- Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
The holistic management framework is recognized as a highly successful whole farm planning process. This two-year project will train 12 participants in two locations (New England and New York) to use a systems approach utilizing the holistic management framework and driven by a solid understanding of the complex relationships between economic, environmental and social factors, in their work with farmers. These participants will use specific processes and methods in their work with farmers to develop whole farm plans, which enable the farmer to establish and maintain sustainable farm enterprises and management practices. Participants will learn (a) whole farm planning procedures, (b) financial planning, (c) how to observe the land and evaluate ecosystem health, (d) how to implement monitoring methods to assess the impact of management practices on the ecosystem, (e) grazing planning, and (f) a systems approach to management. The program consists of four four-day residential sessions. The training will use a combination of education methods including pre-session assignments, a self-directed learning plan lectures, decision cases, on-farm activities, a learning community, and a program mentor. Each participant will work with two farms to apply and teach the procedures and methods they learn in the residential sessions. Upon completion of the project, the participants and learning community will be implementing whole farm plans and sustainable management practices. The project will collate the farm plans and experiences of the participants for presentation using an online format.
Performance targets from proposal:
Eighteen project participants (nine in each region) will use a systems approach, driven by an integrated understanding of economic, environmental and social factors, in their work with farmers. These participants will use specific methods in their work with farmers to develop whole farm plans, grazing plans, and financial plans using the holistic management framework.