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2016 Eco-Ag U ─ Applying “Lean Management” to Your Farm

Ben Hartman

1 day, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 ─ open to All-Access and Conference-Plus registrants
Badge pickup at 8 a.m. Class begins promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Using the The Lean System to Earn a Comfortable Living on a Farm
In this day-long seminar, Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, will explain the lean system and show how it can be used by any size and type of farm to boost profits with less work. Lean is a production system invented by Japanese automakers that is now used by tech start-ups, hospitals, non-profits, and others to cut out waste and increase productivity. Ben will explain their lean growing system, showcasing examples of lean ideas at work on Clay Bottom Farm where the author and his wife earn a comfortable living growing organic vegetables on less than an acre of land.

This corporate manager turned small-scale farmer shows that small-scale farms are a viable option to anyone looking to start growing food. Through experiences on his own family’s one-acre farm, Hartman teaches the lean principles that were developed out of Japan’s automobile industry in order to maximize efficiency with less work. He will teach attendees to work smarter, not harder. The goal is a practical, systems-based approach for a more sustainable farming operation.

The Lean FarmFor many people today, using the words “factory” and “farm” in the same sentence is nothing short of sacrilege. In many cases, though, the same sound business practices apply whether you are producing cars or carrots. Author Ben Hartman and other young farmers are increasingly finding that incorporating the best new ideas from business into their farming can drastically cut their wastes and increase their profits, making their farms more environmentally and economically sustainable. By explaining the lean system for identifying and eliminating waste and introducing efficiency in every aspect of the farm operation, The Lean Farm makes the case that small-scale farming can be an attractive career option for young people who are interested in growing food for their community. Working smarter, not harder, also prevents the kind of burnout that start-up farmers often encounter in the face of long, hard, backbreaking labor.

Lean principles grew out of the Japanese automotive industry, but they are now being followed on progressive farms around the world. Hartman clearly instructs other small farmers in how to incorporate lean practices in each step of their production chain, from starting a farm and harvesting crops to training employees and selling goods. While the intended audience for this book is small-scale farmers who are part of the growing local food movement, Hartman’s prescriptions for high-value, low-cost production apply to farms and businesses of almost any size or scale that hope to harness the power of lean in their production processes.

Not limited to an intensive small farm, the management principles taught apply to operations of all scale.

Learn More About the Presenter and Lean Practices

The Lean Farm ─ purchase from Acres U.S.A.

Farmer to Farmer Podcast # 34: Ben Hartman on the Lean Farm, 2015.

Ben Hartman's farm website.

About the Presenter

Ben Hartman Ben Hartman grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Indiana and graduated college with degrees in English and philosophy. After college, between stints of construction work, running a drywall business, and remodeling a house, he worked for four summers at Sustainable Greens, an organic greens and vegetable farm in southern Michigan serving Chicago fine dining restaurants. Ben and his wife, Rachel Hershberger, own and operate Clay Bottom Farm in Goshen, Indiana, where they make their living growing and selling specialty crops on less than one acre. Their food is sold locally to restaurants and cafeterias, at a farmers’ market, and through a community-supported agriculture program. The farm has twice won Edible Michiana’s Reader’s Choice award. He is the author of the The Lean Farm ─ How to Minimize Waste, Increase Efficiency, and Maximize Value and Profits with Less Work.

Cancellation Policy

No refunds. We will issue an 80% credit for cancellations received through Friday, November 11, 2016 to be applied to Acres U.S.A. subscriptions, books and videos, audio CDs or future conference fees. Your registration can be transferred to someone else’s name if you cannot attend; please contact our office. If attendance is uncertain, play it safe and wait to register or, for the main conference, register on-site. Sorry, no cash or credit card refunds.

Go to Registration Page

See either All-Access or Conference-Plus registration options to take part in this all-day seminar. Pre-registrations only. Sorry, walk-ins will not be accommodated. As the event date draws near, please call our office for last-minute availability.

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