By Kim Conseco
We had a great visit at our ranch, Rancho Ojo de Agua (located in northern Coahuila, MX) with Ing. Elco Blanco Madrid and M.V.Z. Raul Hernandez Villarreal of Agro Cultura Empresarial. They’re with the Chihuahua Savory Network Hub and spent 3 days at the ranch assisting our crew with our holistic planned grazing. The truth is, their visit exceeded our expectations. We’ve been doing a limited version of holistic planned grazing for 3 years, after a century or more of conventional grazing on this property (45 years with our family). We were sold on it immediately, because we saw positive results from the start. We were prepared with our questions on what we knew we needed to learn more about, as we feel we’re still at the beginning of the learning curve about Holistic Planned Grazing. Elco Blanco and Raul Hernandez were also well prepared with an agenda that they developed in conjunction with the ranch manager before their visit. Upon arrival they had an introductory talk and meal with all the cowboys, the ranch manager and me. They helped the cowboys understand that they are the most important part of the whole operation – and further explained holistic management/holistic planned grazing in an interactive manner. The cowboys and ranch manager spent 3 days of experiential learning in the pasture, covering the entire ranch and stopping in many places to learn about grasses and how to estimate carrying capacity of a pasture, etc. They advised us that with strategic use of electric fence, we could double the number of animals we now have. They left us with knowledge and tools that will speed the regeneration of grasslands and help our ranch be more productive. We had high expectations, but ended up learning more than we expected.
The ranch is beyond beautiful right now, as we’ve been blessed with abundant rain! Our 3 years of planned grazing, combined with the rainfall have helped the land recover rapidly from years of drought and conventional grazing. Perennial grasses are returning that had not been there in a very long time. The ground is covered with grasses and wildflowers and the cows are happy and healthy. We’re excited about what’s now possible as the land continues to improve. We’d also like to take an active role in helping Holistic Planned Grazing spread in our area. It’s good stuff.