Get ready: we’re presenting Allan Savory in August

| Courses + Workshops, Grazing, Permaculture, Permaculture Design | comments | Author :


Milkwood is extremely excited to announce that we’re presenting Allan Savory, founder of Holistic Management, for a series of talks and seminars in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne this coming August.

Alongside our long-time collaborators Kym and Georgie of RegenAG, we’re charged with presenting Holistic Management for what it is: a key tool for reversing desertification and healing climate change. Right now. On this Planet Earth. 

I take it most of you will have seen Allan Savory’s TED talk by now, but if you havent, here it is above. Go make a cuppa and sit down to watch it. There’s a reason why it’s had over 2 million views in the last few months, between the TED site and youtube…

Holistic Management teaches people about the relationship between large herds of wild herbivores and the grasslands and then helps people develop strategies for managing herds of domestic livestock to mimic those wild herds to heal the land.

The economic, environmental and social benefits are enormous.

Currently over 40 million hectares worldwide are under Holistic Management practices, but we could do with a whole lot more.

What we’re aiming for with this tour is to get more conscious consumers, farmers, wanna-be farmers and those advocating clean food systems connected to the fibre of what regenerative agriculture can be. And should be. And how we can use it to heal climate change.

A lot of what Allan talks about seems at first counter-intuitive. More cows? On less ground? Really? When is that ever a good idea?

And yet Holistic Management has shown that while livestock management has been part of the problem of climate change, desertification and degradation of farmlands and watersheds, they can also be an important part of the solution.

Savory has demonstrated time and again in Africa, Australia and North and South America that, properly managed, herbivores can be essential to land restoration.

As a result of using Holistic Management in land restoration, plant growth is lusher, the water table is higher, wildlife thrives, soil carbon increases and, surprisingly, more cattle can be kept.

Advocates of Holistic Management and Allan’s work range from Professor Tim Flannery (who called Holistic Management “one of the key tools at our disposal” to fight climate change) to HRH Prince Charles who states in a speech to IUCN that Holistic Management is an important form of biomimicry which needs to be fostered.

Holistically Managed ranch is on left, desertifying ranch is on right. This is in a climate with 200mm annual rainfall in South Africa
Holistically Managed ranch is on left, desertifying ranch is on right. This is in a climate with 200mm annual rainfall in South Africa

So. Up until this tour, Allan Savory’s visits to Australia have mostly been focussed on working with large-scale graziers, industry conferences, and meetings with ministers. But this time, we and RegenAG are bringing him to the heart of the cities, to take this important message into the thick of it.

This is not just about farming, or our food supply. It’s also about climate change: that thing that scares the bejeezus out of us all, and which we all feel pretty powerless to do anything about. Well, we’re not. We’re really not.

It’s going to be a unique chance to learn from and listen to a world-changer…

The events we’re running are evening talks, followed by morning seminars. In short, if you’re interested, come to an evening talk. If you’re ready to learn more (or you already know more, but you’d jump at the chance to learn from Allan himself, while re-invigorating your knowledge), come to a seminar.

Together we can create a culture of regenerative farming and food production in this country, but we need to do it now. And we all need to know about and advocate tools like Holistic Management to make it happen.

Allan Savory Tour: August 2013

A super big thanks to The National Landcare Facilitator for getting behind this tour on a national level, and to the Savory Institute for their support.

The full Milkwood and RegenAG crews will be out in force across all three cities, so please join us. It’s going to be a pretty inspirational series of events. And don’t forget to tell all your friends, comrades and your nearest member of parliament to come while you’re at it!


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18 responses to “Get ready: we’re presenting Allan Savory in August

  1. Fantastic. I wish I was there. Still I am so looking forward to next year. Have the dates been worked for the first 1/4 of 2014 PDC events yet. I also want to say that I applaud your partnering with RegenAg to help heal our land.

