We the people of the USA now face a hot problem, an enormous one, that is bubbling from many sources. It's "the rural problem" sketched in the Preface. It's enormous and already affects all citizens. We have to get on its trajectory and it has to be fixed soon.. I'll tell you the details starting in Chapter 4 but, believe me for now, it is real but solvable. Solved or not, life will be different than that which we have known, and I, as you probably do, like things as they are now ... not as I see them coming. I know people now in deep trouble. I'm trying in this book to help you understand the problem, its solution, and its consequences for my daughters, grandchildren, and all of us. I'm trying to present a solution system, a thoughtful successful response to the perceived problem. Too thoughtful probably, sense my love of the land and waters of regions lived in and visited around the world, their amazing beauty, and the majority of kind, loving people that live there.
One symptom of the big problem is that people have left the rural areas for the cities ... and they are still leaving. I'm not discussing the large farms such as those of the Mid-USA that work at an industrial scale and have found ways to solve many of their problems. I'm concentrating on the problems of the thousands of small private rural ownerships of the Southeast, the Pacific Northwest, especially the mid-Atlantic region of the USA, and elsewhere that are being left by people. Within these areas and populations, a half-dozen related problems converge:
Things are not occurring normally now. We have cascading problems, and many of the solutions produce worse problems (e.g., new supplies of natural gas (2011) affecting water and social systems).
Most suitable land is already being farmed. To meet future food needs, there needs to be a major increase in agriculture productivity … on land (a fourth of it) already being farmed in ways that have degraded its production over time. Three-fourths of ocean fish populations are now over exploited. Now we have seemingly irrepressible climate change affecting the production areas. And now we find out that farmers will have to produce 70 percent more food than now on such land by 2050 to meet the needs of a world population that is projected to reach 9 billion.
The Punch Line
I have tried for over 15years to find the right way to tell you and a world of people about what may be the only way to solve a set of major problems within rural areas of the US (and probably the world). I think citizens are willing to face the problems they see but there's something wrong with their glasses prescriptions. We in the US are now living in the best of times but we know that the set of problem is very bad and conditions are worsening. Old solutions haven't and won't work now, partially because the ways to communicate them are very poor. I've failed in the past many years as a teacher to find a way to state both the problem and the solution together. Now I'm taking a new approach. I'm not waiting until the end of the story or this little book. I'm "giving away the punch line." It has three parts:
When Rural System is up and running, the effect will be perceived in history as a major social and rural departure, a time not unlike that of the beginning of "the industrial revolution." Rural System is the solution, and it is:
|a proposed for-profit, novel enterprise for the new rural environment of Eastern USA (first) - its people, farms, communities, and natural resources. We plan and develop under contract privately-owned "enterprise environments," clusters of lands, often of absentee owners. A cooperative provides high-tech and labor services for superior, profitable, long-term land management of the lands. We add to the conglomerate about 50 new related small businesses. We see worldwide franchises for the future land clusters that are managed with incentives of profit, meaningful work, and healthy lands and people.|
Here's my vision.
|The success of Rural System in improving the social, economic, and environmental health and well-being of the people of the region allows the enterprise to become more effective and to offer franchises. It becomes a nation-wide then international corporation having more "groups" than the 50 proposed (from among 90) in 2009. Thus, its influences are transferred throughout nearby regions of western Virginia, USA, but progressively worldwide via a dominant Internet Catalog. It pays off start-up loans at the end of six years and becomes financially secure and semi-philanthropic. It expands in size and effectiveness in improving the social, economic, and environmental health of the rural component of Virginia, then other world regions.
Rural in concept and focus, nevertheless, Rural System has no boundaries. Several centers of activity (franchises) develop in the U.S. and rural areas of the world. It becomes increasingly profitable for its clients, investors, and staff in relation to increased productivity and profitability of the lands, waters, and other natural resources of its affected regions. Significant loss/cost/crisis reductions occur. The work of the diverse conglomerate becomes recognized as providing a major paradigm in sophisticated rural land and resource management. Its influence with cooperators and affiliates are labeled "the rural reformation" and become the basis for a highly profitable business conglomerate operating well past this century, given its special 150-year planning horizon. It out races Cooperative Extension and Outreach groups and a host of diverse natural resource agencies and foundations to the top of and area of action seen as computer-aided rural business and natural resource decision making and management. The incentives become clear for global investors. It becomes the essential medium for integrating these agency's and enterprise's roles for they are now in wasteful conflict, destroy or neuter each other, and the people of the world suffer. Rural System massively overcomes such suffering
I hope that my vision will be become increasingly meaningful to you, the reader. I struggle for your answer to "What's Rural System?" because it's nothing yet. It's a concept. It is just a design and a way for thinking about and working within and solving the problems faced in complex rural space by people. It's a perspective on "the rural problem" that has been addressed in some publications and many committees and conferences of fearful urban people and some government agencies and political groups. The book is long, personal, and gives reasons and details for parts of the solutions ... just to try to make them believable because most of the suggestions I have discovered seem new and unbelievable to some readers, especially whenh presented in pairs.. Immodestly, I fear I may be out of date, but I shall readily substitute advanced tools and procedures.
A few years ago I tried to tell stories about the parts of Rural System in a free Internet book still easily linked at www.http://ruralsystemguide.com/A_Rural/TitlePage.html. Maybe it's just an e-book title, a dream, but it has to be more than that soon. I try to take advice such as "; ...just give me a good example" (... but it's new; I know of none).
It's easy to think of Rural System as a giant, modern corporate lawn-mowing and landscape company. A perplexed business owner might phone the office of such a company and say: "Handle it, just handle it ... my whole lawn thing!" Someone needs to handle the whole rural thing.
"Oh, Rural System is just a large, fancy land-management company," you summarize our brief meeting on the street.
I have to react to that tight remark: "Well, just a little more than that." (as you the reader will see)
One insightful bystander was quick to add: "It's much more because it costs the owner nothing and adds payback to him or her."
It's a way to improve employment, community stability, and natural resource management. I like to think of it as a way to face the future, to hold and maintain the benefits from rural areas of the world for all of us. I'm convinced that the only way to solve the rural problem is through a complex system with profit incentives. Appeals to sacrifice, social responsibility, a land ethic, or esthetic imperatives have only worked for a few people and for a few areas over the past 100 years. They have not worked at the scale and scope of the perceived problem ... and will not now, rapidly enough to meet current needs..
From special characteristics, here's the answer to "what's new?"
"Not much" is the good answer, implying low risk.
What's new is hard, directed, unified work in::
Together; just one thing, a system; Not much!
The description gets too technical too fast. There are some new words. "Just tell me a story" has been said to me several times. So I tried in my book (Rural System? ... Just Dreaming ... and try again more briefly ...
