The New Urban Farmers

Innovators in Austin are helping this booming city to grow more food—and working on ways to feed those who don’t have enough.

The city where cowboys and hippies have long come together over breakfast tacos is breeding a new kind of food pioneer.

Michael Hanan and Lloyd Minick, friends since their days in college just outside Austin, Texas, saw their ideal place in the world as social entrepreneurs. They tossed around grand ideas. One of those was farming.

“Agriculture has perhaps the greatest impact on the environment of any industry or human activity,” says Hanan, 29, a seventh-generation Texan.

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