What can you tell me about holistic management?
Answer: Holistic Management? is a decision-making framework designed to assist you in establishing your goals, creating a financial plan, as well as developing a plan for managing social and environmental sustainability. In short, it is a tool designed to be used in the whole-farm planning process and in monitoring progress as you manage toward the goal. Holistic Management is operated by Holistic Management International (HMI), which provides education and resources on its tool for whole-farm planning that was designed by founder, Allan Savory.One of the key aspects of whole-farm planning and Holistic Management involves:? Creating a “Quality of Life Statement” that represents your individual, as well as any shared values with family and/or business partners? Defining what processes and systems will allow you to achieve and sustain the quality of life you desire? What future resources must be in place for your production and quality of life goals to become possible or sustained after they are implemented.As you work on establishing your goals, it is also important to understand the financial aspects of operating your proposed business. This includes having a clear grasp of your expenses, determining what markets are available for you and your products, and addressing if the market can bare the quantity and price you have identified in order to be profitable. Holistic Management teaches that at the core of profitability is figuring out ways to lower expenses. The expenses can be used in figuring out an enterprise budget, which will show whether or not the enterprise is operating in the red or in the black. In other words, you may have a interest in a particular aspect of farming, such as crop production, raising livestock, or aquaponics, but by going through the whole-farm process, including completing an enterprise budget, you may determine that your expenses for operating that enterprise are not low enough to be met by the market price, and therefore, your business is not profitable.For more information, check out the ATTRA publication titled Holistic Management: A Whole-Farm Decision Making Framework. This publication provides an introduction to the decision-making framework associated with Holistic Management.