* * *
Once upon a time, Frank and Jane lived on adjacent Virginia farms. The farms were about 50 acres each and a river was one boundary between them. Jane was 70 and the farm was getting to be too much for her. She had three steers, a garden, and a large chicken coop. She loved her chickens! The road needed gravel, the gate was always open, and the steers were dangerous to get into a truck. She knew she had to get to town for regular doctor's visits and the gasoline costs were high. The truck was good, ugly, but too big for her little use. She had lived on the economic margin several years too long.
She signed up as an Environmental Enterprise with Rural System and moved to town. The System Central group from within Rural System rented the chicken coop and expanded bird production into the pasture-fed poultry group. A goose flock was developed in one area. Trees in her heavily-cut forest were put on a new patterned "Produce and Store" strategy for profit and carbon-storage credit gains. A garden site was selected near the highway using the computer mapping technology. Nearby poultry wastes were composted with waste from a local restaurant. Fencing was improved and the pasture changed based on GIS maps. The fields were limed and the herd doubled. The house was slightly re-modeled and became one of the planned Dogwood Inns, a casual bed and breakfast group throughout the region. Trails were built by Stoneworms to the river and through the forest. Nature Folks (members of an organization) visited weekly from the first weeks of signing. A walnut and sycamore grove beside the river was cleared for a memorials group grove. The forest was certified as sustainable under Smartwood with one section being intensively managed for ruffed grouse and another for deer hunters (only slightly for the expanding deer population). A ramp on the river was re-built for access to a boat route for Avi-golf (a new bird-watching sport). The barn was used as a center for building birdhouses and lawn ornaments, some offered by the Ebay Group. A campfire site was developed and it would soon become one night-time stop for the Owls Group bus and evening entertainment working out from the local restaurant. The laborers were all local and employed within the Land Force, a team of 18 new employment slots in the region. The word got out quickly. Her wood value increased 8% in value, faster than its growth. The Wealth Management group invested from some sales; the productivity diversified and increased from nearly-nothing; presence of people reduced vandalism; trespass was stopped by license-holder-use only. Jane reduced her travel, increased her health, got to visit her "old-place," increased her income significantly (12% over her best year), and gained local fame for getting started with Rural System and for that enterprise selling healthful foods from her gardens with those of Frank at the county market stall.
Frank was "getting older faster" and had always had an eye on Jane's place. He knew now that he could never buy it. He saw what was happening on her place and she was taking too much pleasure from hinting to him about the new income she was getting. He signed the contract after listing his conditions and then he got his son to return home. The bait: continue your computer business out of the re-decorated room and work with two new local internet companies. Rural System's Land Force added new gardens, pasture, river-bank improvements, trails, and developed stops for several of the working groups. His forests were different than Jane's and opened possibilities for the wilderness, bobcat, coyote, raccoon, and bear groups. An alpha soil unit was developed in one area; moss, ferns, and floral groups were developed in another. The benefits from the Fishery with a local pond as well as the river were developed rapidly. Site-specific diversity for long-term profit was his contract. Both Frank and Jane had been independent neighbors. Now they retained their lands. Frank remained on the land with his son; They were assisted by Rural System ... all of it ... based on their special needs and the characteristics of the land and its diverse potentials ... and by marketing amounts of produce and service that neither of them had ever achieved alone. They only visited together in town on Saturdays for Jane hated to see the changes made in her house. She still asked about the chickens and loved to hear about changes in the front-yard garden.
The cluster of farms was growing and with the increased scale of operation so were the financial gains of the land owners. Taxes following employment paid to the community increased as did the health and productivity of the land and its waters. No one debated; the quality of life was improving.
* * *
Here's What Rural System Looks Like
The Rural System concept has evolved and now there are several ways to perceive the business (Fig.1.)
|Figure 1. Major components of Rural System are organized and operated together. Groups are "enterprises." Affiliate enterprises are depicted here as one "group." System Central directs the Land Force and provides administrative services.|
Rural System is a private conglomerate corporation with six main parts:
The six parts can be seen (Fig. 2) as single, closely related and interactive, changing often from paired relationships to others symbolized as the sides of tetrahedrons.
|Figure 2. Each part of the system is symbolized as a triangle. The relations are suggested as dynamic and often gaining synergism from planned (shown as folded-up) triplet relationships often becoming tetrahedrons.|
Answers to Evident, Persistent First-Questions
The Right Scale and Structure
I've tried to get Rural System started and failed for many reasons. I've consistently heard the advice from well-wishers: "Start small." I like to take advice well-offered, but I rejected this piece. Advisors hated that. My view is that "small" is a major element of the rural problem. Experts called it "the diseconomy of scale." Creating one enterprise (that unusual small-business herein I call a "group") or only a few new enterprises, will not work. The evidence is in: small businesses fail; small farms fail; small towns fail. Small enterprises in declining areas with small markets are poor investments. The economies of scale, of shared resources, of shifting employees, of planned multiple use of resources and equipment, of adding value to products in the region (not shipping them out), of personal incentives, of rewards, of loyalty to the region and its people and to the corporation, of assistance in planning and economic analyses - all of these can make the difference between success and the spurt of a government program. They make the difference in the local community's enthusiasm for (1) the results of creating Rural System (unknown) and enthusiasm for (2) creating a new (slightly-known) factory that hires 300 people (but is viewed as temporary) and adds untold new demands and costs to the rural county celebrating its arrival.
No one reads big books of speculations and recommendations, and big ideas cannot be written in little books. Journals publish research on controlled experiments; professors review; new collections of old ideas do not fare well when reviewed by them. Only "new" is deemed "good." "Wholes" can never precisely satisfy the critique of a dozen single-topic experts. There is always a poor small part to a very large proposal, thus rejection is the sad but often efficient rule.
Consultants often fail because they cannot stabilize a cash flow. The available cash is too small, too often. An expert may get a contract for work, but before the job is completed, he or she must spend much time and effort to try to obtain another contract and the project suffers. The staff is too small. Projects are unique and expertise is limited. Costs to produce single-person expert documents are high. The average consultant cannot link with others to develop a business large enough to achieve economies of scale, to achieve stability that comes with diversification. Holdover funds for contingencies can rarely be gained while all efforts are spent on securing the next job or improving a response to the present one. There are numerous parallels with consultants and with the farms, counties, and enterprises within the rural regions.
The last of the world's coal is now being mined; wells are deepened; small portable oxygen tanks are conspicuous on people; people are now leaving for the cities. Yet people still do studies on growing turf grass, small herds of cows, and on planted trees on mined-land benches. "The small" will not solve "the big." I have to continue to design, describe, and suggest Rural System. It must be large, diverse, and responsive to the scale of the many related problems. Some day it will be created.
The difficulties do not have to be belabored. The design of Rural System addresses these conditions of the past. It includes gaining sufficient size, diversifying, reaching reasonable limits (but beyond the boundaries), developing adequate contingency resources, doing effective marketing, adding value, using knowledge, generating profitable ideas, and unifying human health with improved and sustained environmental quality. The tasks are many and enormous and no one should ask spiteful questions about why hasn't someone done something? There are enormous barriers now and they have been great in the past.
Abraham Lincoln (Sept 30, 1859, Wisconsin State Fair) was opposed to large farms and it may sound like Rural System is a move in that direction.
"The ambition for broad acres leads to poor farming, even with men of energy. I scarcely ever knew a mammoth farm to sustain itself; much less to return a profit upon the outlay. I have more than once known a man to spend a respectable fortune upon one; fail and leave it; and then some man of more modest aims, get a small fraction of the ground, and make a good living upon it. Mammoth farms are like tools or weapons, which are too heavy to be handled. Ere long they are thrown aside, at a great loss."
The Farm Alternative
The difference in a world with Rural System is in the very concept of "the farm." The passion for private ownership continues but the sizes of operation change and a new emphasis appears on achieving major economies from integrated work. The world is now different and globalizing rapidly. American stores and supply lines are filled with foreign produce. Our grains are more important as an international exchange medium than as a food crop. Competition is worldwide with bullies. Subsidy rules trump research results. Water rights dominate whole regions of the USA, thus agricultural production from them. Markets are small and temporary. Labor to assist in handling the small acreage is difficult to get and to hold. The technical needs for the farm are now vast and even the superior farmer cannot become expert in enough of them to assure above-average performance. "Below-average" equates to "sub-marginal" and that equates to leaving the farm. The modern Eastern US Virginia farm (about 200 acres) is too small; the produce is too small for the grocery store chains to buy; the number of cattle too few to support approved slaughter facilities; the pollution preventions too expensive for a small operation; the tasks too few and diverse for optimum-size tractor and equipment; the staff too small and similar to overcome lost-time units from injury, sickness, or family needs. The operations are too small to acquire the on-site or remote computer services that could provide intelligence and aids for often-break-even decisions. Rural System is big, but "big" is relative, and it cannot be demonstrated (as so many wish it to be) until the first quite large and costly version of it is available. It will be some day.
Let me describe the structure of Rural System, giving an attempt to show you the parts so that later discussions of what the parts do will be useful. An economist studied an early Rural System plan draft and said, "This is too small. There are too few people in the region, too few farms ... too small markets." Within two weeks after those words, E-Bay markets were identified, social networks were prominent, broadband penetrated a neighbor region, and Friedman's (1999) The World is Flat appeared. The world is now the potential market. My graduate students in Senegal, India, and Nigeria offered assistance for pioneer efforts in their countries. An entrepreneur in Guatemala saw a potential in one of the suggested businesses and we began correspondence. The realm of potential success of Rural System was no longer the Virginia coalfield, too small, but the globe Earth.
Professor Iain Clelland, Radford University, developed the concept of farm clusters. To achieve the economy of scale needed, work had to progress past that with the single land ownership. Production from clusters of 3 to 10 ownerships had to respond to reasonable size markets. Rural System is designed to work on private lands, bringing each under contract. (A tract may be a unit of a mining area or similar atypical unit.) Efficiencies are gained by having product- or service-entities distributed among several, often very different land ownerships. Produce from several can be pooled and put in a common market. Cultivation processes can be made efficient. Planting and harvesting crew size can be critical for timely harvests. Equipment may be shared. Bulk purchases may lower prices. Depending on farm size and Rural System's development, clusters of fairly nearby farms will be buying, producing, and selling as a unit. With progressive development, there are likely to be many clusters within a region, eventually most of them stimulated by benefits from participation (primarily reflected in lasting landowner profits).
The Enterprise Environment
The old concept of a "farm" and its independent owner will be fading fast. There are well know corporate farms and I previously mentioned that I was not discussing industrial agriculture. The "farm" is in such transition, so often "bad-off" and depressed and probably unprofitable that it has no modern meaning and only negative connotations including those of the down-trodden "family farm." It probably no longer matches well with Rural System practices. Rural System works with ownerships of many types, typically larger than 50 acres. They are usually lands of absentee owners, families who have gone to the cities. They are also lands of elderly people seeking plans for the future of their lands and for reasonable profits. There may be single-crop areas, single livestock areas, lands totally in forests or a lake, single variety vineyards scattered on private lands through a 3-county area, half of an ownership preserved as wilderness/natural area, 500 scattered rabbit hutches (managed together) tended by youths. They are not uniformly traditional "farms" and these Rural System units are called enterprise environments. Many will appear to be conventional farms with conventional crops, woodlands, and livestock, but they will also have on them or associated with them over 20 on-going small business enterprises or "groups." They may be more connected to foreign countries than to the soil, more linked with people in the next watershed than their own, more dependent upon gasoline price than on their neighbors. These are superiorly managed lands and waters ... with many strongly related rural enterprises. They are privately owned. They are "worked" primarily by people within a unit of Rural System called the Land Force. They are "environments," totally involved above the ground, on the ground and waters, and under it ... linked regionally and world-wide. They are no longer the "acreage down the road." Rural System determines owner's objectives and limitations and sets about achieving them profitably (described in Chapter 4) on that mapped area ... on each enterprise environment, within the context of the contract, the cluster, and the conglomerate ... and Rural System objectives.
Enterprise Environments may later include parts of public lands managed for agencies under contract such as:
A Modern Cooperative
Rural System has been shaping up as a new enterprise, a large diverse cooperative related to former ag-cooperatives. I was embarrassed to learn very late in life that reasonable managers include all of their land units and investments when buying and selling land, paying for insurance, and filing annual tax forms. Keeping things separate and, for example, doing economic analyses of forests as if they were not part of the annual total economic picture of the private land ownership, is patently wrong. Farm success is measured farm profit, and that is assessed annually, and it is the sum of the results of investments and losses over time and the annual gains from all grants, goods, investments, products, and services. It is also strongly influenced by the predicted future - weather, crops, employees, mortgages, and expected college costs for children. Within Rural System, the risks are damped, efficiencies gained, values added, predictions used,and the advantages of scope and scale are gained in the clusters of these enterprise environments.
Developing an enterprise environment (described above) is only a step to the solution. The solution is a corporate cooperative, a single system of many subsystems only about half of which work on the lands and waters of enterprise environments. The parts are commodity or service units, separate enterprises, all working together. The objective is collective profit, not "to farm," or yields of pounds of fish, or board feet of lumber. Thus gains are to be made on the property as well as off of it ... any and all enterprises within the Rural System cooperative. They are made from conventional well-known agricultural activities done very effectively ... and in addition ... they are made from gains in activities of 20 or more related small businesses or enterprises (depending on local characteristics and resources), each called a "group," somewhat like a small company or corporate division (see below).
The Working Platform
Before discussing the "groups" or the separate enterprises, two new dimensions of the "enterprise environment" and work within clusters need to be understood. An evolving approach to the land and water of each ownership is occurring. It became increasingly clear over my career that each square meter of land on Earth is unique. Thus, each enterprise environment is probably unique. Each could easily be seen to have different size, shape, and many other ecological and socio-economic characteristics. Each was then to be evaluated for the best placement within them of all of the groups. Each ownership is a working platform, a mental construct that stresses that each ownership has uses scattered throughout it that are to be decided, not necessarily imposed by the past or even by "nature." If an acre is in weeds after a fire, that condition does not mean that it should be in such plants forever, or as changed "by nature." Neither does an acre in pine forest or clover pasture ordain its future. Temporarily, for planning and thoughtful purposes only, the mapped land parcel is a valueless thing, a pallet. Rarely will major changes be made in the vegetation pattern of a farm because the costs of transforming current conditions into something very different can be great. Nevertheless, there may emerge important analyses prescribing land use to be changed, for example from a forest to grazing land, or a field to a pond. Changes in forestry practices are commonplace as are pasture-land practices. The working platform concept suggests possible actions over a much more extensive range of options than might result from conventional action. The working platform concept mentally works with land and "starts from scratch," trying to allow analytical systems and ideas free range to explore uses that will assure ecologically and economically sound and probable total long-term profitability from units within each ownership ... leading to total system profitability over time. Rationally planting trees, for example, commits land to a single named use for 60 or more years. It reduced the degrees of freedom in decision making for an enterprise environment in both time and space. Financial gains are greatest the longer in place a land investment. Rural System asks the difficult questions: what can be done on each alpha unit (described next) and of those, which is best over the long term? Perhaps trees? Perhaps #333 selected as best by computer from 1500 options of action for each 10m x 10m map square.
Never before available to a system such as being proposed are detailed computer maps (produced by GIS or geographic information systems) and ability to be located precisely in the field (using GPS or Global Positioning Satellites). I suspended my thoughts about the unique one-meter, mentioned above, and adopted a practical size unit. We have developed a procedure to use map squares in a grid. Each square of the mapped ownership is 10m x 10m, a size well known from the 10-yard line of the American football game lines. For each such map square, the alpha unit, we have hundreds of "layers" of precise information, and we use them in computer models for improving decisions about every such square within each ownership (and a small nearby border area). Factors above and below the surface area of each square and on its four sides are included. Within a 200 acre area there are about 8,100 such alpha units. The awesome work to deal with 100+ ecological and socio-economic factors about each unit and its adjacent units as they change over 150 years is that for the modern computers of Rural System.
With such knowledge and capability now in place and with low-cost computer power we know with confidence that we can manage the rural platform better than ever before in history. We know that we can decide topics based on the measurable criterion: constrained or bounded lasting expected profit.
The Customers for Rural System
Rural System is for all citizens, for the good of them all, but the decisions about private land use are private. They are decisions for those who now own rural land (including parklands, forests, and pastures in towns, residential areas, and some industrial lands ... wherever they occur).
The concept is that almost all people will benefit from Rural System - the landowners, the public, visitors, the land, and employees - and will receive the pleasures of meaningful efficient work together. See Appendix 1.
More Structure, Organizational Talk, Then the Bottom-line
There are sectors in Rural System. Because we are discussing farms and rural areas, it is reasonable for thoughts to fall toward categories of conventional "farming." We have to include that,but move from it to new thoughts about the same lands becoming the basis for making money by these and other means. We conduct a superior "farming" business for an owner but we add to it superior small businesses and pool the work for lasting profits. The many small businesses do not subsidize the farming operation (inadequate profits from which have been part of the rural problem. The heart does not subsidize the lung; the units are integral, essential for the life and function of each and designed to do so). They meld together as a single strongly-related single cooperative corporation. Some are businesses around a new crop or process on the land, others do not depend on space or soil but are indirectly related. The point: we make profit legally from any and all ways reasonable to achieve the system objectives (repeated several times already: employment, community stability, and improved natural resource management). The sectors and general basis for organization are:
There are under development brief designs for over 100 enterprises, several of which may be operated by a sibgle group. Here are brief comments about each group within each sector:
Sector 1. Agriculture Topics (Terra2B)
Rural System is more than improved farming and it is not a strategic ploy of the Cooperative Extension Service of the US Department of Agriculture and others or of State and Private Forestry of the US Department of Agriculture. It does improved farming in all dimensions, but it changes its scale, increases its diversity, engages collaborative economies, and collects the financial gains from all benefits from the land platform and related groups, and invests in "self" improvement ... as well as improvement in the productivity of contracted private land.
Within Agriculture topics are the groups listed below, each a sub system, each maximizing gains for itself (subject to many constraints), promoting gains for all other groups, sharing gains among all other groups and land owners based on contracted proportions. The proportions are partially based on the intrinsic quality of the land (discussed in the next chapter on the bottom-line). Staff encounter questions of soil, climate, best breeds, best feed stocks and their sources, how to add value, use of all plants and animal parts and wastes, and alternative developments on other enterprise environments. They work to achieve healthful produce but, with help from other groups, work to maximize profits from the produce over time. They continually communicate with other groups within Rural System and seek profitable collaboration. Reports of successes and failures build a rich, searchable, corporate base and a record from which staff instructors work for corporate profit improvements over the years.
1. The Pasture and Range Group seems inseparable from The Fence Group (below). It designs and develops superior pastures for livestock of several types using GIS and soils knowledge to achieve superior grass production and pasture and range conditions (e.g., water and wind protection) for animal systems that will be profitable. A group developing a switchgrass-based biomass fuel production enterprise is being studied in 2009.
2. The Carbon Market studies the carbon sequestration policies and opportunities for carbon credits throughout forestry, gardening, and rangeland and pasture developments. It studies carbon estimates for water, soil, litter, grasslands and crops, and forests and collects or creates models for pictures of likely carbon stored up or "sequestered" within each ownership over time. It advises on carbon credits for land owners and how they best fit in land use and energy and financial budget optimization.
3. The Garden Group works with agroforestry concepts, promotes "victory gardens," employs alpha earth, uses designed fences, beautifies and enhances land value, and participates in the work of Odorscapes and Viewscapes. It develops specialty gardens such as those for ferns and daylilies.
4. The Moss Group grows moss for floral uses. It is designed in part as competition to remove pressure on wild mosses being exploited. It caters to specialized fern and aquatic garden sites.
5. The Bamboo Group specializes in selecting optimum sites for the many species/varieties of bamboo, making site specific sales, and besides using the plants for vegetating unique areas and providing special habitats, will develop handicraft products.
6.The Yards Group unifies work with the pasture and range group, garden group, sculptors, and fence group to produce and manage pleasant grassy areas around rural structures.
7. The Blueberry Patch produces blueberries on GIS-selected sites, and then provides specialized markets for large volumes from widely-distributed growing sites. The Patch is an under-stated system. It is created for private profit, employment opportunities, and heightened value of land that makes it especially worthwhile tending well. It is more than a "patch," really a system of patches and the total system that includes them. Blueberries can be grown well and we add and enhance value to these products of the land.
8. The Worm Corral is primarily for sales of a composting site with instructions, equipment, and services for local gardens and yards.
9. Alpha Earth is an enterprise developing superior soils from waste products, sawdust, earthworm action, and thinned forest products.
10. The Vineyards are GIS-selected areas growing grape cultivars selected to produce grapes for sale to local wine producers. Regionally dispersed, the sites provide local income.
11. The Bison Group works with a local bison ranch and explores potentials beyond meat sales with pasture management, tours and special events.
12. The Stables provides services for horse owners, trail rides, training areas, and relates to Alpha Earth
13. The Goats System works for improved goat herds worldwide, develops wildfire services, works for improved pastures and quality dairy products widely marketed. Goats are more efficient than cows in forage energy use for milk production, survive bad range or forage years better than cows (thus reducing entrepreneurial risks and boom-or-bust situations), can improve the range, and have more stable benefits than cows. They do require more manual labor than cows, but this is appropriate in some areas where there is surplus labor and/or where an active life outdoor life is viewed as one having high quality.
14. The Sheep Group develops a major market for "organic lamb." By "organic" lamb we meat that is as good for people as they are delicious because they are produced without using antibiotics, added growth hormones, or dangerous pesticides. Relations are explored with "hair sheep," small-sheep vineyard care, and sheep-related hand-crafted products.
15. The Rabbit Group is profitable through widely dispersed, very-small operations within a single large system. Small livestock such as rabbits have in common the characteristic that they are relatively undemanding in their feeding requirements and easy to house and manage. They provide the same products and services as larger livestock, such as cattle, but are less risky, are easier to replace as they are not costly and reproduce faster. By optimizing the management of the animals as well as the integration of the animals into the farming system, the total production of the farm can increase considerably. They offer regular cash income throughout the year for youth and others.
16. The Goose Flock in addition to promoting domestic goose flocks, prepares and sells domestic geese, holiday meals, other products and services, and diversifies farm income from the total flock system on many ownerships (not just "a few geese" on the farm).
Sector 2. System Central
This is a specialized sector containing the equivalent of several "groups." It provides leadership and planning as well as services. System Central takes care of much of "the paper work," promotes efficiencies, and encourages the technical and functional managerial expertise within each group to be devoted to field problems and desired internal productivity. The experts in accounting, insurance, legal matters, marketing, etc. handle their end of the collective business.
It provides leadership and planning as well as services. Only several of the activities (e.g., GIS services) produce income. Marketing, safety and security, etc. incur costs and are essential for all of the groups. They are pooled for expertise, gaining economies of scale, reducing risks, and for overcoming seasonal disruptions in many farm-related operations.
System Central is proposed to contain the following Groups, each described in the free website e-book . Each Group of all sectors may appear very small but should be seen attached to and aided by all of the following Groups of System Central:
The RRx is profoundly important and described here. The RRx provides information and guidance for making difficult, multifaceted, high-risk land use and development decisions that have long-term rural effects. It is a dynamic planning system for large areas and an alternative for land use "zoning." It emerged from work with TVA, U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, Maryland, and with a county-level comprehensive planning effort. It has been recommended (2005) for use in George Washington National Forest planning. The system produces a dynamic plan for a landowner (farm, military area, county, forest, park, etc.) available from an Internet site. Adequate security is provided. The landowner can call up his or her plan at any time, see color images, photographs, graphs, GIS maps, etc. (i.e., hypermedia) and the latest information about the area and the plan. Models for components of everyone's plans are managed and improved from a central office but each person's plan remains directed to their personal objectives and local conditions. It greatly reduces costs of Smartwood and stream-credit and carbon-credit certifications.
Sector 3. Forestry Topics
1. The Forest Group affiliates with existing forest inventory and management enterprises, helps market their services and expands on their potentials by the Tours Group, Nature Folks, Certification Group, Fire Force, and others. It has a primary role in dealing with the part of Rural System enterprise environmentswith trees and can be a major income source. Their general role is thinning and reshaping the forest, protecting the neighboring communities and their watershed, and supplying pulp and timber to local mills. Their role in increasing financial productivity over the long run is notable.
2. The Foresters is a local organization for the staff, associates, colleagues, school children, and anyone interested in forests and forestry ... all of the forest-related topics related to Rural System enterprise environments and their problems, values, benefits, management, and use. It is a means to promote the forests, reward successes, and increase communications. The Group provides tours, annual conference, advantages in clothing, book, and equipment purchases, web site access, recreational advantages, and discounts on Rural System services. It may become affiliated with the groups Right Rural and Nature Folks. Income is from membership fees, advertising, conferences, tours, and commissions on publication and book sales.
3. The Certification Group promotes and arranges for cost-effective forest land certification under Smartwood. Smartwood is a recent development in forestry and wood processing generally. The Rain Forest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council (created in 1993) have developed a set of criteria for well-managed, sustainable forests. When a forest meets the criteria, it may be certified as environmentally sound and under sustained conditions. Special attention as well as economic incentives follows. Like a "Good-Housekeeping Seal-of-Approval," the Designation significantly increases the value of the forest products from the areas, perceived to be initially 5-10%.
4. The Fire Force as part of the Land Force adds to the quality of the Smartwood certification but deals with prescriptive burning for some select silvicultural needs and above all provides a superior emergency attack crew against rural fires, typically non-structure fires. It engages in prevention, clearing buildings from threats, and serves as a local "hot-shot" crew for rapid attack of fires. It continually monitors the literature for new insights into fire behavior, arsonists, and attack efficiency.
5. The Firewood Group provides superior dried species-specific firewood to the urban and residential market from small managed forest tracts.
6. The Chestnut Group seeks to work with existing organizations now developing American chestnut orchards, hybrids, etc. Involvement ranges from nursery and tissue cloning through crop marketing and expansion of working orchards.
7. Holiday Trees is the name of a group working with Christmas tree growers to produce and market such trees. It expands to provide trees for other holidays with color lighting, and other additions.
8. Walnut Vales is a group using GIS to locate superior black walnut growing sites and it then attempts to secure or rent such sites and to develop superior well- spaced trees for nut-fruit production as well as furniture wood. It develops sites, gatherers, husking centers, waste disposal and alternatives uses, and manages the sites for balanced superior wood as well as nut products.
