CEO Grasslands LLC,
Jim Howell was raised both in California and Colorado, where his family has ranched since the late 1800s. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Animal Science from Cal Poly Pomona, completing his final year as a foreign exchange student at Lincoln University in New Zealand in 1991. Right out of college, Jim cowboyed on a large diversified ranching operation in western Colorado, then managed a 1000-cow pasture-based dairy in east Texas. From 1994-96, he co-managed (with wife Daniela) the 34,000 acre High Lonesome Ranch in the Chihuahua Desert of southwestern New Mexico. After traveling extensively in Africa in 1996, Jim and Daniela settled on Jim’s family’s ranch in high altitude southwestern Colorado, near Cimarron, where they've managed multiple grazing, hunting, forestry, and educational enterprises on both the family ranch and adjacent leased ranches. Jim and Daniela have also led close to thirty educational trips to ecologically and economically vibrant, creatively managed ranches in Argentina, Australia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and New Zealand. In his former consulting practice, Jim helped bring holistic management decision making and planning to ranching clients across the American West. He now leads the Savory Institute’s land management arm, Grasslands, LLC, where he is a partner and co-founder. Jim is also a co-founder of the Savory Institute. He has published one book, For the Love of Land—Global Case Studies of Grazing in Nature’s Image. Jim and Daniela have two young daughters—Savanna and Mia, and are now based in Boulder, Colorado
Director of Range Monitoring
Although he was born and raised in Connecticut, Will has always felt a deep bond and connection with Montana and the West. From a young age, he spent his summers working as a wrangler at a guest ranch in Montana’s Blackfoot Valley. He moved to Montana in 2015 after graduating from the University of Virginia, where he studied business, social entrepreneurship, and public policy. Since then, he has continued his work as a wrangler, started colts and trained horses in the Bitterroot Valley, and assisted the operations of a local grass-fed beef start-up. Will began his work with Grasslands in 2016 when he traveled to the South Island of New Zealand to work on the ground for Lees Valley Station. He is deeply interested in land management, conservation, sustainable business, and ranching, and he feels incredibly fortunate to be working with Grasslands.
Ryan most loves playing daddy, teacher, artist, and steward among the great plains. Ever since exploring the backwoods of Maryland as a child, he's passion has been studying nature and wildlife art. After graduating in 2003 with a BA in Environmental Studies and Studio Art at Principia College, Ryan pursued his dual interests by creating scientific illustrations for the Smithsonian Institute, teaching environmental education, and leading stewardship initiatives for schools as well as the National Audubon Society. During his pursuit to restore prairie on a large-scale, he was led to first work with community groups in 2006. Since 2009, he has been working to ensure that family, community, and land can jointly profit from managing livestock through the application of Holistic Management. Ryan lives with his wife Bethany and three children, Savanna, Wesley and Cora in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Blue Head Land and Cattle Co, Lake Placid, Florida
Ron spent the first half of his life aware that conditions on the ground had deteriorated dramatically since his great grandparents first emigrated west and started the family ranch in western Kansas in the 1870's. He left home in his teens and since then has lived and worked in 10 western states so has had ample opportunity to see similar changes throughout the west but didn't question why or wonder if there was any remedy. Meeting Alan Savory and being introduced to Holistic Management in the mid-1980's changed that. Since then his focus has been to manage ranches in such a manner as to improve the biological health of the land while enhancing the quality of life for his family, neighbors and friends. Ron and Kathleen have been married for 28 years and have three grown children and one granddaughter.
Crocodile Hunter and Master of all tasks
Rowdy Sullivan Is from Arcadia, Florida where he was born and raised and where his roots run deep in the history of the town itself. As a 6th generation in a long line of Florida 'Cracker' Cowboys, Rowdy has learned everything he knows from his father, uncle, and grandfather before him. Growing up his entire life on ranches in South Florida, where his father and uncle were ranch managers, fueled his passion for agriculture and wildlife. In his early twenties Rowdy left ranching and became a hurricane chaser and worked in construction before the love of ranch life pulled him back. Rowdy got his start managing hunting leases on the 66,000 acre Blue Head Ranch in Lake Placid FL where he met his wife (best gift he has ever received) and became the 3rd generation in his family to work on the same ranch at different times. During that time Rowdy received his license for prescribed burning, and took an active role in the natural resource management of the property. In 2014 the southern end of the ranch sold and Grasslands, LLC brought Rowdy along to continue to assist in managing and improving that portion. "What Grasslands, LLC stands for fits in with everything I want to accomplish as a land manager. I'm looking forward to continuing my work with a team of people who all have one goal, to improve the biological health of the land, all while improving the quality of life for the surrounding communities."
Jason Goddard, 27, Ron's and Kathleen's oldest, came to his folks house for Christmas dinner last winter and decided to stay. He turned his horshoeing business in South Central Montana over to his former helper and came back to his roots. Having been brought up watching holistic planned grazing in action on several ranches Ron managed and then working on a few conventionally run operations before taking up full time farrier work several years ago, Jason doesn't need any convincing that Grasslands is on the right track.
Mark Nelsen was born in Central Florida and lived there until he moved to Colorado to go to the Air Force Academy. Between the academics and military life he realized that his real desire was working working with Cattle. He finished his college back in Florida at the University of Florida with an Animal Sciences degree. Mark has since lived and worked in Nevada, Wyoming, California and Florida on large ranches. When Mark heard that Ron Goddard was heading to Florida with Grasslands, He knew it was an opportunity he didn't want to miss out on.
Lees Valley Station and Gleneyre,
Oxford, Canterbury, New Zealand
Brandon Dalton moved to Lees Valley from Antelope Springs Ranch in eastern Montana with his wife, Brandy, and sons Emmett and Garrett, and have since welcomed their daughter, Ashley. Brandon originates from Wyoming, and has lived in worked in several places across the west. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Wyoming before attending Washington State University, where he earned his M.S. in Zoology. Brandon was initially attracted to Holistic Management after seeing encouraging results of planned grazing on a large ranch managed by his father-in-law. He chose to combine his background in biological sciences with his passion for regenerative natural resource management after realizing the power of Holistic Management to produce triple-bottom line results.
Senior Operations Manager
Rebecca has spent most of her life in Christchurch, Canterbury, a short drive from Lees Valley Station. Rebecca studied law and European languages at Canterbury University (Christchurch) and Victoria University (Wellington) and joined Grasslands NZ in 2014 after ten years in commercial law. Rebecca is passionate about family, friends and traveling, and manages the operations, administration and compliance of the Lees Valley and Gleneyre enterprise.
Grazing & Forage Planning Coordinator
Bringing some German culture to North Canterbury, Rapha worked with us at Lees Valley back in 2015/2016 and returned in early 2019 with his wife Anni, in the position of Grazing & Forage Planning Co-ordinator.