NCAT Soil for Water Mississippi: Learning Together 

Print This Post Print This Post

By Luz Ballesteros Gonzalez and Felicia Bell, NCAT Agriculture Specialists

When you have common goals, things align much easier and faster. This is what has been happening in Mississippi through the MS Holistic Management International (HMI) Regenerative Agriculture Mentor Program (RAMP) organized by Felicia Bell, NCAT Agriculture Specialist. The MS HMI RAMP Cohort has been actively working together with a common goal of learning to take care of the environment and develop thriving enterprises.

What is HMI?

HMI is an adaptive management and decision-making framework that encompasses the social, economic, and environmental aspects of a ranch or farm. In summary, it helps producers make decisions and embark upon projects that work for them and the land. Learn more here: What is Holistic Management?

What is RAMP? 

RAMP is a mentor program by HMI that brings together producers, researchers, and agriculture professionals to learn the holistic decision-making approach. Through NCAT’s Soil for Water project and the support of a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) grant, this program is free to the Mississippi cohort. Learn more here: 3HMI’s Regen Ag Mentoring Program (RAMP).

What is Happening in Mississippi?

The Mississippi cohort, led by HMI Educator Linda Pechin-Long and comprised of James Burch, Fulton McField, Dr. Leyla Rios, Elmarie Brooks, Kelli Randle, and Towanda Herrington, has been busy learning and embarking on a series of exciting projects brought forward through NCAT Soil for Water and guided by Felicia Bell.

One of these projects is the implementation and development of Safe to Fail Trials, with the goal of observing the changes to the land in response to the implementation of regenerative agriculture practices without the risk of not being fruitful on the entire operation. Learn more here: Graeme Hand – Safe to Fail Trials.

Another project, being carried out in collaboration with Dr. Rocky Lemus and Dr. Leyla Rios, both of MSU Extension, strives to better understand forage present and soil health results from the implementation of conservation practices through an HMI framework. Dr. Lemus has been crucial in assisting the livestock producers across Mississippi understand the needs of each individual pasture toward better soil health.

It’s exciting to see this cohort not only grow and learn together but also share their knowledge. If you have any questions about projects happening in Mississippi or how to be part of them, feel free to contact Felicia Bell at

Related ATTRA Resources:

Soil topic area

Livestock topic area

Alternative Soil Amendments 

Drought Resistant Soil 

Managing Soils for Water: How Five Principles of Soil Health Support Water Infiltration and Storage 

Soil Moisture Monitoring: Low-Cost Tools and Methods

Tipsheet: Organic Management of Internal and External Livestock Parasites

Paddock Design, Fencing, Water Systems, and Livestock Movement Strategies for Multi-Paddock Grazing 

Small-Scale Livestock Production

Holistic Management: A Whole-Farm Decision Making Framework 

High Hope Farm: Regenerative Agriculture in Action

This blog is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG.