Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyManagement By Principle

Management By Principle

For the past 8 years I’ve published 5 to 6 “How-To” articles a week. Because readers live everywhere across the United States, and the world, I often focus on principles. I like principles because they’re a way of understanding the how things work so that I can adapt, build, and manage to meet my goals.

I used animal behavior principles to figure out how to teach cows to eat weeds. I used principles to adjust how I managed my prescribed grazing goat herd to create lasting firebreaks. And, as I described last week, I used them to develop creative solutions to problems I encounter.

This week, our “How-Tos” explore some human behavior principles about working with others to accomplish mutually beneficial goals. And the principles are pretty simple, although they may not always be simple to implement. They involve listening, being clear about the goals of everyone involved, and then working together to get there. As Brandon Rockey says about working with a grazier on his cover crops: “The only way it was going to work is if it  was going to work for both of us.”

That same principle is at work when it comes to promoting grazing as an ecosystem service. Whether it’s saving the cactus wren, arroyo toads, bog turtles, or the family farm, it all comes down to discussing our goals and finding ways to work together.

Is it easy? No. But if you really want to do it, you can. And right now, I think it’s something we desperately need.

Enjoy the articles, and if you have ideas about how to implement principles, or principles that help you be successful, let me know

Thanks for reading!


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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.


  1. Thanks, Kathy. Understanding and applying principles (as best we can!) is best way to be successful at adaptive management.

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