CHICAGO
10/24/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Urban Farmer Among 'Genius Grant' Winners

Will Allen started a farm in a city, hired teenagers to tend the crops and now distributes the produce to some of the poorest people and priciest restaurants in Chicago and Milwaukee.

For his inventive work in local, urban agriculture, the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation dubbed Allen a genius, awarding him $500,000 to use however he wishes through its prestigious fellowship program.

"We look for creative and talented people from all walks of life," said Jonathan Fanton, MacArthur Foundation president. "Part of the fun of this is we're not only dealing with scientists or artists but people who do farming or fishing."

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