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Ranching 2018: Managing in Tough Times with Ian Mitchell-Innes

May 15, 2018 - May 16, 2018

$50 – $100

What’s Covered

  • How to maintain and improve animal performance
  • Reducing costly inputs and improving profitability
  • Grow more grass, grow better grass to capture more energy
  • Capture rainfall more effectively and reduce the effects of drought
  • Marketing principles that give you an unfair advantage
  • Sell-Buy marketing to limit dependence on cattle prices
  • Real Life examples of managing large herds and regenerating land with animal impact
  • How adaptive planned grazing can be intensive, but not labor intensive


$100 per person (includes lunch both days). $50 for Texas Panhandle residents. Online registration closes May 13, 2018.


Tuesday May 15, 2018
8:30 AM Registration, Coffee and Donuts
9:00 AM Introduction by Dr. Tim Steffens, West Texas A&M
9:15 AM Ian Mitchell-Innes Presentation
Noon Catered Lunch (included with ticket)
1:00 PM Ian Mitchell-Innes Presentation Continued
4:00 PM Evaluations & Close
Wednesday May 16, 2018
8:30 AM Sell – Buy Marketing – Wally Olson
10:30 AM Break
11:00 AM Birdwell & Clark Ranch – Deborah Clark
Noon Catered Lunch (included with ticket)
1:00 PM Managing Large Herds for Improved Land & Finances – Birdwell & Clark Ranch
3:00 PM Producer Panel Moderated by Dr. Tim Steffens – Wally Olson, Mike Turner, Joe VanZandt
4:00 PM Evaluations & Close


Ian Mitchell-Innes has been practicing ranching in South Africa for more than 20 years. He has made mistakes and wishes to share with Ranchers and Farmers how to avoid these costly mistakes He teaches farmers and ranchers how to feed the whole – grass, animal, soil surface, subsoil, using animals at high and ultra high stock density (mob grazing).

Deborah Clark and her husband Emry Birdwell run a stocker operation of 5,000–7,000 head on the 14,000-acre Birdwell & Clark Ranch in Clay County, Texas. The enterprise mix consists of 2,000 stocker cattle on leased wheat acres and one herd of approximately 5,000 head at the ranch using a high density grazing management plan.  They apply their grazing practices to consistently improve range conditions, soil health, and cattle productivity.  As a Certified Educator Deborah works to help others learn to manage their resources in a way that keeps the business, land, family, and community healthy.

Emry Birdwell along with his wife, Deborah Clark, had the opportunity of a lifetime to purchase the heart of the Bryant Edwards Ranch in Clay County in 2004.  Emry implemented a managed grazing plan beginning with a detailed overview of the terrain, range conditions, available water, and existing fences.  The five year drought forced Emry to implement all that he learned in the 1980’s from Allan Savory and Holistic Management about high density grazing and its benefits.  Today the ranch runs a base herd of 5,000 head in a single herd.  Emry’s proudest accomplishments are the changes he sees at the ranch in terms of decreasing bare ground, improving diversity of grasses and forbs, soil health, and the ability to add more gain per acre.

Dr. Tim Steffens has a joint appointment with the Agriculture Sciences Department at West Texas A&M and with Texas AgriLife Extension in the field of rangeland resource management. His experience also includes working directly with producers on rangeland issues including grazing management, prescribed fire, livestock nutrition and Threatened &Endangered species as a Rangeland Management Specialist with the USDA-NRCS in southeastern Colorado.  Previously, he was a rangeland management specialist with Colorado Cooperative Extension and instructor with the Colorado State University Western Center for Integrated Resource Management.  He has also managed a 1300 cow ranch for the Mescalero Apaches in the mountains of southern New Mexico.  He also worked as the extension project manager for the nationally recognized Seco Creek Water Quality Demonstration Project.  His current research and extension interests include managing ecological succession using targeted grazing management, developing integrated livestock-rangeland-cropping systems to improve soil quality and improve conservation as well as brush and weed management.

Wally Olson is a long time cowboy and rancher, having worked in every part of ranching from mucking stalls and hauling hay to managing and owning ranches. A graduate of Kansas State, he credits most of his learning from working at Kelley Ranch in Vinita, Oklahoma, where he learned the business of ranching. He learned how to increase production of the land and harvest it with the animals at a profit, was introduced to Bud Williams, and learned his stockmanship and marketing methods. For almost a decade, he applied these methods at Kelley Ranch, and now spends all his time teaching others.

Joe VanZandt holds a BS in Animal husbandry and a MS in Education-Ag Education.  After being discharged from the service as a 1st Lieutenant in 1961, he started work with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and worked in Travis, Live Oak, Parmer and Moore counties before leaving for a position as Director of Membership Relations for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and then as a salesman for Affiliated Veterinary Supply in Tulia.  But the appeal of educational work with ranchers and farmers called him back to become Extension Agent in Hansford County and then to move to Gray county in 1976.  Throughout his extension career, he used his talents to help folks improve production practices through demonstration projects and educational programming as well as working with livestock projects and leadership development activities with the 4H program.  He retired from Extension in Gray county to manage the ranch he grew up on in Wheeler county full-time.  Joe says that is where his real education began, when he started to implement adaptive planned grazing management.

came on board with the McCloy Family Land LLC/ Blue Ranch Division in the late spring of 2015, bringing with him many years of cattle and grazing management experience working with livestock producers and as a producer himself.  Mike worked for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) for many years working with producers and land owners creating conservation and grazing plans for producers. It was his love for the livestock industry and land management that brought him back to the private sector.  Now,  Mike works with Texas Parks and Wildlife,  Texas Agrilife of Moore County, as well as the NRCS to help educate and teach other producers on the benefits of rotational grazing, and the many benefits that can improve the overall output of the operation.

LEARN MORE at www.holisticmanagement.org/ranching2018.


May 15, 2018
May 16, 2018
$50 – $100


Holistic Management International


Ag and Family Research Center
7939 US Highway 83
Wheeler, TX 79096 United States
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