Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 Healthy Farms Conference Breakout Sessions I

Breakout Sessions
Friday February 14th. 2014 10:30am

Holistic Financial Planning; Planning toward a profitable future. 
Ralph Tate

Profit, as well as success, is not something we typically just “stumble into”. There are far more ways to lose money than make it. Holistic Management has been successful in helping people focus on their aspirations and in reaching their goals profitably. This workshop introduces you to some of the key aspects of Holistic Management Financial Planning. Planning is a skill that is honed with practice. Come join us and see where your financial planning skills need to be honed!

About Ralph Tate: 
Ralph is an engineer, served a career in the Air Force and worked in the aerospace industry for over 12 years. Ralph became interested in sustainable agriculture after a friend shared Joel Salatin’s book, You Can Farm. Since then, Ralph has read extensively on sustainable agriculture, health and nutrition, and the importance of nutrient dense foods, such as grassfed beef. Ralph and his wife, Carolyn, are graduates of the first Nebraska Farm Beginnings class in 2006. He became a Holistic Management Certified Educator in 2010. During his CE training, he developed grazing planning software following Allan Savory’s approach to planned grazing. This software is now offered through Holistic Management International and has been purchased around the world. Ralph is currently a member of the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society and a beekeeper. Carolyn comes from a family who has farmed in Jefferson County for over three generations. Ralph and Carolyn bought part of her family’s farm, had it certified organic in 2008, and use it to custom graze cattle. They have four children and four grandsons.

The Nuts and Bolts of Using Cover Crops. 
Dale Strickler

Cover crops can be used to manage soil moisture, fix nitrogen, provide forage, and increase soil organic matter.   We will discuss which cover crops and management systems work best in semiarid areas.  The most successful agriculture systems are those that mimic and improve upon the natural ecosystems of an area. Unfortunately, the predominate agriculture systems in much of the country are far removed from natural systems, and thus require large amounts of inputs in order to be successful. Looking to the Short Grass prairie for inspiration, we can design agriculture systems that improve upon our current farming practices.

About Dale:
Currently employed in sales as an agronomist for Star Seed in Osborne KS. Dale has worked with farmers and ranchers in the Great Plains from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border on forage systems and cover cropping.  Currently he works with 100 agriculture retailers and the customers.  He started cover cropping on rented ground in 1988 and bought his first farm in 2000 and converted it from a furrow irrigated corn farm to a subsurface drip irrigated, management intensive grazing operation.  His farm carries roughly 100 cow calf pairs on 136 acres.  Cover cropping has become an integral part of his own operation, and that of many of the farmers he works with.  He often hears farmers say their biggest cover crop regret is that they did not start sooner!

Adaptive Management for Whooping Cranes, Least Terns, & Piping Plovers on the Central Platte River. 
Jason Farnsworth

This presentation will focus on the process of adaptive management on the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program’s 10,000 acres of habitat in central Nebraska. The Program invests in annual research and monitoring that provide critical information about the habitats these endangered species use and how well they fare while they are here. In turn, we use that data along with physical process monitoring and monitoring to design, implement, and adjust habitat creation and management experiments. When it works, this iterative process of learning by doing is a great way to make progress in the face of uncertainty. However, effectively incorporating science learning into resource decision-making is tricky business and will factor heavily into the ultimate success or failure of the Program.

About Jason:
Jason is a Nebraska native who grew up splitting his time between the Nebraska panhandle and the family ranch in northeast Colorado. He began his professional career at an engineering consulting firm and specialized in working with landowners to improve water quality and fishery habitat in public reservoirs. In his current role as Director of Technical Services for the Platte River Program, he oversees agricultural operations, habitat restoration, and endangered species research projects on 10,000 Sacres of Program lands along the Platte River between Grand Island and Lexington.

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