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“A great man is a torch in the darkness, a beacon in superstition’s night, an inspiration and a prophecy.” ~ Robert Green Ingersoll
By Catherine Austin Fitts
This week Harry Blazer returns with his interview of Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, in Milwaukee.
When you listen to Will Allen, you will hear a man modest in his presentation. But make no mistake — what he is attempting is essential – to make entrepreneurial urban farming work.
Will grew up on a farm, had an early successful career in basketball and then a second career in marketing for Proctor & Gamble. After retiring from the corporate world, he purchased a nursery and a farm in the Milwaukee area and proceeded to build an organization that grows food and grows farmers. Here is how Henry Ford Magazine described his operation in 2013:
“Today, Allen is the quintessential icon of the urban farming movement — a master farmer with more than 50 years of growing under his belt. His innovative techniques in seeding,vermicomposting and aquaponics have built the multimillion-dollar operation Growing Power from a two-acre farm in Milwaukee. Here, Allen still personally nurtures more than 20,000 plants and veggies, creates compost from more than 180,000 pounds of waste per week, raises thousands of fish of varying types and tends to an ever-expanding flock of chickens, goats, rabbits and more. Along with selling what he harvests to neighboring communities in need, he is equally committed to sharing what he knows. He is training urban youth in his farming techniques so they, too, can grow their own good food, wipe out inner-city food deserts and start building healthy, sustainable food systems for future generations. Already, these well-trained prodigies are running more than a dozen additional Growing Power farms in Illinois and Wisconsin as well as a dozen more regional training centers across the U.S.”
Harry thought this interview was so important that he flew to Milwaukee to talk to Will in person. I hope it inspires you to support Will and the entrepreneurs around you who are rebuilding your local fresh food system.
In Lets Go to the Movies, I recommend Allen’s comments on urban farming at PopTech2009.
It is the last week of the month, so no Money & Markets. Catherine will answer your questions for the Ask Catherine section next week.
More About Will Allen:
Henry Ford Tour
Bio & Awards List
100 in 100 Flyer
Haiti ‘M’ Article
Will Allen on Wikipedia