Saturday, December 13, 2008
Genius Grant for Urban Farmer
Pictured above is Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the community on home growing, food production and distribution within areas lacking viable options for fresh produce, and working to influence agricultural policy in a way that supports local economies and small farmers. Allen is now a 2008 MacArthur Fellowship winner, for his efforts as a farmer and community organizer. MacArthur fellows win no less than $500,000, and though the funds are unrestricted, Allen seems motivated to use all of his winnings to build his project even bigger.
Read the NY Times article here, which talks about Allen's farm and his plans for the future. I noticed Allen uses the term "food deserts" -- exactly the same term used by Mark Winne in his book Closing the Food Gap. I am really inspired by people like Allen and Winne. These kinds of leaders understand that in order to effect lasting change, actions must be taken to influence the structure of food systems and the communities that make use of them. Check out Growing Power's food policy initiatives -- exactly the kind of thing I'd like to be seeing in Richmond and the rest of Virginia.
More on Allen, if you're interested: