In the world of ranch management, good stewardship practices in regenerative and/or sustainable agriculture are popular with modern landowners because of its ecological and economical viability. This August, Ken Mirr, Owner/Ranch Broker at Mirr Ranch Group, had the chance to visit the TomKat Ranch with the rest of the Western Landowners Alliance board to learn about how they are implementing strategies to promote rural businesses while also emphasizing ecological health services.
According to the founder of TomKat Ranch, Kat Taylor, “We have the imperative and obligation to engage in a form of agriculture that restores and nurtures rural communities as well as the lands and natural cycles on which we all depend.”
Through regenerative ranching, TomKat Ranch is taking a lead in strengthening the health and stability of:
- Local Rural Economies
- Health and Wellness of the Community
- Climate Stability
- Water Health
- Soil Health
- Animal Welfare
- Food Security
The TomKat Ranch is implementing multiple management practices used at other ranches where they have seen improvements in soil health, overall production, stream flow, and increased carbon sequestration. Although it is too early to see the full scope of success rates across the board at TomKat Ranch, they have seen an uptick in overall production. These practices have included:
- Adaptive Planned Grazing: Improved soil and rangeland diversity
- Compost Application: Increased the soil carbon sequestration
- Strip Seeding: University of California at Davis is working with ranch to re-introduce native grasses to property. These grasses have been detected in 70 of the 75 pastures (an increase from only 5 originally).
- Tree Thinning: Increase carbon sequestration by thinning tree canopy, allowing more sun to reach the lower forage, and stabilizing erosion gullies with excess material from tree thinning.
- Microbe Introduction: Reviving multiple food sources within soil and filled overall microbe need
- No-Till Cover Cropping: Introduced 12+ species to the soil
In addition to the ranch management, the ranch is supporting efforts to:
- Grow the demand for grass fed beef by strengthening overall authenticity through new third party verifications and certifications.
- Creating new types of crop insurance that place an emphasis on soil health
TomKat is one of the premier ranches leading the charge in research and ranch management practices that ensure the sustainability of working ranches. By sharing these revolutionary tests and successful results with organizations like the Western Landowners Alliance, TomKat Ranch is ensuring continued resiliency of our nation’s working landscapes, rural economies, and food supplies.
Ken is proud to be on the board of the Western Landowners Alliance, an organization leading the efforts in creating effective policies and practices that sustain working ranches and landscapes.
For a recap of Ken’s visit, enjoy this video: