Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 42
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Knight et al. (2002) explain other ways to diversify. They suggest that diversification
may come thru development of enterprises that increase goods, services, or experiences produced
or created. Finding niche markets that cater to high-end users is a way to diversify. Grass-fed
beef, organic food production, and specialized textile production could be examples of this.
Diversification through combinations of livestock may also enhance a rancher's ability to
avoid catastrophic losses because the probability of simultaneously suffering economic losses in
any given year in two or more diverse enterprises is usually much less than the probability of
experiencing losses in any given year for a single enterprise. This risk management strategy,
known as investment diversification, has long been an accepted business practice (Conner,
Holistic Management Principles
There is a dichotomy that exists between those interested in preserving the ecosystem
surrounding grazing lands. Scholars (Belsky, 1986; Briske et al., 2008) along with
environmental activists (Raether, 2002) site articles that show that livestock have promoted
invasive species of plants, that rotational grazing does not increase animal or plant productivity,
or that absence of livestock does not lead to reduction of rangeland productivity. Others believe
that the rangeland is best managed for diversity and ecological function under the watchful eye
of the conscious agrarian (Hughes, 1983; Dagget, 1995).
One philosophy concerning rangeland management that began to draw interest in the late
1970's and early 1980's is "Holistic Resource Management" (HRM). This movement continues
to have a strong following today. "The holistic decision-making process incorporates values-
based goal setting, the appropriate use of tools, financial planning, land planning, biological
planning, and careful monitoring of effects. All these aspects are managed as a whole unit. The
benefits are higher quality of life, financial stability, consistent profitability, and the confidence
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Becker, Wayne. Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103289/m1/53/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .