U.S. Composting Council Honors Will Allen of Growing Power
BETHESDA, MD, February 7, 2013 – Urban agriculturist, composter, and food justice advocate Will Allen of Growing Power was recognized by the United States Composting Council (USCC) for his outstanding service to the composting industry through grassroots efforts by being named the 2012 recipient of the H. Gregory Clark Award.
The awards ceremony was held during the USCC 21st Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, January 30th, during which Mr. Allen presented to, and deeply inspired, an audience of over 200 composting industry professionals.
Mr. Allen said he was honored to be recognized by an association of professionals who, like himself, understands “it’s all about the soil.”
The H. Clark Gregory Award is given to an individual who has displayed outstanding service to the composting industry through various grassroots efforts, including backyard composting, vermi-composting, or public or end user education.
Growing Power produces and sells vermi-compost every year, and provides compost education to thousands of individuals from around the world through workshops and facility tours.
“Will’s indefatigable effort to educate the public on the importance of growing healthy soil, nutritious food, and safe, thriving communities has had a tremendous impact on our nation’s understanding of composting and its role in the urban agriculture movement,” said Michael Virga, USCC Executive Director. “Will points out, as do our members, that the road to healthy, sustainable living begins with the soil beneath our feet.”
Also recognized at the awards luncheon was compost pioneer Francis Gouin, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland (retired), as the 2012 recipient of the Hi Kellogg Award for outstanding service to the composting industry. Dr. Gouin is a nationally and internationally recognized scientist and extension specialist in the area of compost use and ornamental and environmental horticulture. During his career he served as Chair of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland, authored hundreds of papers, articles and newsletters, and developed the Master Composters Program in conjunction with the Master Gardeners program in Maryland.
Jeffrey Ziegenbein, of Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA), received the 2012 Composter of the Year Award for excellence in compost production and marketing. The IERCA was constructed in a retrofitted IKEA warehouse, processes 200,000 wet tons of organic material per year and is the largest indoor composting facility in North America.
Incoming USCC President Lorrie Loder was welcomed to her new position and the USCC recognized past USCC Presidents: Sharon Barnes (1999), Stuart Buckner (2000), Jack Hoeck (2001), Kevin Tritz (2002-2004), Carl Kipp, Jr. (2005), Matthew Cotton (2006-2008), Wayne King, Sr. (2009-2010), and Frank Franciosi (2011-2012).