Assume You Are Wrong

Beefs and Beliefs

Planning, monitoring, re-planning are keys to success of managed grazing.

Published on: September 15, 2011

I am reading Jim Howell’s excellent book “For the Love of the Land,” which is a compilation of his past writings about grazing history and management. I highly recommend it.

One of Howell’s key focuses is how the planning and monitoring process in Holistic Management is paramount to making managed grazing work, especially in tougher environments.

Further, considering the excitement over mob grazing these days, it is advice doubly important.

Howell writes, “If I come onto your place, and you’re mob grazing but you can’t explain to me WHY those animals are in that spot at that time and for that long, then you’re just moving animals around and not managing holistically. Remember, holistic grazing planning is geared toward getting animals to the right place at the right time for the right reasons.”

When I was with Rodger Savory a few days back, he was harping on the same tune. To really manage well and to avoid failure you must have a plan to manage the land to lead you toward your goals. Further, you must monitor the effects of your management and change the plan multiple times as nature dictates.

I always remember one of the first lessons I learned in the first Holistic Management course I took. Plan, but assume you’re wrong.

Psychologically, that’s a tough pill to swallow. Yet if we study history and paleontology it is pretty obviously correct. Messing things up is the human condition.