Growing Power: An Urban Agriculture Advocate

Growing-Power-Will-AllenBy David Kuack

“Growing Power Inc. in Milwaukee, Wis., is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Founder and CEO Will Allen never imagined that this non-profit organization would have become a major voice for urban agriculture not only nationally, but also internationally. “When I first started out I was already farming,” Allen said. “I bought the last piece of farmland in Milwaukee for selfish reasons. I needed a place to sell my farm produce and planned to use the land for a farmer’s market.” Allen’s life took a different turn when he was asked to assist a youth group in starting an organic garden in order to sell produce at the farmer’s market. Since then Allen has been a spokesperson and advocate for urban agriculture. “This work is really about social justice and food justice because everyone has the right to good food,” he said. “We have to come up with systems that make sure people have the opportunity to purchase good food in a dignified way. We can’t continue to allow three out of 10 kids in America to go to bed hungry every night. Food is the most important thing in our lives. You have to have food in order to survive.”

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