Even the geniuses are farming!

If you’re ever looking for an interesting new site to read up on, maybe you’d be interested in The Ethicurean. One of their writers recently interviewed a new CSA farmer named Michael Gallagher who’s got a very interesting story:

“… that individual is Michael Gallagher. A dozen years after he left campus, the rumors about him — that his math advanced four grade-levels in a matter of weeks, that he was earning As in calculus by fifth grade — still linger. Some of these rumors are flat-out myths (he didn’t take calculus until high school, sorry), but even the most level-headed agree that he was, in the words of one teacher, “an incredibly smart kid, a very deep thinker,” and — in the words of another — “one of the brightest math students to go through our doors in decades.” Later, Gallagher would graduate from the #1 ranked liberal arts college in the nation, just two courses shy of a triple major in math, Russian, and biology. (Alas, he took what he calls “the easy way,” settling simply for the Russian-biology double-major.)

Plenty of people figured that a guy with all options open might go to work for McKinsey & Company, or Wall Street, or maybe some start-up company destined to make billions. After all, isn’t that what the Smartest Guys in the Room always do?

Not necessarily. You won’t find Gallagher in Brooks Brothers suits, or zipping through airports on his way from one meeting to the next, or motivating crowds of conference-goers in a hotel ballroom before their rubber-chicken lunch. Nah, this smart kid chose a different path — one that involves soil-stained T-shirts and mud-encrusted boots. He became a farmer.”

Located in Pittsfield, Massachusets, Gallagher’s Square Roots Farm operates a vegetable CSA, as well as providing pastured chickens, turkeys and pork. The farm operates on leased land, in partnership with a local organization that subsidizes the CSA shares of low-income members which is much like Ottawa’s own Just Food in principle.

It’s nice to hear stories of others making a go of it in the farming world. Even more, it’s interesting to read about the different paths that people can take to get to where they are, and fascinating to learn what influenced them along the way.


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