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Is There One Right Answer? Yes – And Here It Is!

By   /  May 6, 2019  /  Comments Off on Is There One Right Answer? Yes – And Here It Is!

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The Hopis have a legend they retell about two Kachina spirits – Tuhavi (Paralyzed Kachina) and the Koyemsi (Blind Mudhead). Many years ago the tribe had to move from where they lived, either because of drought or warfare. With no horses, they were forced to travel on foot. Two members could not make the journey. One was crippled and the other was blind. They were left with some food and a tearful goodbye – as everyone expected them to die. Instead the crippled man climbed onto the back of the other and directed him where to walk – also he was able to shoot his bow and arrow to hunt. Together, they survived by cooperating despite their individual weaknesses. The Hopis made kachinas spirits in honor of these two and teach their children how we can overcome problems by working together.

When I was working for the Bureau of Land Management and stationed at Utah State University, a friend and I started an internship program called “Tehabi.” The name comes from the Hopi Kachina legend that describes two spirit-beings – one without sight, the other paralyzed – who survived, even thrived, when they teamed up and shared their abilities. Tehabi or Tuhavi is the Hopi word given to this spirit of teamwork. For us, it described how participants shared their different abilities for mutual success. Mentors gave students the background and experience they needed to work for land management agencies, like the National Park Service, the Forest Servic,e and the Bureau of Land Management. The students helped short-staffed offices get work done, revitalizing them with new energy.

This spirit of teamwork extended to another lesson we taught participants: There is always more than one right answer. We’d seen too often how opportunities were missed by trying to solve a problem in only one way. We had also seen that when people sat down, talked, and shared their ideas, they could come up with lots of different, very good solutions. Tehabi increased the number of ideas about how to solve a problem by putting people together who had different backgrounds and education.

That idea – that there is always more than one right answer – is something I’ve carried into all the work I’ve done. For example: If we can’t get rid of weeds with herbicides, and ranchers don’t like goats, well, teach their cattle to eat the weeds. It’s also something we try to provide to our On Pasture readers. Each article shares a new way of looking at a problem and arriving at a solution. It may not be perfect for you, but we hope it gives you ideas that you can adapt to suit your own situation.

But in the end, all of my success, and the success of On Pasture, may be the result of what might be the one right answer to so many problems:


When we work together and share our different skills and resources, we come up with all kinds of right answers.

When it comes to the On Pasture Community, I’m here using my skills and resources to scour the information that’s out there to find just what you need and to work with researchers and authors to add their ideas and experience. Then I put it all together for you each week.

What’s your part of the equation? You read, you share your ideas in the comments section, and you send some of your monetary resources to keep On Pasture online. If you haven’t had a chance to do that last part yet, please take the time this week. Your support means that I can approach other funders and show them that not only is On Pasture the most read grazing resource, but it’s also supported by its readers.

Thanks for your support! We really need it.



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  • Published: 1 year ago on May 6, 2019
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  • Last Modified: May 11, 2020 @ 10:18 am
  • Filed Under: The Scoop

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

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