The Lean Farm

How to Minimize Waste, Increase Efficiency, and Maximize Value and Profits with Less Work
Narrated by: Robert David Grant
Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (154 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A practical, systems-based approach for a more sustainable farming operation.

To 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 by progressive farms around the world.

Using examples from his own family's one-acre community-supported farm in Indiana, 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.

©2015 Ben Hartman (P)2018 Chelsea Green Publishing

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    4 out of 5 stars
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informative a good listen

good narrator. giving you lots to think about. good addition to many books that you should listen to before you start any business

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Political and Preachy

Political, not factual information. Looking for a fact filled text, not this. Couldn't get past the early pages. Preachy.

1 person found this helpful

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The Lean Farm

The good - Some interesting lean ideas from a perspective other than manufacturing or assembly.

The no-so-good - Too many times the author veered off the lean topic. It started to sound like I was in attendance of a “save the environment convention”. Not why I bought this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Share with someone who works on a farm

This is not a detailed technical book on lean concepts, which makes it ideal for beginners and those who want to see how lean is applied to farms. Many concepts can be applied at home. Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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Great primer on both Lean and farming

This is a great primer on both Lean and farming. I learned more nuggets on both and found the integration of both to be fascinating.

1 person found this helpful

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Great read for a Green Belt!

I have experience as a Green Belt in corporate America and am transitioning to market gardening. This book beautifully merges two subjects I love. I enjoyed the fast-paced teaching of concepts and relevant examples.

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely astounding!

This book is FULL of absolutely wonderful information. I will listen again and again as I scale up my business.

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great ideas for any size farm

I hadn't thought of applying lean to the farm! at work it makes sense, and after this book I see that little lean principles had made it home, but so many more applications to increase flow and productivity even in my small family farm.

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Practical helps for small farmers

Interesting and practical for making a living on less than an acre. This is more about procedure than crops.

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Brilliant even for non-farmers

This book was fantastic. I found it fascinating to learn more about farming and lean even though what I will be applying the learnings for have nothing to do with farming. It was very well written and explains things simply and carefully. I have already recommended this book to a number of people.

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  • sophia
  • 10-11-18

Inspirational! Offering hope for Micro Farmers

This is an excellent book. I will revisit it numerous times whilst implementing its strategies. A must read for anyone interested in starting a farm.

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  • Mat
  • 03-05-20

Pretty good

As someone who has worked on commerical farms for several years, many if the ideas expressed aren't exactly new. But if you're getting into farming they're certainly some great ideas. if you've been in farming for a long time, there might be some good ideas on how you can lean down and increase your income

Overall a good read.