Skip to main content

Missouri State University home page Missouri State University Libraries

Common Reader 2017-2018: The Good Food Revolution: Press

The 2010 Time 100

Will Allen

Jimmy Fishbein for TIME

At one time, the term urban farm sounded like an oxymoron. No longer.

A new movement is sprouting up in America's low-income neighborhoods. Some urban residents, sick of fast food and the scarcity of grocery stores, have decided to grow good food for themselves.

One of the movement's (literally) towering icons is Will Allen, 62, of Milwaukee's Growing Power Inc. His main 2-acre Community Food Center is no larger than a small supermarket. But it houses 20,000 plants and vegetables, thousands of fish, plus chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits and bees.

People come from around the world to marvel — and to learn. Says Allen: "Everybody, regardless of their economic means, should have access to the same healthy, safe, affordable food that is grown naturally."

The movement's aim is not just healthier people but a healthier planet. Food grown in cities is trucked shorter distances. Translation: more greenhouses in the 'hood equals less greenhouse gas in the air.

Just as important, farm projects grow communities and nourish hope. The best ones will produce more leaders like Allen, with his credo "Grow. Bloom. Thrive."

Jones, founder of Green for All, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress

TIME 100 Social-Networking Index: 0

Growing Power- Will Allen's Organization

Growing Power began with a farmer, a plot of land, and a core group of dedicated young people.  Today, our love of the land and our dedication to sharing knowledge is changing lives. ~

 Our goal is a simple one:

to grow food, to grow minds, and to grow community


Check out these videos to learn more about Will Allen and his mission "To inspire communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound; creating a just world, one food-secure community at a time."

  • Agriculturalist Will Allen: 2008 MacArthur Fellow
    Will Allen was one of 25 MacArthur Fellowship recipients in 2008. The MacArthur Fellowship is a $500,000, no-strings-attached grant for individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more. (Video length 2:26)

  • Will Allen at the 2009 PopTech Conference
    Will Allen's presentation at the 2009 PopTech Conference. PopTech brings together a global community of innovators from many fields to share insights and work together to create lasting change. (Video length 23:59)

  • Will Allen on ABC News
    May 2010 ABC News presentation about Will Allen's Good Food Revolution. (Video length 2:09)

  • Growing Power
    Learn more about Growing Power, a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. (Video length 26:52)