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I was skeptical at first that the concepts would apply because farms are very different from factories,” says Hartman. In the end, though, he says it taught him a crucial lesson: “You don’t have to get bigger to grow.”

Getting ‘lean’ for farming

Small farms like Ben Hartman’s can be among the first to boost their numbers by adopting lean, but there are lessons for all

Reading Time: 8 minutes If they have heard about “lean” management, most business managers think of it in the context of lean manufacturing, a system pioneered by Japanese car maker Toyota in the 1970s. Now, however, more farmers are successfully applying lean principles to their farms, and they’re ending up with healthier balance sheets as a result. One of […] Read more

A core lean principle is that inefficiency is waste, and on Danish farms a key learning is that a source of inefficiency starts with poor instructions for employees. Photographs help, and are placed strategically throughout lean farms in Denmark.

How lean farming is a little different in Europe

Reading Time: 3 minutes The European model of “lean” farming is a little different from the North American version, and although the primary focus is still eliminating waste, lean takes a more people-focused approach and shares similarities with the principles of holistic management. “The lean approach we take is more about management and people,” says Susanne Pejstrup, a Danish […] Read more