Talk:Holistic management (agriculture)

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Consensus needed to determine if the proposed rewrite is ready[edit]

Please post your vote or advise for improvement here. Thanks in advance.Redddbaron (talk) 21:14, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

I have moved the article from your user space to main space. The AFD notice at the top of this page should remain, although it is not applicable to the current version of this article. ~Amatulić (talk) 00:22, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very muchRedddbaron (talk) 02:38, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Huge improvement compared to the deleted version. Now encyclopedic, NPOV, etc. Thanks for all your work. DocTree (ʞlɐʇ·cont) Join WER 22:22, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Your opinion means a lot. Now if I could just figure out how to load a pic! LMAO Redddbaron (talk) 02:53, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Depends a bit on the copyright status. If its a photo you took yourself or has no copyright restrictions it probably best to upload direct to commons commons:Special:UploadWizard otherwise use Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard but only if you can make a case for fair use.--Salix (talk): 04:55, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
No, I don't have any pics I took myself, I was only trying to get the article up to GA status or better.Redddbaron (talk) 05:56, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Wrong title[edit]

"Holistic management" is a general pair of words, and has been used in a very general sense many times to mean things quite distinct from Savory's concept. I list a few, found of WorldCat & Google books.

  • Harnden, Roger, and Allenna Leonard. How Many Grapes Went into the Wine: Stafford Beer on the Art and Science of Holistic Management. Chichester: Wiley, 1994. link I see no connection in the table of contents for the use of this term with Savory's theories.
  • Olsen, Jerry, Thomas W. Nielsen, Susan Trost, and Peter Olsen. Holistic Discipline: A Total Approach to Classroom Management. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia, No apparent connection.
  • Zink, Klaus J. Total quality management as a holistic management concept: the European model for business excellence. Berlin [u.a.]: Springer,
  • Böhm, Klara. Social and Cultural Impacts of Tourism: A Holistic Management Approach for Sustainable Development. Saarbruc̈ken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Mul̈ler, 2009. link
  • Håkanson, Lars, Henrik Ragnarsson Stabo, and Andreas C. Bryhn. The Fish Production Potential of the Baltic Sea A New General Approach for Optimizing Fish Quota Including a Holistic Management Plan Based on Ecosystem Modelling. Berlin: Springer, 2010. link
  • Carona, Michael S. Holistic Management: Developing an Organizational Vision in the 21st Century. Sacramento: Peace Officer Standards and Training, 1991. link

not to mention a great number of journal and magazine articles. on Google Scholar, only a few of which have any connection. Trying to appropriate a common term is promotional.

None the less, Holistic management in Sovory's sense is a notable concept, and should be covered. I'm reluctant to suggest "Holistic Management (agriculture)" because the term has probably been used in agriculture to mean other things also, but I can not at the moment think of a better. Is there a better?

As another problem, the article is at present promotional and contain WP:SYNTHESIS. Not quite so promotion as to nominate for speed deletion under G11, because I think it can be fixed by editing. The first step is to clarify that this is expounding one person's theory, not a general concept. This requires phrases like "As used by Savory ..." "According to Savory's ideas ... " I agree theiy are awkward, but I don't see how to avoid them.

Other parts of the problem with promotionalism are

  1. The quote from the Prince of Wales, "he work of a remarkable man called Allan Savory" This quote is name dropping to be used at all, and certainly not as a pull quote He's known for his interest in the subject, but he's at most an interested amateur.
  2. The use of bullet points. We're an encyclopedia.Bullet points are for sales presentations.
  3. The extensive background section explaining why other approaches do not work.
  4. The excessive use of see also to every related topic; linking to the justified ones in the article is enough.
  5. The use of the single USDA reference to claim widespread use by the USDA. This may be true, but needs better sourcing
  6. The use of references from the Savory Institute
  7. The use of minor press eleases and news items as references.

The synthesis is the use of general references to ecology to support the theory. This is appropriate for a book by Savory, where he is making a case for the theory. It is not appropriate here, where we are trying to describe it.

I have no previous knowledge of this topic of of him, until I saw a related Deletion Review, and I rather like his ideas as I understand them. His books are published by a very reputable environmental publisher, and are in hundreds of libraries. My main concern at WP these days is to remove promotionalism, which is a danger to our reliability as a NPOV encyclopedia. The only reason IU do not deal with it as I usually deal with articles like this by editing is that I'm not sure the article is viable at all if a proper title cannot be found. DGG ( talk ) 00:04, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

I am curious. Why is the fact that Holism can be used on pretty much any complex natural system, thus be called "holistic management" in the context of applied science, or specifically applied ecology, change the article name? Since obviously ecology is a natural system by definition and Holism is a scientific method? Your argument while well stated appears to me to mainly have a problem with the fact that Holistic management is entering the mainstream and being applied to other fields besides grazing now as well. (a fact I mentioned and gave a couple examples in the article)It seems to me you just gave more examples. I wouldn't mind improving the article at all with your help. Maybe we can expand the uses section? Or possibly instead of that maybe we could change the title to the full title "Holistic managed planned grazing"?Redddbaron (talk) 01:47, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
PS The basis for calling it "Holistic managed planned grazing" would be [1] however that of course limits how you would add other uses in the uses section. So I think you could either expand the uses section or change the title, but not both. As to your point about the "see also" section. One of the main criticisms in the original delete discussion was it was a walled garden. So I took their advise and linked it to a bunch of other pages. This also allowed me to write the article in summary form and link to other pages for detailed info. If I went too far, then what would be a happy medium? Holism and systems thinking both are concepts that mean looking at the whole. That means LOTS of other concepts, and thus lots of other wiki pages. For a better context of the discussions, check out my user talk page, since the discussion was put there when I had the page userfied so I could rewrite it. Redddbaron (talk) 02:25, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
The title seems entirely appropriate and well matched to the subject of the article, which does an excellent job of providing the context for Savory's concept, by far its most common sense. So much so that one would almost think his Holistic Management International owned the trademark on 'Holistic Management' (which it does). "Agriculture for 200, Alex." "Developed by Allan Savory and most commonly applied in livestock grazing, this provides a decision-making framework to achieve an overarching goal." "What is Holistic Management?" "Right for 200!" Danny Sprinkle (talk) 21:45, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
OK some changes have been made.

1)The quote from the Prince of Wales, "he work of a remarkable man called Allan Savory" This quote is name dropping to be used at all, and certainly not as a pull quote He's known for his interest in the subject, but he's at most an interested amateur.

I added the Prince Charles quote for two reasons. Notability and the added POV from a political source. The quote is from a talk to the IUCN World Conservation Congress which is primarily a political organization. I will add the IUCN in the article so that the quote doesn't seem like name dropping only. Let me know what you think please?

2)The use of bullet points. We're an encyclopedia.Bullet points are for sales presentations.

Would numbers work better? I copied the bullet format from similar pages found on other wiki pages. PS I always saw bullet points as an organizational and educational tool. But I freely admit I haven't attended many sales presentations. So you could be right there and I would have no way of knowing it.

3)The extensive background section explaining why other approaches do not work.

I would remind you of a quote.

"Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward"-Thomas Edison

This is the development section after all. I wouldn't want to create the false impression Savory developed it out of thin air with no failures along the way.

4)The excessive use of see also to every related topic; linking to the justified ones in the article is enough.

I removed a couple. I will probably remove a few more as long as removing them doesn't recreate the walled garden effect again. That's what got the original article deleted in the first place before I rewrote it. PS OK about 1/2 of them removed.

5)The use of the single USDA reference to claim widespread use by the USDA. This may be true, but needs better sourcing

Done. Thanks for the advise.

6) The use of references from the Savory Institute

Not really sure what I can do about that. If I take off the references, then the paragraphs become unsourced. If I completely remove the paragraphs, then the reader will have no way to know what the management system is, how it works, or how it is applied. It would relegate the article to non useful mediocrity. Kind of a catch 22 there. It was my understanding that primary sources couldn't be used for notability, but could be used when reasonable. I removed all but those two when I rewrote the article. I can't figure out a way to get around the catch 22. Any ideas? PS I added a second reference to the single references, but they are basically just the same type of thing coming from a very slightly different direction. Basically the chain always ends with Savory because he is the primary person who developed it. It is just one small link in the chain farther up and the additional reference I added uses Savory as its source.

7) The use of minor press releases and news items as references.

Minor to city folk maybe, but minor to a farmer? I guess it depends on your POV. I realize our society doesn't respect farmers and farming press releases, farming magazines, country magazines, and country newspapers may seem minor. After all the number of farmers in an industrial society is relatively small. But those magazines, press releases etc.. are not necessarily minor in their own context. And they are not stand alone, there are also press releases, magazines etc... sourced in the article from the larger POV of the environment too. Again it seems somewhat like a catch 22. Could you be more specific? I could remove references, but run into the problem of not referencing the article properly. Where can I remove a so called "minor" reference, and not leave the article short on references? Because I have been taking the approach that where ever possible if a weak reference was used to try to add a stronger reference as well. A good example being the criticism section:
"Another common criticism of holistic planned grazing is that while farmers and ranchers around the world have proven it consistently works for them and they have even received awards,[37][38][2][39][40] the majority of scientists have consistently stated that rotational grazing systems do not show any evidence of benefit, and those managers' successful examples are anecdotal.[41][42]"
Several minor references added together with 2 stronger references and then 2 scientific references at the end, creating a general larger picture. So one statement has 5 references in the middle and 2 at the end. Taken as a whole, they together create a picture greater than the sum of their individual parts! ;) Redddbaron (talk) 19:39, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
  • note: An IP user changed the criticism section precisely at the part discussed above (7) without discussing it for consensus here. I undid the revision and await discussion. Redddbaron (talk) 16:33, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

name changes[edit]

The common name holistic planned grazing was substituted for Holistic managed planned grazing and Holistic management where appropriate as suggested by Danny Sprinkle. I left only one full Holistic managed planned grazing (the full scientific name). Thanks for the suggestion Danny.Redddbaron (talk) 17:00, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

The page title[edit]