9. The Arborist Group specializes in work with individual trees, especially those of the residential and rural village landscape. Involved with tree health, it is developing wildlife habitats, reducing convective energy losses from buildings, recycling leaves and debris, and finding alternative ways for enhancing land value.
10. Stoneworms is a trail building and maintenance group. It relates with national and international trails but builds trails on local lands that provide for recreation, education, and solitude. Hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking are specialty trails.
11. The Wilderness Group helps use such areas locally that occur on state and federal lands. It is keen to note private tracts that have wilderness-like characteristics and to seek reasonable protection for such areas in the midst of intensively managed forests on adjacent land. It is a key unit for many members of Nature Folks. It sponsors wilderness tours and events with that Group.
12. Earshot is a soundscape group. There are well known "landscapes," but few people have heard of soundscapes. They become more important each day as trying to find a quiet place to work, think, meditate or live a stress-reduced life becomes more difficult. The Group works with Nature Folks and listens for the sounds of nature such as the calls of birds and particularly the night sounds of amphibians. It forms a paying membership, issues a newsletter, sells equipment, sells tours, and provides services for industry certifying certain noise levels and changes resulting from management, private groups promoting a more quiet space, and sales of services for quieting situations (such as buildings, dogs, individuals, and equipment.) It utilizes research on noise attenuation resulting from vegetation. It uses GIS to analyze gun shots to assist in law violation detection. The hunted zone and its gun noises (randomly distributed gunners) are mapped for general interest. Locating houses and recreational sites can be done with noise sources in mind and measures (or topography) selected to reduce effects of noise on people.
13. The Odorscapes Group works to detect and understand odors (microparticles including gas molecules) of substances. It provides services for analyzing potential impacts of factories and developments on natural areas and other rural areas of importance and developing a rapid analytical system for expressing likely olfactory impacts. It analyzes winds and their effects within ecosystems, including timber harvest patterns; works with scenting security and hunting dogs; studies baiting; assists in rural law enforcement and hazardous material detection and cleanup. It presents regional floral odorscapes and quantifies the seasonally changing fragrance (and allergens) of gardens. It tries to further the insect antennae work and hypotheses of Callahan of Florida.
14. The Viewscapes Group works with a concept of the rural culture that it maps, describes, quantifies, develops scenes, themes, current scene scores, dynamics of the scores, a county beauty index, and a procedure to negotiate balancing losses and gains in natural beauty that may result from proposed development. The land of the region is beautiful but that beauty can be enhanced. Even more important, it must be managed so that it is not diminished and so that the full messages of the Rural System and of a system of total land management can be carried forward onto other lands. Staff develops plans, policies, and procedures for esthetic enhancement and management that will give the lands of the enterprise a personality and will assure benefactors that their lands will be similarly treated. Not another 'park service' or 'forest service' appearance, the new 'look' of the Rural System enterprise environments shows care, attention to studied concepts of natural beauty, cost effective work, diversity, sustainability, durability, and functional amendments to views and scenes.
Sector 4. Wildlife/Nature
1. Nature Folks is a regional membership organization like the Audubon Society. It has many special-interest parts listed below. It caters to people with diverse interests in nature, in unusual spots, in wilderness, in invertebrates and "creepy places." It manages an electronic bulletin, conducts tours, and promotes studies of phenology (the timing of biological events such as flower burst and leaf fall).
2. NatureSeen collects observations of nature unreported elsewhere. Electronic storage at low cost allows nature observers world wide to prevent the loss of unique observations. A search procedure allows subscribers to benefit from these usually-singular observations that may form a pattern over many reports over time. A rich, novel curiosity, the reports offer unlimited ideas a story fodder for writers.
3. Coyote of Nature Folks conducts tours of areas to observe coyotes and foxes, usually using electronic recorders at night. It builds a community interested in the wild canids of the world and sponsors tours to build life-lists (akin to well-known bird life lists).
4. The Owls Group conducts local evening tours for bus-loads of people with dinner, owls being called up on managed Rural System Tracts, and all followed by evening entertainment. Owl research is sponsored and tours arranged for those seeking a life-list maximum for seeing the owls of the world. Sculptured owls are sold from The Sculptors.
5. Prospectors is the geology enterprise. It works with GIS maps, collaborates with soils specialists, conducts educational tours, and provides specialized groundwater and mineral resource analyses for Rural System Tract owners.
6. The Plant People of Nature Folks specialize in the non-tree wild plants. It creates special gardens, conducts tours, sells plants and products, and sponsors art and poetry contests. It monitors plants, caters to knowledge of the plant populations of wilderness areas, and promotes life-list progress for members.
7. The Butterfly Band is the insect- and arthropod-oriented group within Nature Folks. It deals with pest species but caters to bees and honey production, biological supply house products, and tours for those making collections and additions to life lists.
8. The Fishery is a large and diverse group with separate talents for pond and lake work as well as those for stream and river work. It builds communities of managed farm ponds within an area, offering diverse private land opportunities for recreation as well as food. It sells opportunities, film, supplies, memberships, guide services and educational materials, does analyses of ponds, lakes, and streams, and markets to trail and wilderness interests. It conducts a growing wild-fish life-list building enterprise with aquarium and equipment sales.
9. The Healthy Streams Group requires unifying many Groups and their functions. It improves streams and builds a Stream Improvement Credit bank. When streams are damaged by highway and related developments, developers must overcome the damage, mitigate it, or buy stream credits from such approved banks. This Group improves streams, and operates such a bank.
10. The Raccoon Group is new for few people realize the complexity and relations of the system of that animal The need is for applying the findings of many studies, not just on the biology of the animal alone (the past trend) but on the total profitable enterprise. The prospects are not for recreational trapping (strongly opposed by some) but for a viable, profitable enterprise utilizing one of the natural products of the Rural System enterprise environments ... in ways no one else has been able to sustain in the past. This is a single species system, one related not only to furs but also several types of hunting and related hunting dogs and population management in forests and wetlands.
11. The Furbearer Group, clearly related to the Raccoon Group, has profits from a fur enterprise as its primary interest. The strategies include marketing of furs; strategic buying; improvements in trapper success and humane taking; improved care of the pelts; storage; local cutting and trimming; alternative uses of partials; and alternative uses of the entire carcass. Fur markets seem to fluctuate due to style and other phenomena. We propose to work with the fur industry, seek new marketing strategies, avoid public confrontations, retain a private-for-profit stance, diversify the work of the group, and demonstrate the potentials of storage to achieve sale when prices are high. Work will include sophisticated research (expected to attract visitors and students) and develop memorial books about the species; furbearer workshops for biologists; trapper schools; vertebrate pest damage manager schools; fur-buyer schools. Software development will enhance some work, especially as it shows how ecological communities (that support each furbearer) change over time. Trapping zones, presence of animal sign, species conflicts, profit per unit area, and costs-to-take maps are planned elements of the system. Visitors may come to the area with the planned objective of seeing and photographing all of the furbearers present. A newsletter announces the successful people, tells of research accomplishments, shares in knowledge of the furbearers, and provides excellent photographs, poems, new book suggestions and other natural history information of interest. Close links are built with other groups related to Nature Folks.
12. The Black Bear Group, like that of the bobcat, wild turkey, and raccoon groups are deviations for an oft-recommended multi-species or "multiple-use approach" to wild fauna management. It caters to people interested in bears, conducts tours to see bears and their habitat in the wild, sells photographs and sculpted objects, attends to pest and damage issues, and provides membership services.
13. The Bobcat Group is a wild felid-oriented group with memberships, conferences, tours, and active management of select areas. This group, perhaps more so than other groups concentrates on studies of the animal and its environmental needs. Clearly associated with wilderness and the furbearer groups, the cat resource is important to tourists, hikers, and others seeking outdoor experiences.
14. The Bird Group coordinates bird watching interests, assists with Official Avi (next link), works with federal and international migratory bird organizations, sponsors bird watching tours, uses actively the state bird data bases, adds to The Trevey, and assists The Owls Group.
15. Official Avi: A Bird-Watching Sport has also been called "bird golf or Avigolf" It is developed on a few select Rural System Tracts. Users pay a fee to use the course and after describing their abilities and the characteristics of the day and date, a "par" is computer produced. Participants play against past scores or competitors, seeking to see all of the birds of the area. A score is obtained. Life lists of birds seen on all such Avi courses expand the play internationally.
16. The Wild Turkey Group is single-species oriented. It serves Avi in some areas but is primarily for bird watchers and hunters. Guided tours are conducted to permanent blinds. Memberships include tours, publications, records, equipment reports, life history and ecology work.
17. Covey: The Bobwhite Quail Group works on farm lands to stabilize key quail populations. It works with dog owners and field trials, developing select areas with high populations, scoring areas and populations for memberships for people with specific high-intensity interests in quail, quail hunting, and quail as part of the living rural landscape.
18. The Dogs Group works with hunting dogs, maintains quality kennels, conducts dog training and sponsors field trials. It has a unique scoring technique for trailing abilities of hunting dogs.
Sector 5. Sports and Recreation
1. The Wildland Crew is more than one crew. These are adults having common guided experiences in that they have built or developed wildland structures or engaged in useful projects. These are typically 3-day outdoor experiences with meaningful exercise, team work, recreation, and lasting memorable experiences. Each group has unique experiences but bonds are formed with other crews.
2. The 4 x 4 Group has great interest in off-road vehicles. It is an organization that sponsors safety, care of the wildlands, special events and tours, and does vehicle-dependent service projects.
3. Belles and Whistles is closely related to the 4 x 4 Group interests but it is gender specific, assisting women and their children to learn elementary, basic vehicle maintenance and repair. A membership, it sponsors garages and practical educational programs for members.
4. The Wildland Walkers is a hiking and camping club. Members use trails on Rural System Tracts and other trails, receive an e-newsletter, and are invited to conferences and shows. Safety, trail etiquette, and campcraft are frequent topics.
5. Run Along is a program to promote and encourage youth entry into natural resource-based and rural outdoor recreation activities. The program develops safe options, incentives and guided programs. It is health and physical fitness related, gender neutral, and links youth to the public and private lands for rural work as well as where outdoor recreation opportunities exist.
6. Tetra is a regional cross-country race seeking to become one of international interest because of high-technology dimensions, rural attachments, and major prizes.
7. The Triathlon Group sponsors triathlon events and related Rural Challenge events.
8. Rural Challenge sponsors an annual field event on a Rural System Tract and is similar to Tetra. The event features weight and strength contests dealing with rural items such as trees, hay, machines, rocks, etc. Stressing health and fitness and accident prevention. It profits from reduced costs of life derived from healthful living over longer periods. Providing a notable target or justification for people exercising throughout the areas, it links exercise and health and the opportunities on Rural System enterprise units.
9. The Biking Group is for people who own or are interested in the many uses, applications, and secondary consequences of using non-motorized bicycles. The Group is dedicated to increasing use of bikes, their proper and safe use, and to improving health and land and resource conservation resulting from such uses. It sponsors triathlons with other groups and individuals.
10. The Rural River Runners have great curiosity about and love of the Powell, Clinch, New, James, and Jackson rivers (and later other rivers) and seek new ways to enjoy them but also to protect and improve them. There are paid memberships. Members conduct tours of the rivers, refine use-oriented maps for the rivers and their tributaries, develop refined GIS databases for the watersheds, and monitor and reports on landuse dynamics within the selected watersheds.
11. Tree Tops is an enterprise featuring the strange growing sport of tree climbing. It has paid memberships, climbing events and training sessions but is for "loners" as well as for people who use modern climbing ropes and gear to go to experience new places, new views, and rarely-visited parts of ecosystems.
12. NovoSports capitalizes on interest in health and exercise. It promotes new, active, diverse ways for all citizens to become participants, non-spectators, to "get out," and to establish new relationships with others and with the outdoors. The Group may find special relevance to students of nearby college and university recreational programs, both for study as well as creative student involvement and personal enjoyment. Currently proposed Novosports are conducted outdoors Money is made from memberships (as in a health or exercise club) and in activities associates with potentially-growing new sports. Related units are The Triathlon Group, Tree Tops, Biking Group, Tetra, and The Fishery (e.g., casting tournaments) and World Ball. Various conventional races (e.g., through Tetra or the Biking Group) are sponsored, but others (e.g., combined horse and foot races), rope climbing and weight lifting may be explored. Tug of war, Atlatl, and Topple teams are sponsored.
13. GPSence is a business related to all aspects of global-positioning satellites (GPS). It sells GPS units and services them, provides training programs, and sells related technology such as altimeters, and range finders. GPSence is a new organization involved in all aspects of geocashing. It combines excitement, adventure, knowledge, and strategy. Typically each person is given a GPS unit (or use their own) with vital coordinates of a cache. The location is very precise. The individuals or team collaborate to find the cashes (hidden boxes, metal stakes, marked trees, etc.).
Sector 6. Products and Communication
1. Right Rural is the large comprehensive citizens group, an organization for everyone in the region and, later, everyone interested in the activities, operation, and successes of Rural System. Membership fees support the development and growth in effectiveness of Rural System but it also provides members many benefits including a newsletter, access to their own web site, alerts, discounts on equipment, products, clothing, and entrance fees, and priority access both consulting as well as uses of Rural System enterprise environments.
