The new director of the office of urban agriculture, Qiana Mickie. Photo courtesy of LinkedIn
A new mayoral office: The Office of Urban Agriculture, was initiated by Mayor Eric Adams last Friday as Climate Week came to a close. The office will seek to strengthen community gardens and urban farms contingent on the mayor’s efforts to make the city more healthy, equitable and sustainable.
“Making our cityscape greener isn’t just a slogan — it’s a centerpiece of our agenda,” said Mayor Adams. “Urban agriculture is a growing industry in our city that has the potential to expand the supply of healthy and locally-grown food, create jobs, and make our city more resilient. Qiana brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this role, and as director of the new Office of Urban Agriculture, she will play an integral role in advancing my food and sustainability agenda.”
In 2021, the mayor’s office released “The New Agrarian Economy” which outlined a blueprint of modern urban agriculture in New York. The Office of Urban Agriculture, spearheaded by Qiana Mickie, will advance new efforts in the agricultural sector.
“As a lifelong New Yorker, I’m excited to bring my decades plus experience as a food and agriculture leader to the role, and I’m honored to establish the city’s first-ever Office of Urban Agriculture,” said Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture Director Qiana Mickie.
“The creation of the office signifies the acknowledgment of the contributions of historic urban agriculture champions, as well as the breadth of knowledge in the current landscape of urban agriculture growers, producers, entrepreneurs and land stewards. Mayor Adams and the administration chose a critical moment to focus on the interconnectedness of our natural and built environment and the potential to spur urban agriculture development, advance innovation, and cultivate equity in our city. I’m energized to work with my fellow agencies such as the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice and, along with the mayor, to further integrate urban agriculture, climate resiliency, and equity into the fabric of our great city and food system.”
For the past 11 years, Director Mickie has worked in equitable food systems and agriculture. Mickie has consulted on the issues of food sovereignty, land tenure and health, as well as multiple policy fronts: food and farm business, agriculture and local and national equity-driven projects, according to the mayor’s office.
“Qiana’s understanding of the complexity of urban agriculture combined with her real-world lived expertise makes her a welcome addition to the administration,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Food Policy Executive Director Kate MacKenzie.
“Our community gardens and urban farms are an increasingly important sector of our agricultural economy, helping to feed our underserved communities and providing an opportunity to connect the dots and ensure our communities understand more about the food system,” said New York State Department of Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball.