A Southwest Florida man is the recipient of a so-called "genius grant," named as one of 24 MacArthur Fellows nationwide.
Hendry County Greg Asbed, 54, and the rest of the recipients will each receive a stipend of $625,000 to continue work in their specific area.
Other recipients include a painter, a playwright, a mathematician, a social justice organizer, an immunologist and an urban planner.
Asbed has been working for nearly a quarter-century on behalf of poverty-stricken workers in Florida's tomato industry.
He co-founded the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in 1993 to combat injustices in the tomato-growing industry and in 2011 launched the coalition’s Fair Food Program, which uses the purchasing power of brands to compel growers to improve farm workers’ working conditions.
The Florida Tomato Growers Exchange and over a dozen purchasers, including Walmart and major fast-food chains (except Wendy’s), have signed on to the Fair Food Program, which is monitored by the independent Fair Foods Standards Council.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the nation’s largest, is based in Chicago. Read more about all the fellows here.