Mr. Will Allen is:
Will Allen was born in Rockville, Maryland. He earned a basketball scholarship and became a professional basketball player at the University of Miami for years before starting a career in marketing. His marketing career lasted a decade after which he volunteered to assist neighborhood kids with their organic gardening project. It was around that time that he then decided to bring affordable healthy food to underserved, urban populations.
In 1993, Allen began with a farm and a farm stand and by 1995 he had created Farm City Link, an experimental agriculture operation in a large greenhouse in central Milwaukee. He used the money he got to renovate the structures and invited youths to come and learn agricultural skills. Today, Allen's Milwaukee farm is a hands-on agricultural training facility where community members can train in horticulture, aquaculture, poultry raising, beekeeping, vermiculture (worm castings), land conservation, food processing, and marketing.
Allen has expanded his vision that now includes Farm City Rainbow Farmers Cooperative, a marketing arm of more than 300 small farmers. The Market Basket program provides about 100 low-income families with a weekly box of fresh vegetables and fruits grown by the Youth Corps and farmers from the Rainbow Farmers Cooperative. At 56, Allen believes one of his leadership challenges is to nurture the next generation of leaders.
There is a revolution happening in the farms and dining tables everywhere around the world. Communities are desperately becoming aware of the dangers of genetically engineered foods. Growing Power offers a healthier substitute for the unlabeled, patented, and genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled our grocery store shelves.
Growing Power, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that supports the development and sustainability of community-based food systems, farmers markets, community gardens, school-based gardening, and agricultural projects usually done by using cheap, replicable, and innovative techniques that staffers develop themselves. The organization offers practical training and technical assistance in sustainable agricultural methods that can be practiced in urban or rural settings. A mission of Growing Power is to help provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe, and affordable food for support groups and individuals from different backgrounds.
Growing Power's Unique Practices
Please visit www.growingpower.org for more information.
Institute for Sustainable Communities. (2009). Growing food, harvesting community. 2005 Award Recipients. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
Johanes, A. S. (2009). Fresh. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
Journey to Forever. (n.d.). Vermicomposting. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
McGirt, E. (2009). Will Allen. 100 Most Creative People in Business. Fast Company. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
Nelson, R. (2004). Growing power. Aquaponics Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
Royte, E. (2009, July 1). Street
farmer. New York Times Magazine. Retrieved November 11,
By Edwin Arisi, Graduate