Farm-Boarding School Management: Linear Programming Contributions in the Search of Self-Sufficiency and Optimization

  •  Carina Barros    
  •  Gabriela Mendonça    
  •  Augusto Gameiro    


Farm schools offer a learning environment for the education of students in Agricultural Technical Programs and offer this program adopting boarding systems (“farm-boarding schools” or “FBS”). The big challenge in FBS is balancing education and production, that is, provide resources for practical classes and at the same time provide food for farm residents from a pre-defined budget by the sponsoring institution. The aim of this paper is to present a linear programming model to plan and optimize FBS production and supply. The model was applied in two FBS in Brazil. The model developed could show the complexity of the FBS system, which features a variety of productions and the interactions among them. The modeling process presented positive results from a technical and managerial point of view, including people management. The formulated model showed an optimized scenario which extended the managers’ analysis horizon and allowed safer decision making. The system’s complexity hampers dialogue between the farm-boarding school team and managers. From the modeling process and the standardization of data and generated results, there was a greater safety margin to present investment proposals and analyzes, accelerating the decision-making process, which was a positive addition to the system.

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