The Fielding Ranch lies along the banks of the Pedernales River near Johnson City, Texas. Pam Fielding participated in Holistic Management International (HMI) educational events for several years growing an interest in a new paradigm for ranch management. She jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Soil for Water Program when it launched in 2015.

Since 1984, HMI has helped communities grow and thrive by educating family farmers and ranchers and pastoralists in regenerative agricultural practices that empower them to strengthen their businesses, produce healthier food, improve local wildlife habitats and protect the environment. The Soil for Water program partners with HMI regularly to host educational events and conduct research.

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Birdwell and Clark Ranch, a stocker operation, is a 11,700-acre ranch of tall grass prairie, river bottoms and brushy draws located in north central Texas in Clay County. Emry Birdwell studied under Allan Savory in the 1980s learning the benefits of holistic management. Deborah Clark is a HMI Certified Educator. The knowledge of grazing and passion for the land held between Emry and Deborah makes the Birdwell and Clark ranch a unique regenerative agriculture operation that has received national notoriety.

Deborah speaks regularly at conferences such as the Regenerate Conference put on by the Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management, and The American Grass-fed Association. They have also participated in Executive Link an arm of Ranching for Profit. Emry and Deborah are a dynamic duo as you can see in the Soil Carbon Cowboy video at the bottom of this story.

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Bamberger Ranch Preserve, located in Blanco County, Texas, is a powerful story of love and conservation. J. David Bamberger sought to realize a dream of land conservation, and in 1969 went looking for the worst piece of ranch land in the Texas Hill Country. J. David was inspired by author Louis Bromfield, who published a memoir in 1945 about restoring a run-down farm back to health and beauty. J. David has dedicated the past 50+ years to restoring this run-down 5500 acre ranch to a model of health, winning numerous awards along the way. The story of Bamberger Ranch has been the subject of two books – “Water From Stone: The Story of Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve” and “Seasons At Selah: The Legacy of Bamberger Ranch Preserve;” along with numerous videos documenting the extraordinary restoration and lessons learned from this amazing achievement. Soil for Water is privileged to include Bamberger Ranch Preserve in it’s program.

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by Peggy Sechrist, Soil for Water Advisor

Hershey Ranch located in Gillespie County in the Central Texas Hill Country has a fascinating history. It is composed of property from seven land grants and patents that date back to when Texas was a Colony of Spain. In 1857, the property known today as the Hershey Ranch was once owned by a Scottish cotton factory owner which is unique because Gillespie County was largely settled by Germans. Jake and Teresa Hershey purchased the property in 1976 for cattle ranching. Good land stewardship was always a priority for them. They donated a conservation easement to the Hill Country Land Trust to protect it from future development. It is now the largest piece of protected land in Gillespie County.

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