Managing for Today and the Future

 

MSU Extension, Pondera County will bring Roland Kroos with Crossroads Ranch Consulting, to Conrad January 30th through February 2nd to teach Principles of Holistic Management.  Roland has been involved with teaching holistic management principles for over 30 years and helping ranchers practice these management concepts. Roland received his training alongside Allan Savory, the founder of Holistic Management®. Roland is also one of the instructors teaching holistic management at Montana State University.  Registration is available online at Cross Roads Ranch Consulting .

chase-hayden-waist-high-grass
This is the growth and regrowth you can expect when you manage your land in a holistic fashion. Chase Hayden is standing in waist high grass. This ranch is stocked a 150% of the NRCS suggested stocking rates. 

Shaelyn Meyer, Pondera County Ag Extension Agent, took Roland’s Holistic Management Course as an undergraduate at MSU. Here is what she has to say about the education she received: “The course really changed the way I think about decision making. Ecological health of the land, animal health, profit, quality of life… they are all connected, if you forget about one of these aspects of your ranching business, sooner or later that weak link will cause problems. Next semester I’m enrolled in the online, graduate level holistic management class that Roland helps teach as part of my coursework for my master’s degree. I’m really excited for the class and this seminar as well.”

400-head-of-cattle-grazing-150-acre
Over 400 cows and calves in a 150 acre pasture. Note how they are spread out through the whole pasture. They will graze this for 3-5 days.  Intensive grazing in not the same as over grazing and require careful monitoring. 

 

Maggie Nutter, the President of the Marias River Livestock Association, who attended a presentation by Kroos at the 2015 Montana Bison Association Winter Meeting states, “Roland gave a short 45 minute workshop on how grazing affects the individual plants growth and ability to produce forage from one year to the next.   He explained the grazing concepts so a rancher can understand and act on them and he had a ton of good pictures.  Some of us learn best through visualization.

 

chase-hayden-collecting-pasture-monitoring-data
This pasture was grazed by the large cow herd. They removed approximately 40-50% of the forage in 5 days.  Chase and Dave Hayden are collecting pasture monitoring data.  A history of use and results in an key part of holistic management. 

This will also be a great follow up for people attending the Montana’s Next Generation Conference which will have David Pratt, Ranching for Profit as a speaker. As much as we love the farm and ranching lifestyle, truth is we need to earn a profit to maintain it.  It is important to learn what is out there that can help us keep our ranches running.  “

Roland founded his private consulting firm, Crossroads Ranch Consulting, in 1992 and has been working with individuals and groups alike as a facilitator of Holistic Management® ever since. His enthusiasm and deep thinking will challenge your paradigms; yet help you develop confidence in holistic decision-making. He has hands on experience in ranch/farm management and will share real-life examples of holistic management in action.

bale-grazing
Bale Grazing is an efficient way to renovate/improve pastures in the winter time. Roland is working with ranchers in Canada, Montana, and North Dakota who are bale grazing. They place the hay were they want to use in in late fall and use electric fence to allow access to the amount of bales to last 3-5 days.  The concentration of manure, urine and trampled forage results in improved forage the next year.  Chad Njos, Rhame, ND has had winters when he doesn’t have to start the tractor from December to February except to push snow from the drive way. 
summer-after-bale-grazing
You can see in this photo where the cattle grazed the bales last winter. Twice the forage production in those areas due to the increased organic matter layered on. 

Throughout the four days of this workshop, participants will:

  • Learn how to develop a business plan based on the trinity of management.
  • Learn how to match the biological cycles of livestock with the environment they are raised in.
  • Learn how livestock graze plants and how you can reduce (stop) the overgrazing.
  • Learn how to plan for profit in any livestock market.
  • Learn how to integrate livestock and cover crops into your farm program.
  • Learn how to empower a management team that is creative and flexible.
  • Learn how to manage and control Livestock with cost effective fencing and water improvements.
  • Learn how to create wildlife habitat and abundant feed through planned grazing.
  • Learn how to make decisions that are financially, ecologically and socially sound.

The class will be capped at 25 attendees, so please don’t wait to register. The cost of the seminar requires a personal investment of $575 for yourself, and $425 for each additional team member you bring with you. There is a partial scholarship of $350 available for a young or beginning producer to attend the class. This scholarship was sponsored by the Pondera County Conservation District, Stockman Bank and MSU Extension. If you are interested in applying for this scholarship, contact Shaelyn Meyer at (406)-271-4053 or email shaelyn.meyer@montana.edu. You may register for the seminar online www.crossroadsranchconsulting.com/educational-services

 

 

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