- freely available
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061848
2.1. Holistic Management Principles, Practices and Debates
2.2. Systems Thinking and Agroecology
2.3. Adaptive Grazing as Systems Thinking
3. Materials and Methods
4.1. The Trainers
4.2. The Training
“… what I believe determines what I do, what I do determines the result I get, and the reason I bring that up is because the biggest challenge of teaching anybody anything about grass is to shift the way they see the world”.(US10)
“understanding that everything is interconnected, that we can’t just focus on one single goal unless we’ve done the deeper background work about … how everything relates to everything else”.(US04)
“It’s not a factory system, we always have to deal with natural challenges and biological challenges, and so the one thing that we want people to understand is that you, in order to be highly successful at farming and ranching, and highly profitable, then you must learn how to be adaptive in your approach, on a day to day basis, not prescriptive”.(US09)
“That people have permission to make decisions. Permission to think ahead. That, that’s an issue for some people, that they can actually look at things differently, that they can be different, without, without judgement”.(US06)
“I consider myself not a teacher but a more knowledgeable other, and so the more knowledgeable other helps you to own that information. It’s not only just my information, it’s your information, that you own”.(US01)
4.3. The Trainees
“the richness of new ways of doing things, the new ways to think about things, comes from diversity… So, if you get a bunch of cowboys that think the same way, you know, you’re going to get the same result”.(US11)
“School’s always more interesting when there’s women because guys tend to be stupider when they’re among themselves, women tend to hold them accountable”.(US10)
“[the participants] really liked that it was just women, you know, that creates a certain camaraderie and safe space and, you know, all the good things that can happen when you get a group of women in a room”.(US04)
“… if you’ve got a federal grazing lease, and it’s tens of thousands of acres, and you’re suggesting that they’ve got to go move the animals frequently, that means that they have to saddle up … go out and beat the heck out of … a dusty hot day, and by the time they’re finished with that day they’ve got half, or you know, say three quarters of the animals moved … Okay, and that was just one day … and if you’re talking about moving a couple times a week, you know, you’re out of your mind”.(US11)
” … one of the tenets is moving your livestock at least once every day, okay. And initially most people their first impression is, oh my God, impossible, can’t do that, takes way too much time, way too much labour, too much cost, are you kidding me? You’re asking me to add that much to what I already have to do on a day-to-day basis? But when we take them out into the field and show them just how easy this is to do, you know, you can move a thousand head, building the paddock and moving them, in fifteen minutes, a thousand head”.(US09)
“… [if] I’ve got young kids, I want to spend [time with] them—and when I’m on machinery all the time the kids can’t help me but if I got to walk out to the pasture and get the cows … the kids can go with me … there’s usually some hook that’s got them interested”.(US02)
“So while you might look at it and say well, gee, these people really benefited because they did A, B, C, somebody else might’ve not made a big change, but they got the change that they needed. So I’m a strong believer that everybody benefits depending where they are in their life, what they need, they take what they need out of the course”.(CA08)
This issue complicated the question of adoption rates, and estimates varied widely. Some trainers could not even guess; other estimates ranged from “very low” (<5%) to “very high” (90–100%), and everything in between.“the word holistic assumes that you’re managing the whole enchilada simultaneously, as imperfect as you may be doing it, managing the whole enchilada imperfectly is going to be hands down [better than] managing parts of it perfectly”.(US06)
“when you’re in a small town … if you start thinking differently you kind of start to lose your community, and we’re human beings, we must have community, and so people after awhile just quit doing it”.(CA02)
“you can make way more money sitting at your kitchen table planning stuff than you can out in the field, but everybody’d rather be out in the field”.(CA02)
“there’s a lot of managerial decisions and a lot of people don’t want to put that much effort into it. Don’t want to be responsible. Just tell me what to do”.(US02)
5.1. Fluidity and Adoption of the Adaptive Grazing Concept
5.2. Paradigm Shifts and Holism
5.3. Adaptive Grazing and Gender
Conflicts of Interest
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|Section Title||Related Interview Questions|
|The trainers||How did you come to teach or mentor this approach?|
How many people have you trained in the past?
|The training||What are the major topics/lessons of your grazing training? |
What is the one key lesson that you hope all of your trainees grasp?
Do you consider your training to align with HM (as described by Allan Savory)?
|The trainees||How would you describe the people that you usually train? |
Are they themselves ranchers?
What type of operations do they usually have?
Are they typically men or women?
How old are they?
Are the trainees usually individuals, families, or teams?
Why do people take the training?
|Learning||Are the trainees typically familiar with holistic or adaptive concepts already? |
If so, what areas are they usually familiar with?
What concepts are usually new to people?
Do trainees ever struggle with the adaptive concepts you teach?
If so, what concepts are most difficult for them to grasp?
What concepts are the easiest for most people to grasp?
|Adoption||Do you keep track of your trainees after their time with you? |
If so, what kind of adoption rate do you observe?
What do you think causes that adoption rate?
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