At 6 feet 7 inches tall of urban Farmer Will Allen commands attention when he speaks. “The next generation of farmers aren’t going to come from rural family farms because those farms don’t exist anymore. The next generation of farmers are going to come from the cities,” states Allen. When we think of the current economic crisis and the “fact” that jobs aren’t coming back the way they used to be before the housing bubble burst, one is faced with the frightening dilemma of actually being free.
“Stop looking for a job and MAKE a job for yourself. That means doing what you love most … and what better cause than to “feed my sheep” or teach others how to create healthy food for themselves, how to commune cooperatively with greater quality of life.
Will Allen grew up on a farm outside Washington, D.C., played professional basketball for a time after college, mostly in Europe. In 1993, he left a job with Procter & Gamble and bought a roadside farm in Milwaukee’s economically depressed north side — the last remaining registered farm in the city — and got local teenagers involved.
Two years ago, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. The grant recognizes Allen’s work bringing affordable fresh produce and quality grass-fed meats to the urban poor and educating communities about sustainable farming. The Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation awarded Allen $500,000 over the next five years to use however he wishes. Allen, 60, also received $100,000 in 2005 from the Ford Foundation on behalf of urban farming work. co-founded Growing Power in 1993 in Milwaukee to help teach inner-city kids about the origins of their food.
This may be one of the most important Post I’ve discovered. Please … please … visit YouTube and view some of the short videos about various projects taking place at Growing Power:
YouTube Video: Meet Will Allen