Imagine a school bus driving through the rolling hills of Antrim County, passing beautiful farmland and acres of fall foliage sporting a rainbow of colors. And the bus is filled with fourth-graders singing, “I love to eat greens, greens, greens, ain’t no finer thing under the sun.” Did that last part make you think you must be dreaming?

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It’s an experience everyone knows. There’s a kid at the door—maybe a stranger, maybe a neighbor, maybe even your own child—with a brochure full of overpriced junk food. You know you’ll never eat any of the high-fructose caramel corn or chemical-laden candy, but you want to support the cause. As you write the check, you think, There has to be a better way. . . . That’s what FarmRaiser CEO and founder Mark Abbott thought too. But unlike the rest of us, Abbott—a founding member of AmeriCorps, expert in service-learning, and entrepreneur with past start-up experience—knew how to make that idea a reality

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When Mark Abbott’s son was in fourth grade, his local elementary school recruited students and their families to participate in a fundraiser for the school. After successfully selling cookie dough and candy to friends and family, Abbott’s son remarked that he had just sold $400 worth of things the family would never eat at home. “It’s too bad we couldn’t try something healthy like apples,” said his son.

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