GFM Network News


Three Lean books to read in 2021

Guide Books Review: How about a holistic approach to management?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lean in Agriculture: Create More Value with Less Work on the Farm By Vibeke Fladkjaer Nielsen and Susanne Pejstrup The Lean Dairy Farm: Eliminate Waste, Save Time, Cut Costs By Jana Hocken with Mat Hocken The Lean Farm: How to Minimize Waste, Increase Efficiency, and Maximize Value and Profits with Less Work By Ben Hartman […] Read more

Embrace those business growing pains

Money Management: A look at how Lean manufacturing is implemented

Reading Time: 9 minutes Let’s say your farm business has been bumping along much as anyone would expect. You’ve been experimenting with some new crops, maybe investing in some updated technology along the way, all the while riding the inevitable ups and downs of the farming road. Then, out of the blue, something is keeping you up at night. […] Read more


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


“Farmers like to grow stuff, not put things in writing,” Wittman says, adding, “This is the highest payback.”

Is there room for improvement on your farm?

Who knew? Formal process improvement is emerging as your farm’s best bet for solid gains

Reading Time: 6 minutes Farms have an impressive record of increasing their production efficiency through scale, scientific improvements and innovation. Efficiency is the ultimate controllable factor in commodity margins. “Every year we do more with less, better,” says Dick Wittman, Idaho farmer and consultant. “We are becoming safer, more environmentally sound, and more efficient.” As our farms become more […] Read more