What’s Your Definition of the Perfect Farm?

Is there such thing as a perfect farm? If so, what does it look like? Is it a fixed size? Is it highly specialized, or incredibly diverse?

The perfect farm is a concept that Gary Martens, instructor with the department of plant science at the University of Manitoba, brought up to me some time ago and it’s stuck with me for the few years since he first mentioned it. Martens, a former instructor of mine (and a favourite), has always been one to encourage critical thought about problems to find creative solutions. When he told me he had a concept of “the perfect farm,” I wanted to know more. Now, years since he first mentioned it, I’ve sat down with Gary to ask him how exactly one goes about building a truly perfect farm.

The concept is simple but challenges our typical way of doing things. The idea is more inclusive than our current system, requiring the adoption of technologies or systems perhaps outside our comfort zone (cattle grazing grain stubble comes to mind). Martens’ perfect farm approaches production using non-linear means to achieve an end, but, is and must be profitable. It’s a fascinating discussion, but don’t take my word for it, watch the video below and let me know what you think.

There will be a follow up interview to this, as we couldn’t possibly do the subject justice in one interview. Please share your thoughts and questions — I’ll use them in the next video.

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.



Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith is a field editor for RealAgriculture. A self-proclaimed agnerd, Lyndsey is passionate about all things farming but is especially thrilled by agronomy and livestock production.


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One Comment


My father farmed 1000 acres in 1960 – all cultivated too. Today my brother and his son farm 1700 and are doing real well. better than most …. Management makes the perfect farm. My brother and his wife served eight winters in Mexico, teach music in a Mennonite Bible school – their perfect farm great management allowed them to do this. – from twitter by @hsiemens https://twitter.com/hsiemens


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