2. The Codgers or the Old Geezers is a membership organization for rural people who have done a fair amount of aging. Brought up on the idea of the importance of history, of building on the past, of respect for experience, on maintaining records, and of standing on the shoulders of giants, they still have those beliefs and feelings. Codgers believe that they may still have something to offer and do so through their web site. Local groups may form. Special advice, products, and related memberships are offered.
3. Fog Drip is an enterprise that collects, produces and sells recordings of rural music. It brings citizens a vital part of national culture, the songs and music to which we all listen, play and sing. It sells the new songs of the people of rural areas of the USA and, later, other countries.
4. Floats is an eChapbook and brings to citizens a vital part of national culture, the poems that give us pleasure, understanding, insights, and otherwise often-unattainable dimensions of life. The poems are made available freely (the share-ware concept) to subscribers and are primarily from the people of rural areas of the USA. They are original, unedited, and the best work of the authors submitting them. They are screened by the production staff.
5. The Arts Group works with painting and pottery. It provides an organization with instruction, tours, galleries, and marketing of distinctive local artistic products, typically depicting elements of the rural place and spirit.
6. The Products Group develops and sells products of some of the enterprises of Rural System. Some have beautiful, interesting things to sell, things that add profits and reduce the costs of achieving the greater system objectives. There may be little difference between products and services but this group deals with the physical things, most of which are for sale. Though many products from the System are not trees, animal, soil, water, or fish, the product sales contribute to reducing the costs of achieving the central profit-making objective of Rural System. Thus a progressive, learning, improving system can be developed. Land with its managers and users "produces" things. These may be negative (e.g., chemically-bound substances that cannot be used), neutral, or positive. They may be viewed as "goods," as "income," or as "benefits," but these words overload the decision process with multiple past definitions and yet-debated, even un-identified nominal unit concepts. We call these things that are produced product units. They may provide service, aid in work, provide pleasure (art), provide or enhance memories, enable and augment membership, and stimulate ideas.
7. The Toys Group sells a special product set, handmade toys from Appalachia and other rural areas. These may be sold from an Ebay drop off unit or from the e-catalog. Some of the toys are easily considered sculpting in wood.
8. The Sculptors is a business that promotes membership for those interested in sculpting in wood and other media. It is a new organization that forms local clubs, gives seminars, publishes a newsletter with ads and advice on a web site, has a chatroom, and conducts one or more schools. It sells quality solar-seasoned wood extracted from the certified sustainable Rural System enterprise environments, encourages hobby carving, provides suggested patterns for work, and assembles carvers for large projects. With the Tours Group, it conducts high-quality, family-oriented carving schools such as conducted in Austria.
9. Topics are unique wooden and metal objects, large and small, a form of sculpting, done by local people and sold to garden outlets and floral. These are numbered and authored objects, typically following a theme, and preparation offers local, part-time employment and marketing through Ebay and other groups.
10. The Big Bandana is an example of a trivial product that is a marketing and name-recognition device that can barely breakeven but is run from a home by a part-time worker. Many unusual uses are featured and eventually other related products are added to the line.
11. Inquire is the unified laboratory and laboratory referral service. It may be included within Q Works but sells specific services in soil, water, forage, seed identification, and toxic substance analyses. Cost-effective work and notable marketing set off the enterprise. It is closely affiliated with The Foundation. It sells ecorods.
12. Ecorods are decomposable plastic devices used to measure the total, complex biological decomposition rate of forest and other soils. Grossly measuring the life of the soil at points (each with its own GPS-informed and GIS database), the discs provide baseline information, measure effects of land treatment (or pollutants) and tend to provide a way to assure desired soil biodiversity.
13. The Fence Group promotes new and attractive fences in the region for improved pasture management and manipulating the spaces of several livestock groups. It uses special dried and treated woods and develops protection against deer and other garden pests.
14. The Pest Force confronts vertebrate faunal damage as a system, concentrating on long term, cost effective reduction of measured financial and esthetic damage and not to pest reduction.
15. Competency is a group that assures employers that rural workers have the competency that they assert. It is skeptical of "grades" and "diplomas" and overly diverse programs of study and conducts field tests of individuals and certifies to prospective employers observed competency in ability to perform each of dozens of small tasks - some in the field, office, laboratory, or computer.
16. Power Places are unique physical educational spaces, (The Didactron) learning/teaching facilities where high-intensity education is done. Augmented with distance learning, the spaces provide the essential human contacts and physical materials and group situations unavailable by modern computer-based education. These are spaces where advanced research findings flow to give greatest possible individual behavioral change per unit time and per unit dollar.
More financial detail and estimates are provided for these 99 proposed Groups within Chapter 4, The Bottom-line. Of course all will not be developed, perhaps only 20-30; all will be explored for their utility, positive relations, structural contributions to the objectives and how well their various performances fit within the stated bounds of profit. Each is initially dependent on a strong leader.
Sector 7. The Land Force
Sub units of The Land Force works within clusters. Its role is based on ideas of industrial efficiencies for the cluster. The Force is a mixed working team, typically composed of local people (a way to "keep 'em down on the farm") who are experts in fencing, cultivation, animal care, etc. They collect data, and implement the plans from RRx (a dynamic planning system) and do feedback operations. They achieve economies of major equipment purchases (e.g., a tractor), optimum use, minimum down-time, and use all enterprise units in a timely fashion with diverse expert knowledge and abilities. They may work with owners who desire to continue to work on the land but typically they work separately for efficiencies, uniformity of results, and safety and insurance reasons. The Force achieves for each enterprise environment the combined expertise of its members. The diversity of enterprises provides an exciting environment for all members, opportunities for advancement, and year-around employment.
Sector 8. Affiliates
Work with existing enterprises will be attempted to enhance their stability, reduce competition, and maintain the desirable community structure that now exists. Marketing, communication, coordinated activities and sales, shared projects, and group-purchase economies seem likely advantages of memoranda of understanding or contractual relations related to sales, marketing "hits," participants, etc.
Sector 9. Foundation
A not-for-profit foundation will enable special conservation, education, and research activities to be addressed and it will provide a valuable site for people to invest financial resources and properties in an active system of continuing sophisticated land and resource management for the future.
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I try for another summary ... there are too many details: Clusters of farms, now need to be called enterprise environments because typical farming activity is very likely to be unprofitable. Thes lands and waters need new as well as conventional upgrading of practices and programs aided by computers. These practices can be joined or overlain by dozens of small businesses called Groups, all working interactively over time as a system with clear objectives, themselves integrated with the measure of stable long-term profit.
Describing the actions behind each sector are of great interest to many people. They want to know how it will be done and usually want to discuss "huntin' and fishin'." I am eager to tell, but first, let me get to a bunch of " ...but what about... and why not...?" questions.
Robert H. Giles, Jr.