Evidence Supporting Holistic Management

Holistic Management is the most powerful tool I have encountered for regenerating landscapes. I have compiled a list of all of the best online evidence supporting Holistic Management. Hopefully we can soon stop doubting Holistic Management and start implementing it, we need it desperately.

The best way to know for yourself whether Holistic Management works is to go visit a Holistically Managed farm or ranch. This directory of Holistic Managers should give you a place to start as you look for a Holistic Manager nearby.


Refer to this post: “Cowspiracy, Allan Savory and Holistic Management: A Collection Of Rebuttals”

Peer Reviewed Articles On Holistic Management

Talking Points Regarding Savory (A discussion of the relevant peer-reviewed articles and their relationships to each other

  1. Why Scientific Studies Are Failing To Match The Results Reported By Ranchers
  2. “Evaluating the ranch and watershed scale impacts of using traditional and adaptive multi-paddock grazing on runoff, sediment and nutrient losses in North Texas, USA”  Surface runoff, sediment and nutrient loads were 31–39% lower with [Multi Paddock Grazing] than [Heavy Continuous] grazing.
  3. Desertification and livestock grazing: The roles of sedentarization, mobility and rest” inclusive planning processes focused on better managing the spatio-temporal aspects of grazing (animal impact and the duration of grazing periods) are one step toward improving rangeland ecosystems through the use of livestock as a solution to the problem of land degradation

  4. GHG Mitigation Potential of Different Grazing Strategies in the United States Southern Great Plains
  5. Effect of grazing on soil-water content in semiarid rangelands of southeast Idaho” Holistic Planned Grazing results in higher soil water content and more litter (mulch), compared to other grazing methods in Southeast Idaho
  6. Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie” Multi-Paddock Grazing superior in many ways to continuous grazing and no grazing
  7. “From the ground up: holistic management and grassroots rural adaptation to bovine spongiform encephalopathy across western Canada” Canadian Holistic Managers adapted better to BSE crisis than conventional managers
  8. “The Holistic Management of the Landscape of Ethnic Communities Will Reduce Climate Change and Promote Its Sustainability”
  9. “Steps toward sustainable ranching: An emergy evaluation of conventional and holistic management in Chiapas, Mexico” Sustainability Index doubled under Holistic Management, more wildlife and biodiversity under Holistic Management, more tree cover, 66% lower calf mortality, etc. 
  10. Managing The Grazing Landscape: Insights for agricultural adaption from a mid-drought photo-elicitation in the Australian sheep-wheat belt
  11. “Comparing The Effects of continuous and Time-Controlled Grazing systems on soil characteristics in Southeast Queensland.” Results showed an increase in soil organic carbon and nitrogen in the areas with favourable soil condition compared with continuous grazing. There was also an increase in ground-litter accumulation over time and no compaction in TC grazing. Nitrate and extractable P concentrations were reduced by increased grass growth under TC grazing, which in turn decreased the contamination potential for downstream water bodies.
  12. “Emerging land use practices rapidly increase soil organic matter” Well managed livestock sequestering carbon “within a decade of management-intensive grazing practices soil C levels returned to those of native forest soils”
  13. High impact grazing as a management tool to optimize biomass growth in northern Argentinean grassland
  14. “Biodiversity as an organizing principle in agroecosystem management: Case studies of holistic resource management practitioners in the USA” Interview study of ranchers using Holistic Management. 95% report an increase in biodiversity, 80% reported an increase in profits, 91% reporting improvements in quality of life.
  15. “Rotational Grazing Effects On Rangeland Vegetation At A Farm Scale” In conclusion, rotational grazing promoted functional groups composed of high forage value species and reduced bare soil through the accumulation of litter. These changes indicate an improvement in rangeland condition and in carrying capacity.
  16. “Grazing Lawns: Animals in Herds, Plant Form, and Coevolution”
  17. “Rotational Stocking and Production Of Italian Ryegrass on Argentinean Rangelands” reported an almost 2-fold increase in stocking capacity with rotational grazing compared to continuous grazing. 
  18. Ecological consequences of Late Quaternary extinctions of megafauna.”
  19. “The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint in North America” concluded that to ensure long-term sustainability agricultural production should be guided by policies and regenerative management protocols that include ruminant grazing.

*Caution: Many of these studies use grazing systems like Rotational Grazing, Multi-Paddock Grazing, etc which are a step in the right direction and can work in non-brittle environments, but these systems inevitably fail in brittle environments. Only Holistic Planned Grazing has proven successful in brittle enviromnents. 

*Also see this “Compilation of Holistic Management Comparison Photos”  (also available as a video here) from Holistic Managers all over the world.


