Although the company is still in the start-up phase, many believe their business model is impressive and has the potential to revolutionize the way farms are run and how we get our food. Even more impressive is that Minick and Hanan have dedicated themselves to ethical entrepreneurship that gives back to the community.

Hanan is known by friends as an individual with high integrity who is diplomatic and genuine in his approach to life and relationships. Minick’s friends say that he is strategic, hardworking, visionary and determined.

Together, the two have invested their time and resources to changing the agricultural movement, working tirelessly to grow Ten Acre Organics and fostering relationships to support the belief that food and the farm have their roots in family values.

A former colleague says that Hanan’s energy and charismatic nature have grounded him as an individual, and is reminded regularly that being kind has its rewards. He says that Hanan’s generosity of time and conversation has the same effect on others.

Similarly, Minick’s dad believes that his son’s vision for his own future has always been inclusive of his desire to contribute to the well-being of humanity. And a fellow SU alumnus adds that Minick has devoted himself to the benefit of all-beings as is required of an enlightened practitioner in the Buddhist faith. In fact, Minick was living in a Buddhist retreat center on Maui when the first discussions arose that would one day culminate into the creation of Ten Acre Organics.

The vision that Minick and Hanan have for TAO is ultimately to improve the lives of people all over the world by providing them with fresh, healthy, delicious sustainable food. And it seems that they are well on their way, as evidenced by a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to transform Hanan’s backyard into the urban farm it is today, followed by very well-attended free workshops for their Austin neighbors on how to build all the different aspects of an urban farm. People are inspired by the pair’s drive, determination, and sincere belief in the good that Ten Acre Organics could accomplish in our lifetime.

Minick’s friends also say that he inspires people through his steadfast optimism and ceaseless devotion to success, and that in everything he does, he strives to be a better human being, man and community member.

Hanan’s friends see him as an exemplary model of how to live a balanced life. One friend says she learned from him how to be passionate without being domineering and how to be well-informed while always wanting to learn more. Another says Hanan is meticulous and at the same time disheveled, but has always been smart. Real smart. In the friend’s words, “the kind of smart that can ace a 20-page final in 24 hours.”  

While a former supervisor of Minick says she has never seen someone so excited and willing to wear a lemon head, she also calls him a very sincere and generous young man and knows she is a better person for knowing him. Minick’s dad describes him as gifted, honorable, intelligent and good-hearted, and his friends gladly offer their support and uncompromising friendship.

Hanan’s wife, Marie A. Franki ’09, knows her husband to be intelligent, passionate, driven, and very handsome. She says he has a glowing green thumb and is genuinely one of the best people she knows.

For their mission to improve lives locally and worldwide, for their dedication to the well-being of humanity, and for making others better people just by knowing them, The Association of Southwestern University Alumni is pleased to present both Lloyd Minick and Michael Hanan with a 2014 Distinguished Young Alumni Award.