Savory Institute

The Savory Institute facilitates the realization of a life of enduring returns for the land and all who depend on it. The Institute is the brain trust of the organization. We develop innovative tools and enhanced curricula, inform policy, establish market incentives, increase public awareness, and coordinate relevant research, cultivating relationships with aligned partners.

brain trust


A group of official or unofficial advisers concerned especially with planning and strategy; a group of people who give advice to a leader about what should be done

Our Strategy

Our strategy is three-fold: We demonstrate our results in diverse contexts; we equip and empower people and share our experiences in learning and achieving success; and we pave the way for a global movement to take off, being an advocate and catalyst of needed change.

Demonstrate Success

In partnerships with aligned organizations, with the intention of building capacity and proof of concept in key strategic regions, we demonstrate the power of Holistic Management through Special Projects. Currently, we have special projects in the USA, New Zealand, and China, and are beginning work in new regions in 2015. Among our strategic partners we can mention Grasslands LLC, The Nature Conservancy, and Heifer International.

Empower People

Through a global network of entrepreneurial innovators and leaders committed to serving their regions with the highest standards of Holistic Management training and implementation support, and incubating contextually relevant, holistic solutions to accelerate the needed shifts in decision making and resource management. In the past 3 years, 30 Hubs have been established and nurtured, and we plan to welcome many more in the years to come.

Facilitate Improved Conditions

Informing Policy and Programs

Policies and development programs concerning grasslands and livestock management in many countries are often flawed – and they are a major reason why desertification is expanding so rapidly around the world. The Savory Institute informs policymakers and stakeholders of the need to shift current agriculture and land management policies and programs.

Identifying and Establishing Market Incentives

The Savory Institute works to identify and establish strategies to create market-based incentives to encourage managing holistically to create environmental, economic and social benefits.

Monitoring, Curating, and Coordinating Research

The Savory Institute coordinates and supports comprehensive social, ecological, and financial monitoring and relevant research. We work in collaboration with organizations, scientists, and academic institutions to collect and conduct research that will increase our understanding of how properly managed livestock in the grasslands of the world and managing holistically contribute to increasing biological diversity, increasing soil carbon, and addressing problems such as drought, poverty, hunger, and social violence.

Increasing Public Awareness

The Savory Institute engages many different audiences to change public perception that livestock itself causes the degradation of grasslands. It is actually the way humans manage livestock that is the culprit. This fundamental shift in thinking must happen to drive needed policy and market shifts. Many different key environmental activists and thought leaders are supporting our efforts to increase public awareness such as TED, HRH Prince of Wales, Deepak Chopra, Ian Somerhalder, Hazel Henderson, Gretel Erlich, and Peter Byck among others.


In the 1960s Zimbabwean wildlife biologist-farmer Allan Savory made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and developed a way to restore the land to health using livestock as his primary tool.

For centuries we believed livestock were a major cause of desertification, but Savory’s research showed that the cause lay in how those livestock were managed. His solution involved mimicking the behavior of the formerly vast herds of wild grazing animals he had witnessed as a young biologist. He devised a simple method any pastoralist can use to move massive amounts of carbon and water from the atmosphere back to the soil and begin reversing thousands of years of human-caused desertification – on the scale required, which no technology imaginable can accomplish. In the process, we can feed more people and enhance societal well-being.

Ask Allan to Speak at Your Event
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.
Ban Ki-moon

At the 777 Ranch in South Dakota, USA, Holistic Management practices are bringing back the native vegetation and wildlife. 28,000 acres house 1,700 bison which rely on the original diversity of flora and fauna to thrive.

  • Soil erosion — it has stopped completely
  • 40%
    Decrease in space between plants
  • 48%
    Decrease in less desirable annual grasses
  • 77%
    Decrease in bare ground

In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the Africa Center for Holistic Management is a model of sustainable resource management that can be replicated in the region and elsewhere. People working together are steadily making a difference to restore land productivity, diversity of wildlife, and local livelihoods by learning how to manage their natural resources in a regenerative fashion.

  • 270%
    Increase in forage production
  • 440%
    Increase in crop yield
  • 12%
    Increase in perennial grasses
  • 31%
    Decrease in bare ground

Near San Gregorio, Chile, Estancia Nevada is a ranch where sheep are raised for Merino wool. Erosion that was once evident on slopes and dry lagoons is now mostly covered and plant diversity has increased greatly in a very short time.

  • 25%
    Increase in stocking rate
  • 60%
    Increase in forage production


The Savory Institute has compiled and curated a portfolio of peer reviewed papers, articles, white papers, and case studies that represent the scientific evidence of our work.