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The community-supported farmer
The average farmer in Massachusetts is 54 years old. Jarrett Man is 26.

The biochemistry graduate started his nine-acre Stone Soup Farm in Belchertown, Mass., to challenge the conventional U.S. farm model of selling a commoditized crop to unknown buyers across the world.

Man's farm operates through the community-supported agriculture model: 60% of its vegetables and chicken eggs are sold to 200 Boston-area families who pay upfront for a share of the crop. "At nine acres, you have to have a way to get rid of this stuff," jokes Man. "I wouldn't have been so ambitious if not for the CSA-model."

In fact, as CSAs grow in popularity near urban areas such as New York City, Boston, and Seattle, Man thinks the model may help reduce food-security concerns, like last year's worldwide grain shortages. "It's important now that farms are capitalizing not on what makes money," he says, "but what is important for the long term."


NEXT: The kibbutz convert
Last updated July 23 2009: 11:12 AM ET
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