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Upcoming Courses & Events

2017

We are currently scheduling the program for 2017, so please keep checking back here for additions BUT ALSO please sign up to the mailing list on the home page AND register your interest for any events you would like to attend which are listed but not yet scheduled; this is of great help to us in conserving valuable resources - so that we can have a sense of demand.

2017 Schedule:

16th-18th January, Worcestershire - Holistic Management; Financial and Grazing Planning with Tony McQuail and Rob Havard, co-sponsored by Holistic Management International (HMI).

18th February, Wark Town Hall, Front street, Wark, Hexham, Northumberland, NE48 3LG - Animal Herbal Medicine with Kate Scott

21st March, Sheepdrove Organic Farm Eco-Conference Centre, Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn, Berkshire, RG17 7UU - Soil Health; A Living Perspective with Joel Williams

We are also expecting to continue providing soil food web educational opportunities, and to put on more Holistic Management Open-Gates like the one last June, as well as develop a few new educational opportunities.

 

Holistic Management® Introduction, Financial and Grazing Planning

Holistic Management grazing

An Introduction to Holistic Management with specific focus on Financial and Grazing Planning

with Tony McQuail, and Rob Havard

Co-sponsored by Holistic Management International (HMI)Holistic management international

16th-18th January, 2017, Three Parishes Village Hall, Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire, WR7 4PG

Would you like to increase the health and productivity of your land and animals?

As a farmer or land manager you know that one of your greatest assets is the land you work with, and managing that land can be tough due to weather conditions, environmental pressures and high input costs, and farming is still a business.  This course was designed to help you regenerate your land for better soil health, bio-diversity, productivity and profitability through the practice of Holistic Planned Grazing and Holistic Financial Planning.  We know that to create a sustainable, healthy agricultural enterprise, you need to run it like a business and we've created this course to give both new and experienced farmers and land managers the knowledge and tools they need to do just that.

Holistic Management is a farm planning and decision making process developed to help farmers and land managers achieve a triple bottom line of healthy land, people and profits. It has a full toolbox of planning resources to help farmers reach this goal. In this three day workshop we will be focusing on the Financial Planning and Planned Grazing systems and will highlight the key features of each which make them so effective.

In the Planned Grazing portion participants will learn how to develop a grazing planning paddock map, use a forage assessment worksheet, establish their grazing priorities, and determine the considerations they need to keep in mind when planning their grazing and use a grazing planning chart.  This will include use of the concept of Animal Units to evaluate pasture productivity and plan paddock utilization and moves.
There will also be an opportunity to visit a local farm to see Holistic Management grazing principles and concepts in the field.  

In the Financial Planning sessions they will learn how to assess their net worth, use the chain of production and weak link analysis with individual enterprises, understand the value of the gross profit analysis in assessing their overall farm operation and the use of the financial planning chart to anticipate cash flow during the year.

This is an active hands-on course and by the end of the three days you will have the resources to return home and complete your own financial plan and grazing plan for your operation.  Being a participatory workshop, registrants are encouraged to bring questions and information about their own operation which they can use during the workshop to develop resources they can use when they return to their farm.

Tony McQuailTony McQuail is the workshop leader. He and his wife, Fran, have operated a mixed livestock farm since 1973 in the rolling hills of Huron County, Ontario, Canada inland from Lake Huron (https://meetingplaceorganicfarm.ca/). They are in the process of transitioning their farm to their younger daughter, Katrina.

McQuail credits the Holistic Management Course they took in 1995 as being transformative for their farm family and a major reason their daughter wants to return to the farm.

“The course helped us develop a farm that was profitable, enjoyable and improving ecologically. We were able to manage the farm so that it felt like the farm was working for us – not us slaving for the farm.”

McQuail is a founding member of the Ecological Farmer’s Association of Ontario which has been providing farmer to farmer education, farm tours and courses for over 35 years.

 

The Course will include:

Financial planning
- Introduction to the key concepts and steps in financial planning.
- Planning for profit and paying yourself first.
- Using the enterprise weak link analysis to prioritize expenses to generate new wealth.
- Develop an appreciation for the power of “planning, monitoring, controlling and re-planning” as an approach which can keep a financial plan on track to meet a farm family’s larger goals.
 
Planned Grazing
- Introduction to the key concepts in Holistic Management Planned Grazing.
- Discussion of recovery periods and how to manage livestock to improve both pastures and livestock performance.
- Use of the Planned Grazing Chart and how to use the concept of Animal Units to evaluate pasture productivity and plan paddock utilization and moves.
 
