Farm System (1896)

“James does not favor the ‘farm’ system. In speaking of this, he says ‘I don’t know what will be done to stop the farming system. Something should be done, and that as soon as possible, for the good and protection of our league.'” Jimmy Manning, manager of Kansas City Blue in the Western League, quoted in “Baseball: Manning Wants to Abolish Farms,” Detroit Free Press, January 18, 1896, p2

No earliest use given in 2009 Dickson Baseball Dictionary