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Holistic Ranching: Happy trails from Don Campbell

My first article in Cattlemen appeared 13 years ago in March 2003 under the title Holis­tic Ranching. I was eager to write but I was also pretty nervous and green at that time. I will be 72 in May and have decided that now is an appropriate time to stop writing. This decision is largely due to the influence of my father (whom I greatly admire). His advice and example was simple. Be involved in things you feel are important. Quit when you are still capable and doing a good job.

I remember the circumstances that led to my opportunity to write. I was giving a presentation at the Manitoba Grazing School. Gren Winslow the editor of Cattlemen happened to sit in on my talk. After I was done Gren approached me and asked if I would be interested in writing for Cattlemen. I was honoured and agreed immediately.

I want to publicly thank Gren for the opportunity he gave me. He asked me to focus on grazing management but in reality he gave me free rein to write about any topic. Thank you Gren.

I want to offer a sincere thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my articles. Without your support my writing career would have been short lived. I enjoyed writing for you. If you enjoyed reading the articles we have had a win/win relationship. I am thankful for that. I want to offer a special thank you to those of you who took the time to contact me. I always enjoyed interacting with you. Thank you. One of the rewards of writing has been the number of fine people I have met who say, “Oh I know you. I read your articles in Cattlemen.” To these people I say thank you for reading, and thank you for introducing yourself. I enjoyed meeting and visiting with you.

Since this is my last article I will summarize what H M has helped me accomplish. I firmly believe H M can help you do similar things.

Personal Benefits

H M has helped us improve our land and grass management practices. Our management has been focused on improving the ecosystem building blocks (energy flow, water cycle, mineral cycle and succession) for 25 years now. The results have been outstanding. We have more than doubled our capability to grow grass on a set land base and we have become more resistant to both droughts and floods.

Holistic financial planning has helped us build a strong, stable and profitable business. We spend our money more wisely. We are always working in the future. We project our financial plan out for a full year or more. We plan for the profit we desire before the year begins. If things go off track as they sometimes do, we are able to replan which allows us to achieve our planned profit. All of these steps have led to increased confidence and less stress. We are in charge. We make it happen.

H M has given Bev and I the wonderful opportunity to ranch with our two sons and their families. Without H M we might have had one son at home, there is no way we would have had both. The goal setting, the communication, the grazing and the financial planning have led to this opportunity. Ranching with your children is one of the highlights of life.

H M has helped us have a better quality of life. The goal setting has helped us identify our deepest desires. We are constantly making decisions towards our goal. The result has been contentment, more peace and happiness. Life is good. We are living our dream. We are creating the future we desire.

I realize that my desires and dreams are different from yours. H M has helped us identify and live our dreams. H M can help you identify and live yours. I invite you to investigate H M. I believe you will be pleased with the results.

Happy trails.

About the author

Columnist

Don Campbell ranches with his family at Meadow Lake, Sask., 
and teaches Holistic Management courses.

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