Shi Yan was a Doctorate student in Renmin University and in 2008 had spent half a year on a farm in Minnesota practicing farming work and experiencing the American farming model. Upon returning to China she brought the model to Beijing’s “Little Donkey Farm”, advocating “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA). That was the first in China. Under the CSA model, customers who had similar beliefs as the producers would pre-pay for the farm’s produces, which would be healthy organic food items. Both sides would bear the risk of the farming process. Some customers may also choose to do the farming themselves. For the model to develop widely, not only the producers but also the customers would need to organize themselves into cooperatives.
She Yan had the vision of promoting the model in various ways, for example, writing a book on CSA, starting a farm herself and so on. She felt that as the profit from farming investment would not be that high, those who wanted to do so had to have a real passion for agriculture. As such she believed not too many people would persist, but she herself would.
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