In January 2022, Tony McQuail will once again be sharing his knowledge and expertise on Holistic Management, and the deep impact it can have on your farm life, via a 10-week course that will cover the main elements of Holistic Management – Goal setting, Financial Planning, Decision Testing, Monitoring (decisions and ecosystem processes) and Planned Grazing. This course can serve as an introduction to Holistic Management for those who haven’t explore it yet, and will also provide an opportunity for review and refinement for those already familiar.

Doing an analysis of the time requirements for various farm enterprises as part of the financial planning process helped us get a better work life balance and reduce interpersonal stress on the farm.

Below, Tony answers a few questions about the course to help you understand how Holistic Management might impact your farm!


Why are you excited about this course?


We first took a Holistic Management course in 1995, sponsored by EFAO, and that course was transformative for our farm.  We went from “working for the farm” to managing the farm, so it felt like it was “working for us.” The decision making and planning practices we learned helped us become more profitable and start taking family holidays.


Who do you think should sign up for this course? 


This course will be of value to new as well as experienced farmers.  It will also be of benefit to folks currently practicing Holistic Management who want to refine their practice.  It is an opportunity to think about what you value about your farm and life and then write a Holistic Goal that can steer you toward your vision.  It is for those who want to achieve a triple bottom line for their farm with healthy land, people and income.

The Holistic Management Planned Grazing chart helps keep track of all the farm paddocks/fields for the grazing season on one sheet AND lets one plan for breeding, birthing, weaning and even farm holidays. It can also be used for crop or garden planning.


What do you hope folks who take the course will get out of it?


My plan is for participants to develop a Holistic Goal for guidance and become comfortable using the  testing questions to support decision making clarity. We will be covering the ecosystem processes for wise stewardship and use of our farm resources. We will be introducing Holistic Management financial planning for sound financial choices and better income.  We will also discuss pasture planning and crop planning, which can improve overall management and productivity.


How do you hope this course will benefit folks’ farming practices?


Holistic Management helped us analyze possible new enterprises and develop ones that suited our skills and interests while improving the farm’s income.

We found it helped us align our farming practices with our families’ values and our life goals.  It brought greater clarity to our financial planning and our day-to-day decision making.  It helped us work toward the triple bottom line for our farm of healthy people, healthy land and healthy income.  I hope it will do the same for the people who actively participate in the course.


>> You can register for Principles and Practices of Holistic Management here.