A new adventure
It was October 2012 and we were on holidays in the middle of the Amazon Jungle when my husband finally said, “OK, let’s do it!”. We made the momentous decision to return to his home farm after a 15-year career overseas. Two months later, we had packed the house and the dogs. We left the bright lights of Sydney to head to rural NZ to try our hand at farming.
Having never lived on a farm it was a huge change and challenge for a city girl. I saw first-hand my hubby’s experience on our 1,000 cow dairy farm as well as talking to other farming friends. I quickly saw there was a real need for the adoption of Lean Thinking on farms. This is when I started thinking about LeanFarm.
Toyota to Lean Consulting to Lean Farm
Having worked spent a few years working at Toyota globally (the Toyota Production System is the foundation of Lean), I then moved into Lean consulting and have spent the last 10 years working across the globe helping companies to improve their businesses using the Lean methodology. I have applied the lean thinking in almost every industry sector from manufacturing, to healthcare to mining to banking and so when I arrived on the farm I could immediately see the opportunity for farmers to really benefit from applying lean principles on a farm. We started with small projects on our own home farm, but Lean Farm has quickly gained momentum and interest.
Lean Farm NZ Begins
During 2016, I discussed Lean Farm with NZ’s second largest milk processor, Open Country Dairy. Subsequently I developed the first comprehensive Lean Training program designed specifically for dairy farmers. After rolling out the hugely successful program to over 100 farmers across NZ in 2017, it validated that there was a need for Lean Farm NZ. The feedback and interest in the training was fantastic, with farmers asking for more information and examples.
In response to this demand, I set up this website with Lean Farm resources and the Lean Farm NZ facebook page so that all farmers across NZ and the world can learn about how Lean can significantly help them. I will be posting regular updates about what we are doing on our farm to help our team and business be better every day. I will also share other information about lean and what it can do for your own farm. Come and join us on this journey. We want to start a LeanFarm Movement!