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US Composting Council names award winners

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.

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.

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. Gouin is a nationally and internationally recognized scientist and extension specialist in the area of compost use 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 (IERCF), received the 2012 Composter of the Year Award for excellence in compost production and marketing. The IERCF 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.