links. That networks consist of a more-or-less random arrangement of nodes and links is often assumed.

How to build new topsoil

Summary: Several centimeters of topsoil per year can form under favorable conditions, which good management can create. This article explains how.

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself" (Roosevelt 1937)


The future for Australia depends on the future of our soil.

Older posts

News and links from April 2001 to April 2002

Understanding dryland salinity

An article by Christine Jones:

Monitoring farms for progress toward sustainability

Summary: Web graphs, a monitoring tool from Cuba, can track progress toward sustainability of a whole, not just its pieces. They can monitor concerns implicit or expressed in the Holistic Management testing questions, and much more.

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