  1. John D Liu: world-renowned expert on “greening the desert” and director of the documentary “Green Gold”.
  2.  Dr. Elaine Ingham: world famous soil biologist, and lead scientist for the Rodale Institute. 
  3. Vandana Shiva: leader and board members on the International Forum on Globalization, philosopher, environmentalist, author, professional speaker, social activist, received the Right Livelihood Award in 1993, and numerous other prizes.
  4. Joel Salatin: word-famous farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include Folks, This Ain’t Normal;You Can Farm; and Salad Bar Beef.
  5. Hunter Lovins: president of Natural Capitalism Solutions, teacher of sustainable business management at Bainbridge Graduate Institute and at Daniels College of Business,University of Denver, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Named a “green business icon” by Newsweek, a millennium “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine, etc.
  6. Chad Kruger: director of  WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center (NWREC), director of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR), member of the Washington Department of Natural Resources Expert Council on Climate Change, board member for the Northwest Ag Business Center, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Northwest Environmental Forum.
  7. Dr. Richard Teague, Grazing specialist and Associate Resident Director and Professor at Texas A&M AgriLife Research
  8. Darren Doherty: cofounder and president of Regrarians,  farmer, developer, author & trainer and has been involved in the design & development of nearly 2000 projects across 6 continents in close to 50 countries
  9. Patrick Holden: founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust, former director of the Soil Association
  10. Dr. Jason Rowntree: Assistant Professor and Coordinator of two research farms for Michigan State University
  11. Dr. Kristine Nichols: current Chief Scientist for the Rodale Institute, Soil Microbiologist with the USDA, received the 2012 Conservation Research Award from the International Soil and Water Conservation Society
  12. Owen Hablutzel: serves on the IUCNs Resilience Task Force and as a director of the Permaculture Research Institute, USA.
  13. Ivan Aguirre: multi-generational rancher from Sonora, Mexico
  14. Jim Howell: co-founder of Grasslands LLC, the Savory Institute, and author of “For the Love of Land—Global Case Studies of Grazing in Nature’s Image”
  15. Seth Itzkan: futurist, CEO and founder of Planet-Tech Associates, with twenty five years experience consulting for municipal, state, and government agencies on climate change mitigation, technology, etc.
  16. Finian Makepeace: songwriter, producer at The Makes, and founder of Kiss The Ground
  17. Ronnie Cummins: member of the Organic Consumer Association, Holistic Manager in Costa Rica.
  18. Brittany Cole Bush: “modern day urban shepherdess” from California managing over 2,500 animals

Africa-UK 161

Books Supporting Holistic Management

  1. Holistic Management: A New Framework For Decision Making
  2. Geotherapy
  3. Planned Grazing: A Study Guide And Reference Manual
  4. How To Not Go Broke Ranching
  5. Defending Beef
  6. For The Love Of The Land: Global Case Studies Of Grazing In Nature’s Image
  7. Holistic Management Handbook
  8. Cows Save The Planet
  9. Gardener’s Of Eden: Rediscovering Our Importance To Nature
  10. The Soil Will Save Us

High-Density Grazing at B-C Ranch, SK, Canada

Video Evidence For Holistic Management

  1. The Power Of Holistic Management, In Pictures
  2. Allan Savory’s Lecture At Tufts University
  3. Occam’s Grazer: An In Depth Introduction To Holistic Management
  4. Ovis 21 Restoring Grasslands in Patagonia with Holistic Management
  5. Grazing Specialist Finds Most Success With Holistic Management
  6. The First Millimeter Documentary
  7. Tony Lovell, Large Scale Holistic Management Results In Australia
  8. Getting Results On The Land With Holistic Management
  9. Greg Judy’s Grazing Results
  10. Joel Salatin On Holistic Management
  11. Holistic Management At Work
  12. Holistic Management In Zimbabwe, Ministry Of Women’s Affairs
  13. John D Liu Talks About Holistic Management
  14. Seth Itzkan Talks About Holistic Management and Climate Change
  15. Patrick Holden On Holistic Management
  16. River Restoration In Zimbabwe


Other Evidence Supporting Holistic Management

  1. Survey of 43 Ranchers in the Northern Rockies on the observed effects of Holistic Management, 87% have increased stocking rate, 68% have reduced soil erosion, 85% have increased biodiversity, etc.
  2. Well Managed Pasture Capable Of Absorbing Cattle Methane
  3. Evidence From Savory Institute
  4. Scientific American considers Holistic Management worthy of an article, no criticism either. 
  5. Why Properly Managed Livestock Are The Key To Stopping Climate Change
  6. Sound Management May Sequester Methane In Grazed Rangeland Ecosystems
  7. Communities in Landscapes project Benchmark Study of Innovators, University Of Sydney
  8. Soil Carbon Coalition, Change Map

Bunched Bison

Comparison Pictures Supporting Holistic Planned Grazing

  1. All of them can be found in these two infographics
  2. Holistic Results, fence-line photos in Australia
  3. Excerpts from Allan Savory’s Talk at Tufts University
  4. Report From Africa
  5. Pictures of Land Restoration With Holistic Management
  6. Allan Savory’s Ranch


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