2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Franchise Your Farm?Is it possible to franchise a farm?
That's a question raised recently by Mary and Klaas Martens in an article for the online publication, The New Farm (www.NewFarm.org). The Martens are organic farmers who have come up with many of their own unique methods and techniques. When they were approached by another farmer who wanted to duplicate their operation, the idea of franchising came up.
That prompted them to sit down and attempt to identify the key factors that make their operation a success and could be transplanted to another farm. They ended up with a detailed plan for a franchise-ready organic grain farm that could probably be sold to others. However, they decided to lay it all out for free in a multi-part article that you can find on the internet (go to www.NewFarm.org and search up "Martens").
But the whole idea got us to thinking? Has anyone ever patented a unique farm operation? Small "hobby farm" operations are the fastest-growing segment of U.S. agriculture. Maybe there's an opportunity to design a turnkey farm operation for all these new farmers û complete with livestock, equipment, buildings, etc.
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