This year 90 applications from 25 countries were submitted to the Savory Institute in hopes of bringing a Savory Hub to their region. My husband, Spencer, and I were one of those applicants. We described a learning center and demonstration ranch called the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management that would serve Northern California and the Western Great Basin–exposing a method of land and resource management to people that regenerates land through production instead of depleting it. The method is called holistic management. Our vision of a hub that strengthens rural communities, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire in our forests and improves soil health, landed us in the semi-finalist pool of 20 applicants. Our business plan took us to the next level, qualifying us as finalists–one of 10 in the world. Our fellow hub candidates are from the Southwest, Northeast United States and Eastern Africa.
A hub in our region means connecting our communities–ranchers, farmers, land owners, urban farmers–to the methods, tools and practices of the Savory Institute. Our demonstration ranch will be holistically managed; producing beef in a way that helps improve soil health, decrease carbon emissions and slow climate change. The ranch will offer workshops and internships–the chance to work on a holistically managed operation.
The next step is to get to Africa. Becoming an accredited Savory Institute Hub requires a two-week intensive “hub bootcamp” at the Africa Centre for Holistic Management. We must become accredited trainers ourselves in order to effectively manage holistically and teach others these methods. We will be trained at the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado. This project is to get us to Africa and Colorado for the trainings, so we can bring a hub home to our region. It is our hope for healthy land and happy people in Northern California and the Western Great Basin (Northern Nevada, Southern Idaho and Southern Oregon).