Mayor Adams Appoints Qiana Mickie As Director Of New Mayors Office Of Urban Agriculture

September 23, 2022

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Qiana Mickie as director of the newly-created Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture.

As a director, Mickie will oversee the administration’s efforts to support, strengthen, and expand the city’s network of community gardens and urban farms, in alignment with Mayor Adams’ vision for a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable city. The announcement comes as the administration celebrates Climate Week.

“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.”

Mayor Adams has long promoted the growth of urban agriculture. As Brooklyn borough president, he invested millions of dollars in capital funding into vertical farming and hydroponics labs in schools throughout the borough.

In 2021, he released the New Agrarian Economy, a policy blueprint for the future of urban agriculture. Through the creation of the new Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture — which signals the mayor’s commitment to supporting the city’s urban farmers — the administration will continue to advance policies to promote the growth of this burgeoning sector.

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“Qiana Mickie’s experience in urban agriculture and perspective on equity is an excellent match for this new office,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “The Mayor‘s Office of Urban Agriculture will play an exciting role in shaping the future of the city’s greenscape and food system policies.” 

“Qiana’s experience shows her strong commitment to environmental justice, food systems, and community resiliency,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Executive Director Kizzy Charles-Guzman. “Urban farms and community gardens play an important role in supporting our climate goals, providing hands-on opportunities for New Yorkers to learn about sustainability and healthy eating and supporting access to nature, biodiversity, and community space that boosts social resiliency. We are excited to welcome Qiana to the team, and for her to lead this work on the intersection of climate policy, food justice, and racial, economic, and environmental equity.”

“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.”

“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Qiana Mickie on her appointment as director of the newly-created Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture,” said New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “With over four decades of commitment to community gardening — sustaining over 550 gardens and supporting more than 20,000 land stewards through our GreenThumb program — we look forward to working with Qiana to advance environmental justice and food equity in the city and amplifying the important role of our community gardens and community growers across the New York City food system.”

“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.“I look forward to working with Qiana and the new Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture to support our city’s community gardens and urban food businesses as we continue to advance the work of Food Forward NYC, our 10-year food policy plan.”

“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. “It’s an area the state is committed to investing in and is supporting in this year’s budget. I’m so pleased to see the mayor’s office’s dedication to advancing the city’s network of community gardens and urban farms in the city and that Qiana will be heading up the new Office of Urban Agriculture. Her expertise and passion for agriculture will help bridge the gap in this area and ensure more food for our communities.”

Qiana Mickie

Qiana Mickie serves as director of the city’s new Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture. For the past 11 years, Mickie’s work has thrived at the intersection of equity, food systems, resiliency, and agriculture. She is also active in local and international policy on issues such as food sovereignty, land tenure, and health.

Mickie is the Founding Principal of QJM Multiprise and has consulted on multiple policy, food and farm businesses, agriculture, and other equity-driven projects, both locally and nationally.

Mickie previously served as the executive director of Just Food. She is on the International Council of Urgenci, Coordination Committee of the Civil Society Mechanism for the United Nations and on the board of the Farmers Market Coalition.

Mickie is a graduate of Hampton University and received her Food Hub Management Certification from the University of Vermont. She is an active speaker on the topics of food justice, and racial, economic, and environmental equity.

Mickie will report to Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi.

Photo credit: Qiana Mickie Source.

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