The Economist at the Forefront of the Farm-to-Table Movement This business analyst is an unlikely leader in the economics of food localization.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Michael Shuman wouldn't seem likely to be making a business from the farm-to-table movement. A self-described "New York Jewish intellectual" who grew up in suburban Nassau County and earned degrees in law and economics at Stanford, it's hard to imagine him hoeing a single row.
Instead, the 55-year-old business-development analyst has become one of America's foremost experts on quantifying the economic benefits of food localization. Alone or with partners, he has completed studies on the subject about Detroit and Cleveland, as well as New Mexico. He's currently immersed in a similar project for Boulder County, Colo., with Baltimore and the state of Florida on the horizon. Shuman also co-authored Community Food Enterprise, a study of successful local food businesses in the U.S. and abroad that was funded, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Based outside Washington, D.C., he's currently a principal in Cutting Edge Capital, an Oakland, Calif.-based consulting business.