In many instances, agricultural land management for small-acreage landowners is a painstaking, yet rewarding hobby. The irrigation water needs to be changed, the weeds need to be controlled, the fence needs to be repaired, or the grazing animals need to be rotated to a new piece of pasture. The work never ends. Sometimes, landowners struggle balancing this "labor of love" with their day jobs, their families, their long-term goals and the community's well-being. To help land management hobbyists create an all-encompassing, balanced lifestyle, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension presents "Holistic Management: the Savory Institute Approach," 6 to 8 p.m., May 31 at the CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Ave. in Minden.
"This is a systems thinking approach that's been called 'a grazing plan for humans' and a process of decision-making and planning to understand and work with nature," said Extension Educator Steve Lewis, who is coordinating the forum. "Best known as the Savory Method or Holistic Resource Management, this approach has resulted in more informed decisions that are balanced on social, environmental and financial considerations."
The forum is part of the Agriculture Innovation Forum Series being presented by Cooperative Extension this year, and will feature Savory Institute Instructor Spencer Smith from Fort Bidwell, Calif. He and his family live the ranch life and manage the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management. As a Savory instructor, Smith teaches the principles, methods and processes of holistic land management and biological monitoring. Smith will discuss how this lifestyle approach uses livestock as a tool to increase soil's water-holding capacity, and drought and flood tolerance; increases yields; integrates livestock into small-scale cropping systems; and increases profits from the landscape.
The Agriculture Innovation Forum Series is designed to provide practical information and know-how for agricultural producers and small-acreage owners to optimize their land-use potential and maintain agricultural open space in the Carson Valley. The series is intended to be an open dialogue format allowing attendees ample opportunity to ask questions and learn. The forums are free, and no registration is required. For more information on the May 31 forum, "Holistic Management: The Savory Institute Approach," contact Lewis at 775-782-9960.