‘Holistic Management’ for Fun and Profit: A Get Farming workshop for new, aspiring, and veteran grow

All businesses need to plan if they are to thrive. That includes farmers, who also face added variables, like volatile weather.

Holistic Management™ is a way to incorporate sustainable agriculture’s principles into growers’ business planning. According to Preston Sullivan, National Center for Appropriate Technology specialist, Holistic Management™ gives us a way to incorporate principles of “economic viability, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.”

MSU Extension’s Ben Bartlett, DVM, a trainer for the session, suggests that planning for success is important.

“It’s hard to be successful by accident,” he says. Holistic Management considers all aspects of farming though, he adds, “We work with biological systems that are unpredictable.”

According to Jim Sluyter, coordinator of the Michigan Land Use Institute’s Get Farming! project, “This comprehensive planning process is rarely taught, and growers of any level farm experience—or lack of experience—can benefit.”

Larry Dyer, Tribal Extension Educator at Emmet County MSU Extension, the other trainer, has a strong background in vegetable crops and direct marketing. Mr. Dyer says, “Holistic Management won’t tell you what you should do to manage your farm, or your life for that matter. It will give you solid footing and help you make good decisions.”

The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, January 12, 2011, at Michigan Works, 1209 Garfield, Traverse City. The morning covers “The Power of Holistic Decision-Making”; the afternoon choices are “Holistic Financial Planning” and “Planned Grazing” sessions.

Attendance is limited; registration is necessary. The cost, $25 for individuals or $30 for two from the same farm, covers lunch and registration. For more information or to register contact Jim Sluyter at 231-941-6584, ext. 15; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or www.localdifference.org/getfarming

About the Institute

The Michigan Land Use Institute is an independent, nonprofit research, educational, and service organization founded in 1995. More than 2,400 households, businesses, and organizations have joined the Institute in support of its mission to promote economic development that strengthens communities, enhances opportunity, and protects Michigan’s unmatched natural resources.

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