Professional Development – Holistic Management Training

Project Overview

ENC02-063
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2002: $146,300.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $79,500.00
Region: North Central
State:
Project Coordinator:
Benjamin Bartlett
Michigan State University

Annual Reports

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, agricultural finance
  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, community services

    Abstract:

    Summary: Eleven of the twelve SARE supported people completed the training and have become Certified Holistic Management® Educators. The post project evaluation indicated that the participants could teach the core components of Holistic Management® well or extremely well. They said they were not as confident to teach the management guidelines or tools of the Holistic Management® Model. This learning was extended to over 200 people in learning groups with over 2/3 of the learning group participants creating a holistic goal. There has been an informal network of NCR educators created and extension educators are more active as compared to campus based or NGO individuals.

    Project objectives:

    Short Term Outcomes

    1. Educator Awareness: Candidates understand the importance and usefulness of individual farmers and community members considering the “whole” making decisions and developing plans that move their community and farming practices as a whole towards greater vitality and sustainability.

    2. Educator Knowledge: Candidates learn how to use the Holistic Management for decision making, holistic goal setting and planning and monitoring processes. Candidates establish and facilitate Holistic Management to Learning Groups composed of farmers, agricultural professionals and other community members.

    3. Educator Attitudes: Candidates begin to experience a paradigm shift after learning how to define the whole under management: (a) be defining the decision makers as people who make decisions, and those who have veto power; (b) by considering people as part of their resource base by determining who influences their decisions and who is influenced/effected by their decisions and by (c) learning there is no “right” way but only a best decision and the need to monitor and replan.

    4. Educator Skills: Candidates learn how to: incorporate a variety of learning styles into their facilitation skills; learn Holistic Management decision-making and planning processes; learn similarities/differences regarding issues of concern, what worked/did not in the Northeast.

    Intermediate Outcomes

    Educator Behavior and Practice

    1. Candidates meet with Learning Groups and facilitate the learning and use of Holistic Management to help groups develop plans for farms, ranches, food systems, forest stewardship, conservation, watersheds and other issues of relevance to the community.

    2. Candidates make presentations with members of their Learning Groups during conferences and during other relevant events during the second year of project.

    3. Candidates monitor implementation of plans of Learning Groups- help replan when indicated.

    4. Candidates consult with each other, their Learning Groups, and the greater community network to insure and sustain the on going work of Learning Groups and the regional network of Holistic Management practitioners. Candidates coordinate case study documentation to include information useful and relevant to the needs and expectations of the Learning Groups as well as the greater community.

    5. Candidates work with their Learning Groups to produce documentation of the plans they have designed and implemented.

    Long Term Outcomes

    1. A network of Learning Groups of Holistic Management practitioners is maintained throughout the region. The network includes farmers, community members, Cooperative Extension Service and NRCS professional staff, and staff of nonprofit community resource organizations. The network of Learning Groups works together to revitalize and sustain agriculture, economic, social and ecological systems in the North Central States.

    2. Holistic Management Certified Educators are available to help farmers, community groups, organizations, colleagues and other agricultural professionals learn comprehensive decision making, holistic goal setting, financial planning, land use planning, management, monitoring and policy information.

    3. Farmers, agricultural professionals, community leaders and community members will expand their abilities to make decisions and work together to develop plans that consider the long-term and short-term effects their decisions and actions will have on ecosystems, social systems, economic systems and people’s quality of life.

    4. An increased case study documentation and cumulative knowledge base regarding how to use Holistic Management to move agriculture and rural America towards greater levels of sustainability. This knowledge base provides a guide for others seeking to sustain their culture, agriculture and communities regionally and worldwide.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.