Allan Savory, President Savory Institute: Allan was born in Rhodesia, southern Africa. He pursued an early career as a research biologist and Game Ranger in the British Colonial Service of what was then Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia), and later as a farmer, game rancher, politician and international consultant, based in Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe). In the 1960s, while working on the interrelated problems of increasing poverty and disappearing wildlife, he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems. He went on to work, as a resource management consultant, with numerous managers, eventually on four continents, to develop sustainable solutions. His early results in reversing land degradation in a manner that made, rather than cost, money were impressive. But, as he often states, his failures were equally impressive! Finally, in the mid 1980’s the last of some key missing pieces fell into place. Since then thousands of land, livestock and wildlife managers have been able to demonstrate consistent results following the methodology he called “holistic management.” Savory served as a Member of Parliament in the latter days of Zimbabwe’s civil war and leader of the opposition to the ruling party headed by Ian Smith. Exiled in 1979, as a result of his opposition, he emigrated to the United States where he co-founded the non-profit organization Holistic Management International with his wife, Jody Butterfield. In 1992 they formed a second non-profit (social welfare) organization near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the Africa Centre for Holistic Management, donating a ranch that would serve as a learning site for people all over Africa. Savory and the five local Chiefs are permanent Trustees of the Africa Centre. Savory and his wife divide their time between Zimbabwe and New Mexico. In 2003, Savory was awarded the Banksia International Award for the person or organization doing the most for the environment on a global scale. His current work in Africa is receiving much praise and recognition and the Africa Centre for Holistic Management was announced the winner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Award for the organization working to solve the world’s most pressing problems.
Gabe Brown completed his Animal Science and Agricultural Economics degrees at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. Gabe and his wife Shelly manage 6,000 acres, developed a cover cropping and grazing management method and run a cow/calf and yearling operation. Gabe and his son Paul manage the farm together and produce grassfed beef. In a blog post, Gabe writes: “So, what has been our results of focusing on regenerating our resources and managing for the whole? We have increased our organic matter levels from less than 2 percent to over 5 percent on some fields. This has been a tremendous benefit. It means that on one acre we now have over 100,000# of organic carbon in the top foot alone! That same foot of soil is now capable of holding over 108,000 gallons of water per acre! If all agricultural land could hold this abundance of water, just imagine the range of implications for the health of our water quality and supplies, from alleviating potential flooding impacts to keeping harmful fertilizers and pesticides out of our rivers, lakes and oceans.” Read the rest of the blog post about his pioneering work. Listen to the NPR Science Friday interview with Gabe here and check out this profile of his operation in The Prairie Fire Newspaper.
Tony Malmberg, Grasslands, LLC: As founder and president of Ranchers Management Company, Tony managed ranch properties and consulted for individual ranches in the western United States for nearly twenty years. Tony owned and operated Twin Creek Ranch, south of Lander, Wyoming, for 31 years. The ranch served as a laboratory for master’s thesis and other academic studies concerning the interaction of properly managed grazing and sage grouse habitat, wildlife friendly fence and migration, riparian habitat and migratory songbird population. Tony has been a practitioner of Holistic Management for over twenty-five years, is a Certified Educator and serves as Managing Member of the Savory Insitute, LLC, who promotes the large scale restoration of the worlds grasslands.Tony and his wife, Andrea, sold their Wyoming ranch in 2009. They used the Holistic Decision Making Framework in selecting northeastern Oregon and now ranch in Union county Oregon. They raise Beyond Organic Beef: Grown to Enhance the Land that Creates it and the People who Enjoy it. A key criteria of their search was to ranch in a place where they could live with and learn about salmon and their habitat. They have leased some of their water rights to The Freshwater Trust for Steelhead and Chinook Salmon habitat. Tony is delighted to be working for The Freshwater Trust as a Flow Restoration Manager, with focus on the John Day River.
