Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power, grew up as part of his family’s 400-year farming legacy, but it wasn’t until he was playing basketball professionally in Belgium and helping teammates on a farm that he had his transformative moment. Upon moving back stateside to his wife’s home in Wisconsin, he bought a 100-acre parcel of land that eventually led to the formation of the Growing Power. Today, the nonprofit is made up of 25 farms employing 140 employees — 300 acres of production, 25 acres of greenhouses, in total. The organization works to train farmers in urban, suburban and rural communities. “You can’t learn how to farm in a classroom — you have to go out and do it,” Allen says. “It is an art, growing food this way. Start out by getting some good soil. We need good soil to grow the high-nutrition food we need to grow.”

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