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Growing Power: Announces 2nd national-international urban & small farm conference, Sept. 7-9, 2012
5/31/2012

Contact: Susie Falk
sfalk@thefalkgrouppr.com
414.232.2562

Growing Power: Announces 2nd national-international urban & small farm conference, Sept. 7-9, 2012

3-Day Conference to Fuel Growth of Good Food Revolution

MILWAUKEE, WI – May 31, 2012 – Growing Power Founder and CEO Will Allen today announced plans for the 2nd National-International Urban & Small Farm Conference, to be held Sept. 7-9, 2012, at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. A throng of Growing Power staff, volunteers, board members, friends of the farm, conference sponsors and elected officials surrounded Allen as he made the announcement in front of the urban farm’s hoop houses, green houses, outbuildings, and farm stand loaded with fresh produce.

This is the second international urban and small farm conference that Growing Power has hosted. The inaugural conference, held in September, 2010, brought together about 1,500 individuals who shared best practices and ideas for building healthy and resilient community-based food systems. This year’s conference is expected to draw about 3,000 people, who will build on the efforts begun in 2010.

According to Will Allen, “At Growing Power, it is our mission to support 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. In 2010, we left our first conference inspired, and we said that we would meet again in two years to measure our progress in building a ‘good food revolution’. Well, it’s two years later, we’ve made progress and we have more work to do.”

More than 200 of the nation’s most well-known food—system experts will attend and share their knowledge during the conference. Included in the line-up of notable speakers are:

Dr. Judith Palfrey, executive director of the Let’s Move! Childhood obesity initiative and Director of the Children's International Pediatric Center. Dr. Palfrey is the author of five books including Community Child Health (Praeger Press, 1994) and Child Health in America (Johns Hopkins Press, 2006). Her primary research interest is in designing and evaluating programs for children with special health care needs. She is currently the Principal Investigator of “Opening Doors: The National Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs,” a project directed at improving access to early identification, community inclusion and effective transition services for children and youth from traditionally underserved communities.

Dr. Gail Christopher, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this role, Dr. Christopher serves on the executive team that provides overall direction and leadership for the Foundation. She also leads the Food, Health & Well-Being, Racial Equity, and Community & Civic Engagement programming. Gail is a nationally recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise and experience in the issues related to social determinants of health, health disparities and public policy issues of concern to our nation’s future.

Additional representatives from major Foundations will be attending the conference, according to Allen, along with food system stakeholders from a variety of industries, including government, public schools, academia, business, health care and agriculture. A special Chef’s evening will feature the creations of top chefs from around the region utilizing fresh food supplied by Growing Power and its farm network.

More than a dozen workshops and conference tracks will be offered throughout the 3-day conference. Areas of interest include: Aquaculture and Aquaponics; Urban Farming; Urban Planning Strategies; Brownfields Development; Renewable Energy; Food, Nutrition and Healthcare; Environmental Design Innovations; Culinary Arts; Fundraising; Food Policy and Growing Food and Justice. (See enclosed list of tracks for more details.)

A special track geared for Youth will showcase young people who are advocating for healthy eating, and producing and marketing fresh food for their diverse communities. Rising stars in the food justice movement will get a chance to discuss their successes.

Allen thanked the sponsors who have agreed to participate this year, including: USDA SARE program, Kohl’s Cares and Sysco. There is room for additional sponsors, Allen said. To get involved as a sponsor or exhibitor, organizations are encouraged to visit: http://www.growingpowerfarmconference.org or call Gary Griggs at: 678-592-8523.

About Growing Power

Growing Power was started in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1993 by Will Allen, a 2008 winner of a MacArthur “Genius Award” who has long worked to produce and deliver healthy food to low-income communities. It is 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 afforadble food for people in all communities. Growing Power implements this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, helping people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner.

About Will Allen

Will Allen, son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, and ex-corporate sales executive, and now farmer and author, has become recognized as among the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. The founder and CEO of Growing Power, Inc., a farm and community food center in Milwaukee, Wis., Allen is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. At Growing Power and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Allen promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, Allen trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces. In 2010, Mr. Allen joined first Lady Michelle Obama as she launched the White House’s “Let’s Move” campaign to address issues affecting American youth and the risk of obesity and in 2010 Mr. Allen was also recognized as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Since then, Mr. Allen has received numerous prestigious awards and recognitions, including the James Beard Award in 2011 and the NCAA Theodore Roosevelt Award in 2012. Allen's new autobiography, The Good Food Revolution, (Gotham Books,) chronicles his unexpected journey from ABA basketball player to Procter & Gamble marketing executive to urban farm activist.
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