Tre Cates COO/CFO Savory Institute: Tre’ is a proven leader, innovator and social entrepreneur. Motivating and understanding people have proven to be indispensible while defining, developing, and communicating an organization’s vision for the future. His ability to create and lead high performing organizations is foundational to his success. After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University in 1993, he founded two faith-based non-profits, growing these organizations to memberships of 100+ people. After moving to Colorado in 1996, he founded a technology sales company in 1997. As the COO/CFO, he facilitated the growth of this organization to annual revenues of $36 million+, 100+ employees and a publicly-traded company with offices in four states and sales internationally. His company was recognized two times as one of the fastest growing companies in the US on the INC 500/5000 list and won several top company awards in the state of Colorado. He has received multiple awards including Entrepreneur of Distinction in Boulder, CO and two-time semi-finalist of Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He is active in his community by serving on the board of several companies including multiple non-profits. Tre’ has a BA in Philosophy from Ouachita Baptist University and a MA in Theology from Southwestern seminary.
Dr. Jason Rowntree, MSU Extension Service in Range Science and Cattle Management: Jason specializes in the development of low-cost, low-input beef production systems. As Faculty Coordinator of Lake City Experiment Station, his research and extension focuses on forage utilization of grazing beef cattle, extending the grazing season and forage-finished beef. Another facet of his work is to improve economics of small and medium size beef producers through local and regional beef production and distribution system development. Jason has also worked to develop holistic approaches to beef cattle and white-tail deer management through selective forage plot establishment, hay feeding and fencing strategies.
Dr. Christine Jones is an internationally renowned and highly respected groundcover and soils ecologist with a PhD in Soil Biochemistry. She has a wealth of experience working with innovative landholders to implement regenerative land management practices that enhance biodiversity, increase biological activity, sequester carbon, activate soil nutrient cycles, restore water balance, improve productivity and create new topsoil. Christine has organized and participated in workshops, field days, seminars and conferences throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the USA and has a strong publication and presentation record.
Christine received a Community Fellowship Award from Land and Water Australia in 2001. The LWA Community Fellowship Program was designed to ‘provide recognition to individuals with an outstanding track record in mobilizing and inspiring the community to better manage their land, water and vegetation’.
In March 2007, Christine launched the Australian Soil Carbon Accreditation Scheme, the world’s first soil carbon incentive scheme based on measurement – making Australia a leading nation in the recognition of soils as a verifiable carbon sink. The ASCAS project rewards landholders for adopting innovative techniques designed to sequester soil carbon and improve soil water holding capacity, thus reducing the atmospheric concentration of both carbon dioxide.
Robert Rutherford is a Holistic Management Certified Educator and a graduate of UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science and Standard Secondary Teaching Credential for Ag Education and a Master of Science in Agriculture at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Rob retired after serving for 39 years as a Professor of Animal Science at Cal Poly. Within that position, as well as teaching and advising students, he was charged with managing the sheep operations on campus, which entails grazing management in order to enhance resource function and productivity. During his tenure there, he was actively involved in both state and national sheep organizations, serving as state president and also chairing the national targeted grazing committee. Following retirement, he has started a business entitled Whole Options LLC in order to continue to help land managers make better decisions toward a sustainable future.
A 5th generation California Rancher, Bill Burrows’ family immigrated to Northern California in 1848 and the family has been active in agriculture and natural resources since that time.
Trained at UC Davis, he devoted 35 years to developing the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program at Shasta College, while operating the 3500 acre family ranch west of Red Bluff, California.
Bill is the Coordinator for the 40,000 acre Sunflower Coordinated Resource Management Plan (CRMP) in which 65 landowners and agency personnel have come together to develop a goal of making the chaparral belt land and associated areas more productive and safe for the social, financial, and environmental needs of the stewards of the land.
Trained in Holistic Management, Bill has been a keynote speaker and has given seminars throughout the Western United States and three countries in Africa. Many of these presentations have included his seven grandchildren, all of whom are involved on the family ranch.