HMI will issue certificates according to attendance.

Click here for a review of the course by Sam Berry, for Indie Farmer.

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Animal Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicines

with Kate Scott Bsc (hons) Herbal Medicine MNIMH,

Sat 18th February 2017

Wark Town Hall, Front street, Wark, Hexham, Northumberland, NE48 3LG

With 23 years farming experience in both conventional and organic systems, and an honours degree in Herbal Medicine Kate combines her passions in her work on a 2500 acre organic, pasture fed farm with pigs, cattle, sheep and chickens, all kept in the best of health with diverse grazing and treated as naturally as possible should the need arise. This one day workshop will give you an understanding of maintaining health within your animals whether you have 2 acres or 2000 and some effective first aid treatments which are both easy and safe to administer which Kate has developed over many years, with a workshop handout, practical session and samples to take home.

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Soil Health; A Living Perspective

Soil nutrient managementOptimising Soil Management for Productivity (6 BASIS points; 2E, 1GM, 3N)

with Joel Williams, 21st March

Sheepdrove Organic Farm Eco-Conference Centre, Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn, Berkshire, RG17 7UU

Joel was recommended to us by one of our farmers in the south-west and we ran a one-day workshop similar to this one in Devon back in February.  It sold out and participants went away wanting more, so we are repeating this 'foundation' material in other venues with a mind to then following this up with more in depth days which focus on specifics such as microscope work, disease management and compost teas.

Joel's cv is impressive and extensive (see his profile for greater detail), but in short, after focussing more strongly on the soil chemistry and nutrient balancing in Australia, he worked with Elaine Ingham at Laverstoke in the UK, inverting this and focussing more strongly on optimising the soil biology with a smaller focus on mineral management. Now he tends to take a middle road but is happy to deliver on whichever side the audience requires. He is particularly interested in the links between nutrition and pest and disease pressure and how nutrient corrections when supplemented with biological protection can be used to manage insect and disease problems, and after some time back in Australia, we are fortunate that he has now returned to England again.

Here are some of the things people said about the initial day we ran in February 2015:
"Superb course, would love to learn more"
"A well structured, interesting and inspiring day"
"It was a really interesting, informatibe and inspiring course... I'll definitely be putting some of what I have learned into practice both at home and at..."
"Really interesting and understandable talk on soil that actually helped me understand what to look for practically and get enthused about fungi!"
"A big subject nicely broken down into nicely digestible chunks"
"Very intersting/exciting - even for the amateur (I thought it may well go over my head, but I took in a lot)"
"Quality, trustworthy information delivered in a very understandable way.  Clarified a lot of the mysteries of soil biology"
"Excellent overview of soil biology and how to achieve better microbial health.  Relevant for all audiences interesting in farming."
"Absolutely fantastic day! Well worth the trip from Aberdeen" (and that was to South Devon...)
"Highly informative... Well structured... Applied knowledge..."

And here are some links to media articles about Joel/the day.

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Holistic Management® Collaborative Open-Gate

Holistic Planned Grazing: Cattle at Croome Park

Grazing for Long-term Resilience and Sustainable Profit

with Philip BubbRob Havard, Matt Clegg, and Russ Carrington

Sponsored by Holistic Management International (HMI)Holistic management international

Croome Court, Croome D'Abitot, Nr High Green, Worcester, WR8 9DW

Wednesday 29th June, 2016 (please note change of date due to clash with Agricology Open Day)

This is a unique opportunity to dip your toes into the world of Holistic Management and Planned Grazing, and explore it's potential to enhance your farming/land management practice.  We are incredibly fortunate to have a selection of high calibre presenters from varying backgrounds, who will discuss and demonstrate the benefits of a Holistic approach to farming and land management and how it can return benefits at a farm as well as catchment scale - and within management structures too.  We are also expecting a broad spectrum of experienced attendees, so this will be an integrated learning experience and we trust that as with our other events, the networking potential will be as invaluable as the learning.

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Stewarding Your Soil

Zach Stewarding your soil courseHow to Manage the Beneficial Organisms In and For Your Soil

with Zach Wright

more dates and venues tbc; please email to express interest

This course is an very unusual opportunity to cover the basics of The Soil Food Web, in a condensed and practical format, building the compost pile, making compost tea and having a go at microscope work ourselves, all under the guidance of Zach Wright, one of only three Soil Life Consultants certified by Dr Elaine Ingham.

Since Zach will be returning to the US in May, the course has had to be arranged at short notice, and participant numbers are strictly limited (to 12 in order to ensure that there is enough personal attention, especially during the microscope sessions).

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