It takes a special mind to think how the principles of efficient manufacturing apply to agriculture. It takes even more thought and effort to put those ideas into practice. Ben Hartman of Goshen has a brain that works like that. His book “The Lean Farm” is gaining a lot of attention in both the farming and business worlds.
Ben and his wife Rachel Hershberger own and operate Clay Bottom Farm in Goshen. There they make their living on less than one acre, growing and selling specialty produce to restaurants, at Goshen’s farmers market and through cooperative CSA’s. Ben is intent on practicing what he preaches and strives to be close to his customers.
Ben trains farmers from all across the country on his principles and methods to work smarter and run their farms more efficiently. He helps them use less land and other resources while improving both quality and flavor. He has become a very effective teacher.
Ben is thoughtful and humble. A graduate of Goshen College, he is an avid reader. Ben considers Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” one of his favorite books.
Ben and Rachel have two children and they enjoy camping together.