The Lean Farm with Ben Hartman – Farm Small, Farm Smart (FSFS112)

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When it comes to the concept of lean production the central question is “Am I contributing to value or am I adding waste? I can only do one or the other.”

So what is waste… according to lean manufacturer Vorne… “Waste is defined as any activity that does not add value from the customer’s perspective. According to research conducted by the Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC), fully 60% of production activities in a typical manufacturing operation are waste – they add no value at all for the customer.”

It was this idea of controlling waste and using a process base approach that attracted Ben and his wife to the idea applying lean principles to the farm. Originally introduced to the idea by a CSA customer, Ben has taken the lean ball and run with it, dramatically changing the look, layout, and profitably of his farm, and along with his, his lifestyle. Lean has allowed him to farm less land while keep revenue and profits stable, all while using less time. Time that comes in handy when you want to enjoy the finer things in life like your kids.

Ben’s gone on to write two books on the topic, and today’s episode in an introduction to those books and to the basic concepts, today it’s all about The Lean Farm with farmer and author Ben Hartman.

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Notes from the episode with Ben Hartman:

  • “Am I contributing to value or am I adding waste?  I can only do one or the other.”
  • Eliminate any and all waste as much as possible.
  • Precisely identity what the customer wants:
    • What do they want?
    • How much do they want?
    • When do they want it?
  • Eliminate waste = capacity.
    • Free capacity – do whatever you want with it.
  • “With direct seeding you leave a lot up to chance with germination, and I like to remove that element of chance.”

Connect with Ben:

Clay Bottom Farm

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Clay Bottom Farm

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Ben using the paperpot transplanter.

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The Lean Farm Summit

November 27-30 in Selmer, TN

Working too hard on your farm?

The 2017 Lean Farm summit is the only farmer run conference devoted to helping you reduce waste, increase effectiveness, and build the most value and profitability into your farm.

No more overwhelm. No more wasted money, time, or effort.

Get the results you deserve!

The 2017 Lean Farm Summit is a unique farm learning experience focused on helping farmers take the next steps in their business. Whether you  are just starting out or are a seasoned experts, we will be able to move you forward toward your goals.

During this event you will be able to:

  • Learn straight from leaders who are actually doing the work
  • See successful farming implemented on a profitable farm
  • Network with farmers who are facing and overcoming similar struggles
  • Eat great locally produced food and drink

Learn more about The 2017 Lean Farm Summit


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