Growing Power Receives James Beard Award

August 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Joining fellow award recipients Alice Waters and Michelle Obama, Will Allen, the Founder/CEO of Milwaukee-based Growing Power, has been given a 2011 James Beard Leadership Award. New to the Beards, the Leadership Awards “celebrat[e] the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world.”

Growing Power is most distinguished for its community projects, even though it is a fixture at the Green City Market, and many of you subscribe to its CSA program. (Allen is the Founder and President of the Rainbow Farmer’s Cooperative, and works a 100-acre farm.) Growing Power is a not-for-profit that wears many hats in its communities (it operates mostly out of Milwaukee, but has extended some of its programs to Chicago, as well as five other states).  Growing Power is part teacher, and sponsors workshops that educate people on farming; it serves as an outreach for the community; it provides job training for those in need, and operates youth programs and policy initiatives geared towards agriculture in addition to distributing fresh food for sale throughout the community. In Chicago, it operates five urban farms, including a highly visible one adjacent to Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, as well as four in fresh-food-blighted areas on the Southside, and City Lights, which is located within the public housing near the former Cabrini Green. Growing Power also operates youth programs and outreach in Chicago.  Congratulations to Allen, and a worthy Midwest representative at the Leadership Awards.