A remaining major problem is the title of the page. It is not about holistic management in general, but Holistic management in agriculture. I've suggested that as a title, and it's still a good idea. (in fact it's about Holistic management in agriculture as a specific theory by an individual, but even that is less important than getting the material away from a title that does not describe the subject discussed,. DGG ( talk ) 17:15, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

I'd be happy with Holistic management (agriculture).--Salix (talk): 17:18, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Moved accordingly. I also rewrote the introduction to match. And I removed the etymology of what are two rather common words. DGG ( talk ) 17:25, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
The title change is good. The vast majority of of this is used in agriculture. But there are some who use it for resource management, wildlife management, ecosystem reclamation etc..., which isn't always agriculture, but usually is. Fine line I guess. Close enough. The etymology I think should be there, at least partly. Maybe just the etymology on Holistic? It seems a fairly large number of people tend to associate either a religious or dogmatic connotation to the word and I placed the etymology there to help resolve that right from the get go. It is using the word from its basic Greek root of "whole" not from something being necessarily "Holy" (Which ironically in some ways probably has a similar Proto-Indo-European root but went an entirely different direction). I tested this out on a lot of people when I was writing the article and that simple change seemed to resolve the connotation issue pretty well.Redddbaron (talk) 18:57, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Since no one objected, I tried a partial etymology to see if the other editors like it as a compromise between no etymology and the original long winded one. Hopefully we retain the readability. Redddbaron (talk) 12:59, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Porobably just a link to Holism is important, as the name has come from the general idea of Holism developed in the late 20th century.--Salix (talk): 13:45, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
How do you feel about the removal of "a systems thinking approach to managing resources."? It seems to me as if the rewrite removing that phrase and the addition and emphasis on (agriculture) only is an attempt to use reductionism on something inherently and by definition something using holism. It kind of strikes a nerve in my thinking process to use reductionism on holism. I don't know how to explain it better than that. One of the primary things about holistic management is it also carbon and water cycles and other resources that extend beyond the agriculture itself, not to mention things like wildlife management, mine reclamation, reversing desertification etc that aren't even necessarily agriculture at all.Redddbaron (talk) 15:53, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, since no one commented here, I slightly reworded the initial statement to better reflect the actual holistic view as opposed to the reductionist view. Hopefully it is a good compromise. I want to avoid an edit war at all costs. But I do think that the slight change to a broader POV is important. Redddbaron (talk) 14:38, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

"Holistic management" redirects to "Holistic management (agriculture)". This is the first instance I've seen of a redirect from "X" to "X (Y)". Seems to me that any redirect of that form should be the name of the article and not merely a redirect to it. Vaughan Pratt (talk) 17:28, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

I have to agree. But certain compromises had to be made to avoid an edit war.Redddbaron (talk) 01:03, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Changes made to criticism and uses sections[edit]

Can we discuss these changes? I believe the use of holistic management in no-til shouldn't be completely omitted. Possibly reworded if people have issues with it. And the criticism section, while I agree that the groups mentioned have arguments that are irrelevant, I included them because no one can deny that they are some of the most critical opponents of Holistic management. You don't have to agree with them to acknowledge their criticisms. Redddbaron (talk) 15:43, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the query. Your points:

1) Holistic farming may include no-till techniques, but I think it is misleading to state that no-till is itself a version of holistic management. There are plenty of no-till farmers who are otherwise no more holistic than their neighbors. It might be OK to say something like 'Holistic approaches to agriculture may include no-till farming, intercropping, and permaculture."

2) These criticisms are of animal production in general, not holistic management specifically. The fact that they criticize holistic range management is simply a part of this overall criticism. As such, it really does not belong here. If you want to add it somewhere, put it in the Livestock page. Mukugodo

Correct "There are plenty of no-till farmers who are otherwise no more holistic than their neighbors." Just as there are mine reclamation projects that don't use holistic management. And there are ranchers that don't use holistic management. And there are water management projects that don't use holistic management. The uses section is simply various ways holistic management can be used and is being used with references of their use. In no way does it imply that Holistic management is the dominant management system in any of those fields. As far as the criticism section. I'll not sweat it too much since I don't even agree with the criticism, only placing it there to show the criticism others have, but I'll point out I worded it precisely the way I did to show it was related to a general criticism of animal use. So I still don't see why you needed to remove it.Redddbaron (talk) 19:08, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

A) As per your comments, I suggest again the wording I suggested before.

B) Deleted because the criticism is not about holistic range management, it is about range management in general. If you want to say exactly that, OK, but I still think it is out of place.

In both cases, it is a matter of distinguishing between statements about holistic management per se, and topics ancillary to (merely related to) holistic management

Fair enough. I'll leave the paragraph removed from the criticism section off. AND I replaced the No Til with intercropping, and permaculture and used a qualifier "certain forms" to avoid confusion with conventional non-holistic versions of agriculture. I also made a few very minor clean up changes so the article reads well, while keeping the majority of the changes you made. There is still one part that the wording seems strange to me, but I'll let it simmer a bit and see if a better wording comes to mind later. Thanks for your interest in the article and helpful edits. Redddbaron (talk) 17:23, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

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