Thursday, July 21, 2011

Loving the Land

During the summer season we often enjoy having more guests to the ranch: from friends and relatives to horse clinic participants. This morning we had the pleasure of greeting a guest of a different kind. Brady Gibbons, a field advisor with Holistic Management International, stopped by to acquaint us with HMI's work. Headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this non-profit organization promotes sustainable land management practices for farmers and ranchers nationwide.

Sitting in the shade of cottonwoods near the arena Brady eloquently shared with us the mission of HMI. In addition to their consulting services to farmers and ranchers, they promote an ethic of caring for the land through four different educational programs. Kids on the Land, a program for children K-6, educates students about how the earth sustains life and ultimately food production. Gen Next is geared toward high school and college students and focuses on integrating Holistic Management principles into secondary and post-secondary school curriculum. Ag Town Turnaround is a new program that assesses the needs of depressed agricultural communities and then assist in the promoting local partnerships and policies based on Holistic Management principles with an emphasis on sustainable agriculture. The fourth program is for beginning farmers and ranchers with an emphasis on female farmers. This program's objective is to educate these farmers and ranchers about sustainable land management so they might be economically successful. Interestingly, 165,000 farms are run by women.

In his soft-spoken delivery, Brady communicated not only HMI's visionary work but also Brady's love and commitment to his work, one that I can only characterize as one of integrity and hope. Working toward sustainability of our land through holistic management and practices is not only vital to nationwide food production but to the life of our economy, our communities, and succeeding generations.

We look forward to Brady's next visit and further discussion on how the Kurtz Ranch might become more sustainable not only agriculturally, but for the next generation.

For more information on HMI, go to

Or contact Brady directly at

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