Will Allen (born February 8, 1949) is an urban farmer based in Milwaukee and a retired American basketball player. Will Allen was a high school state champion in basketball, playing the forward position. Allen played collegiately for the Miami Hurricanes at the University of Miami, where he was on basketball scholarship. He was the first African-American to play basketball for the University of Miami. After college Allen was selected by the Baltimore Bullets in the 4th round (60th pick overall) of the 1971 NBA Draft. He never played in the NBA, but appeared in seven games with The Floridians of the ABA during the 1971–72 season. He also played professionally in Belgium. Allen retired from basketball in 1977, when he was 28. Upon retirement, Allen moved to Milwaukee, his wife Cynthia’s hometown.
Will Allen’s parents were sharecroppers in South Carolina until they bought the small vegetable farm in Rockville, Maryland, where Allen grew up. Finishing a career in marketing, Allen left a job at Procter & Gamble in 1993 and purchased Growing Power, a derelict plant nursery that was in foreclosure, located on the north side of Milwaukee. Around this time, Allen also purchased a 100-acre farm in Oak Creek, previously owned by his wife’s parents. Allen currently serves as director of Growing Power, a now mature urban farming project in Milwaukee, with a 40-acre acre farm west of Milwaukee in the town of Merton and an off-shoot project in Chicago run by Allen’s daughter, Erika.
In 2005, Allen was awarded a Ford Foundation leadership grant on behalf of his urban farming work. In 2008, he was awarded the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” for his work on urban farming and sustainable food production. Most recently, in 2009, the Kellogg Foundation gave Allen a grant to create jobs in urban agriculture. Will Allen appears in the documentary film, Fresh. The film refers to Allen as “one of the most influential leaders of the food security and urban farming movement.”
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.”
Checkout the Collection of ASCII Art and Pictures of Will Allen from the below link. Download the file and extract it to your PC. To view the ASCII Art that has been stored in the Notepad Text File, Open the text file in Notepad. Then Go to Format and Uncheck WordWrap, then In Format Go to Font and Change the Font to Lucida Console and Set the Font Size to 3 or 4 Pt. Now you could be able to see the ASCII Art. Maximize the window to view in full extent. ENJOY ! !