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Farming is in the midst of a major transformation—not only in technology and production practices, but also in size of business, resource control and operation, business model and linkages with buyers and suppliers. Both the livestock and grain sectors are changing from an industry dominated by family-based, small and modest size, relatively independent firms to one of generally larger businesses following an industrial business model that are more tightly aligned across the value chain. We describe some of the fundamental concepts and characteristics of biological manufacturing and then illustrate these characteristics with a brief description of three modern farming businesses. The characteristics include: attribute driven or differentiated products, a total systems and process control approach to production, a purchasing agent approach to sourcing inputs, more precise technology, sustainable closed loop systems, merger and acquisition growth strategies, and contracting and new business models.


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