    1. Thanks David! RegenAg actually started off as us and 3 other families back in 2010, but these days it’s headed by Kym and Georgie who are best placed to take it forward! The Autumn PDC should be up this week and its dates will be 16-29 March 2014 🙂

      1. OK wow, so you guys have been really at this for quite a while then. I knew I chose the right place to do my PDC at ;)… I want to do the bee keeping course with TM too. Will March be a good time to be involved in chores in the market garden? It’s something I want to really want to look seriously at too.

  2. I meet Allan a couple of times ( he was a speaker at a PC conference many years ago – maybe Breitenbush in 1986?) and admire the work he has done in Africa greatly.
    I’m less sure about the appropriateness of his technique for Australian conditions ( I try to be diplomatic here!)

    Unlike Africa and the US we have no native animals with hard hoofs. Our Roos elegantly glide over our fragile soils – resulting in very little disturbuncae.

    We have kept cattle for many years and have found that a rotational system works well in our climate and on our soils.

    1. Wait, i’m a bit confused.. did you just say that you do practice rotational grazing with success? Erm, so… that’s along the same lines as what we’re talking about… There’s many stunning examples of farms in oz, including our arid areas, using HM with cows and also with sheep and goats… The point is maximum (to a point) disturbance and nutrient drop, followed by maximum rest periods for the land.

      In addition, for the vast majority of Australia’s evolution we did have megafauna herbivores that lived in herds… So from a long view, we’re quite similar to other continents in That way…

  3. Does anyone know where to find aerial/satellite views of holistically managed property, hopefully next to non-holistically managed property, as in the ‘over the fence’ photo above?

    I can’t seem to find any and that would certainly be instructive.

  4. I too really enjoyed and was inspired by Allan’s TED speech, but it sounds like this approach to grazing management would have little application in much of our Eastern country.
    I imagine it would be most applicable in the inland arid regions of Australia, and a lot of Western Australia with it’s long, dry summers.

    As someone aspiring to own land around the Eastern tablelands or perhaps coastal areas, I’m not sure how much I would get out of attending Allan’s presentations?

    1. Hey Nathan, these techniques work fine in the east – check out our friends at Boxgum Grazing (near Young) or Taranaki Farm (Woodend, Victoria) who have been employing Holistic Management with huge success and pasture improvement (to name just a few, there’s many, many more farms using this to improve their pastures with both cows and sheep in eastern Oz)… we’ve also been doing it in miniature with sheep at Milkwood Farm and the improvement is very visible…

      1. I have not been to the properties mentioned above.
        I would like Permaculturists to be a little more sceptical. It is better to be a slow adopter then make mistakes. Doing a ” miniture” as Kirsten says is a good idea altough the results may not be easy to transfer to a large scale.
        Allan’s method has been developed in a very different environment to our’s. He seems to dislike ( did I hear him say ” hates”?) deserts. I like them. They have an important place in Australia and on other continents. We don’t have to put a cow on every patch ( and I’m a meateater and cattle owner).
        I have been involved in Permaculture since the very early days and I have seen enough stuff up’s to last me for the rest of my years.
        We need to study new ideas and keep an open mind but we don’t need to transfer all of them to our fragile environment.
        There are plenty of artcles on this issue on the web. Here is just one:

        1. All good points! Did you know Holistic Management has been used successfully in Australia for nearly as long as Permaculture? ’82 was the year the first large farm under full-blown HM grazing i belive… or i might be wrong and it was earlier…

          We’ve been hosting courses in Holistic Management since 2010 and through those courses we’ve met a lot of early-adopters of this technique who had already been managing their cattle with HM for decades. It’s also mentioned repeatedly in The Permaculture Designers Manual as a crucial strategy. My point is, HM’s been happening on this continent for 30+ years…

          Where we are in the central west, there’s plenty of sheep country all around us that is very badly denuded through bad grazing management. It’s not, for me, about the deserts. It’s about supplying ethical, ecologically sound protein to our future communities that regenerates the land at the same time. This technique is a powerful one to have in the toolbox that requires no Big Ag inputs to make it roll, just good planning, observation, and management.

          1. Sounds like smart business to me. Farming involves business thinking too… Isn’t the right?

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