Dick developed the Grass Group concept to assist small groups of four to five grazing businesses to fine-tune their grazing management skills. As facilitator of the Grass Group, Dick attends four meetings a year with each group, to help work through grazing problems/opportunities identified within the group. In short, you learn and receive support from Dick, from other board members, and you in turn provide support and learning to the other Grass Group members. Each meeting the group identifies problems/opportunities for your (grass) business; sets tasks for you to complete before the next meeting; you report back to your group; you assist other group members with their problems/opportunities.
Dick has observed a common trend among grazing businesses that have been rotationally grazing for a while - ‘stocking rate stagnation’ and ‘monocultures of perennial plants’. He has found that the cause is ‘set patterns of grazing’ – particularly with ‘holistic grazing with cell grazing’.
Another common issue nowadays is low levels of profit, often as a result of low levels of income derived from the land (that may be over-valued for the productive capacity). Low income levels are often related to ‘production’ (or turnover) but in which areas does production need to increase? Capital always needs to be invested to get the best return on investment (ROI), and being part of a Grass Group assists in identifying the best ROI for often scarce capital.
Dick assists Grass Group members to identify and pick the so-called ‘low hanging fruit’ returns. Time and again, fine-tuning produces the most sustainable and immediate dollar return.