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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."

--S.C.

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