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Holistic Ranching – for Oct. 10, 2011

Fall is fast approaching and winter is just around the corner. I thought this might be an appropriate time to point out some of the benefits of Holistic Management (HM). Most courses are held during the winter. One could be held in your local community this winter. Here are some of the benefi ts that could accrue to you if you choose to attend.

1. Most people attend an HM course to learn about better grazing management. Planned grazing is a proven method to help increase grass production. Many people have more than doubled their grass production on a set land base. Stop and think about this in regards to your place. What would doubling your grass production mean to your bottom line? Doubling your grass production is like doubling your land base at no expense. Would this be a benefit to you?

2. The second most common reason people attend a course is to learn about HM financial planning. Again HM financial planning is a proven way to get a handle on your finances. There are four main ways that it is different from conventional planning. These are:

We are always working in the future. We are not recording what has happened but what we anticipate will happen. Since the future hasn t happened we can influence it. We can plan and replan until we get the results we want.

We set our profit up front. We don t wait until the end of the year and hope there is some money left. We start the year by determining how much profit we want to make. We then plan to make it happen. In simple terms we pay ourselves first. We define profit as an increase in net worth. Profit is after living expenses have been paid. Profit is a return on our investment and a return to our management skills. Do you plan for a profit each year?

We have a system that allows us to sort our expenses and spend our money more wisely. There is not time to give a lot of detail here perhaps I will cover that in another article at a later date. Suffice to say that not all expenses are equal. Some can be ruthlessly cut, others should be increased. We have a system that helps us determine which is which.

We monitor our finances monthly. This gives us an opportunity each month to know if we are on track. Small deviations are dealt with within our plan. Major deviations are dealt with by doing a replan. What doesn t change is our profit goal.

HM financial planning allows us to manage our business instead of having our business manage us. Where do you fit in regards to this statement?

3. A key part, in fact an essential part of HM is developing a written goal. This is done with input and agreement from all the people involved. Having a clear goal gives us direction. We know what is important to us. We have the tools to achieve our goal. A clear goal helps us achieve balance in our lives. When you come to the end of the week and can say yes, I did the things that were most important to me. You live with a sense of accomplishment, achievement, contentment, satisfaction and peace of mind. You are empowered to create the future you desire.

4. The basis of HM is decision-making. You make decisions towards your unique individual goal. The testing questions help increase your confidence that your decisions are simultaneously socially, environmentally and financially sound. Having increased confidence in your decision making allows you to deal with the many challenges we all face.

5. Improved communication is one of the benefits of HM. This occurs partly because of our written goal. Everybody has agreed and knows what we want and what is most important to us. As we focus on what s best for the business as opposed to whose idea it is or whose in charge we create an environment where people feel valued and important. The end result is more respect, cooperation and understanding among our team.

6. HM helps us see our business as a tool to achieve our quality of life. This goes a long way in allowing the older generation to let go and in giving the young generation the freedom and security they need to grow and develop. Since HM offers better communication and more financial success it is easier to involve the next generation.

7. Each year HM Canada holds an annual convention. While the convention is open to anyone you are much more likely to come if you have taken a course. The convention provides networking opportunities, education, socialization and motivation. The convention is the highlight of the year for many of us.

8. At each HM course a management club is formed. During the course a certain level of trust and acceptance develops. As the club continues to meet it is a powerful tool to help us achieve our goals. Just imagine going to a meeting where there is a high level of trust and acceptance. You are free to discuss whatever challenge you are facing. Instead of having just your input to solve the challenge you have the input of eight or 10 other families. Each of these people understands what you want. Each of them wants you to succeed. In the end you make your own decision but having input from friends often helps us find a better solution.

9. HM is a movement as opposed to an organization. Let me explain, in an organization you usually pay a membership and either belong or don t belong. In HM there is no organization, no leader and no dues or fees. We are a group of people who have taken HM and benefited. We would like others to have the same benefit. Everyone who has ever taken a course is part of the movement. Once you belong you have the opportunity to interact with people all over Canada and even around the world. This networking is a huge benefit. Nobody knows it all but knowing who to contact can be just as valuable.

10. The last point I want to touch on is personal growth. This is likely the last reason anyone would take HM. Yet for me and many others this has been the biggest benefit. HM encourages personal growth. Once you begin to shift your paradigms everything changes. You become a life-long learner and a better communicator. You realize how powerful you are. You realize that you have the power to choose. The result is growth of each individual. As you grow and improve everyone around you tends to grow and improve. The result is a better quality of life for all.

As you read this you might think it is too good to be true. I don t believe it is. The above benefits are all real and have been experienced by many people.

HM is a comprehensive program. It deals with people, land and finances.

It can help you create your dream and give you the tools to achieve it. It has the power to revolutionize your life. If you desire a more fulfilling life I invite you to find out more about HM. I think you will be please with your efforts.

Happy trails

DonCampbellRanchesWithHisFamilyAtMeadowLake, Sask.HeCanBeReachedAt306-236-6088.

About the author

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Don Campbell

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

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