Holistic Management in Practice Course

Facilitated by rangeland consultant and educator Kirk Gadzia

Course Content:
Upon completion of the course you can expect to have a working knowledge of how to manage holistically. The first 3 days of the course are on understanding and using the Holistic Management® model to achieve your goals. Understanding and managing the ecosystem is stressed, as well as the tools available to you to influence your financial, land and people resources. The course gives you the specific techniques you need to help you significantly improve your ability to make better decisions in your business. The advanced session builds on the information in the first session. In the next 3 days participants work through case studies detailing financial, grazing and land planning.

Course Facilitator:
Kirk Gadzia is a Certified Educator with the Holistic Management International. He has over 20 years experience teaching the concepts of Holistic Management® worldwide. Combined with his extensive international consulting work on many agricultural operations, he is uniquely qualified to help you achieve your learning objectives. Kirk is co-author of the important National Academy of Sciences book: Rangeland Health. He holds a BS degree in Wildlife Biology and an MS in Range Science. Kirk works directly with producers to achieve profitability in their operations. He also provides customized training and consulting to a wide variety of conservation organizations. Years of assisting people on the land helps Kirk approach the course in an interactive, hands-on style. His courses are known for a relaxed atmosphere, open dialogue and practical real-life examples.

Why Holistic Management®?:
Holistic Management® is most easily defined by simply adding W to the word holistic. This describes what the process does - helps us manage Whole situations rather than perceived parts. Managing the whole gives better results and fewer unexpected problems. Many publications today are filled with gloomy forecasts about agriculture and the environment. Yet, there are few who offer realistic solutions that strengthen both our economy and communities. To reverse this trend we must do it with the people already on the land. Holistic Management gives human values a priority, while creating profit through proven financial planning procedures and ecosystem enhancement techniques.

Learn How To:


  • Eliminate unnecessary costs

  • Create new wealth from your resources

  • Plan and achieve a profit

  • Analyze new and existing enterprises for their contribution to the entire operation

  • Increase production on your land

  • Why most people actually plan for non-profitability and what the three keys are to reversing this tendency


  • How to "Leave it better than you found it"

  • Improve rainfall effectiveness, increase production and regenerate soil health

  • Enrich plant and wildlife diversity

  • Reduce dependency on outside inputs

  • Create a detailed grazing plan that enhances both your production and landscape goals


  • Set realistic goals and achieve your desired quality of life

  • Improve family and employee harmony and involvement

  • Prepare for managed succession of the business into the next generation

  • Learn leadership skills that create true involvement

  • Understand the key communication skills that lead to effective management

Potential Topics for Customized Courses include some of the following (or add additional topics you feel are important to your situation):

  • Contrast conventional and Holistic Management approaches to management.

  • Belief systems or "paradigms" blocking progress and how to change them.

  • Why some environments depend on disturbance to remain healthy.

  • How to transform livestock impacts to positively affect land health.

  • Defining and managing the entire resource - Finances, People and Land.

  • Ecosystem functioning. Working with nature’s principles rather an against them.

  • How to make rainfall more effective and productive.

  • How to read the language of the land and determine its health.

  • Why land health determines long term profitability and sustainability.

  • Review holistic decision-making process.

  • The goal setting process. Setting the stage for better management.

  • The team approach and organizational development principles. Working with your entire team to achieve your goals.

  • Defining and detailing the entire range of tools available to manage the ecosystem.

  • How to use each tool to produce the results you want.

  • Field visit to observe principles covered in training sessions.

  • Monitoring the health of land, how to know if land is improving or deteriorating.

  • Using ADA’s and SDA’s to estimate production and forage reserves.

  • Recording monitoring results in photo-points and data transects.

  • Monitoring growth rates of grazed plants to control recovery periods.

  • Testing guidelines. How to insure that a tool will be correctly used to achieve your whole goal.

  • Using the testing guidelines through actual examples from participants.

  • Overview of the holistic financial and grazing planning process.

  • Defining wealth relative to goals, and defining the sources of wealth.

  • The psychological aspects of profit.

  • How to plan for a profit. Why most people are actually planning for non-profitability.

    • Gross Profit Analysis - evaluating the health of your enterprises to choose the most profitable.

  • Understanding Stock Flow and herd size considerations. Accurate prediction of income and expenses associated with sales and purchases.

  • Creating new wealth from solar energy, making "solar" dollars.

  • How to monitor and control your plan to achieve profitability.

  • Dealing with tax consequences, depreciation and replacement.

  • Planning for the growing season - how to grow the maximum amount of forage on available rainfall.

  • How to coordinate grazing plans with wildlife, recreation, forestry and other land uses.

  • Incorporating special circumstances in your grazing plan: poisonous plants, erosion, brush encroachment, public lands grazing allotments, livestock nutrition, etc.

    • Planning dormant season grazing - how to best ration forage to reduce costs and maximize animal and land performance.

  • Identify and define the three phases of land planning.

  • Gathering the information needed to plan correctly.

  • How to plan creatively to develop a variety of land use options.

  • Evaluating and choosing the best land plan.