Press Releases

Below please find published press releases and statements:

Groups Celebrate Support for Urban and Innovative Agriculture in New Farm Bill

CONTACT: Marianne Cufone: 813-785-8386,

NEW ORLEANSJan. 8, 2019 -- A coalition of farmers, food and health organizations, including the Recirculating Farms Coalition, the Greater New Orleans Growers Alliance, and the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee, are celebrating a hopeful start to the new year – for the first time, Congress allocated funds and other resources in the Farm Bill specifically to support urban and innovative U.S. agriculture.

Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition, said, "This is a landmark moment. Urban and innovative farms and farmers are a meaningful part of U.S. agriculture, and with this new acknowledgment and support in the Farm Bill, they will be able to contribute even more."

Innovative farming includes hydroponics, land-based aquaculture and aquaponics, which are types of growing systems that Cufone's Coalition specifically works with nationwide.

Urban farming can come in many shapes and sizes, attracting participants of various ages and backgrounds; thus it is expanding steadily throughout the U.S. In recognition of this, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies are increasing support services in and around cities for growers.

Margee Green, a co-founder of the Greater New Orleans Growers Alliance (GNOGA), said, "We've seen steady development in farming, and we expect to see even more people become growers now that there is dedicated support and services from the government. We are excited about the opportunity to work and learn more with our friends in rural areas."

The Recirculating Farms Coalition and GNOGA are part of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee, an organization that advises the New Orleans City Council on farming and food policy. NOLA FPAC members also led outreach and education efforts urging Congress to acknowledge and promote urban and innovative farming.

"The collaborative partners and members that comprise NOLA FPAC advocated at the local and national levels for urban and innovative agriculture to be included in the Farm Bill reauthorization. We are thrilled that Congress recognized the need to specifically support these growers, who can provide fresh, local food in and around cities where it is vital," said NOLA FPAC Executive Director Elisa Munoz.

Urban and innovative farming offers important benefits for both mitigating the effects of and reducing contributions to climate change. Studies note that these farms can save energy by using solar or other alternative sources, manage water by collecting and recycling rainwater – also preventing flooding and runoff – and reduce use of fuel for shipping and refrigeration, as food is produced near consumers. Additionally, smaller farms with unique designs, dispersed throughout cities, can be resilient, providing food when it is most needed.

"With an uncertain and changing climate, investing in urban and innovative agriculture is smart for our future. We applaud Congress for recognizing this in the new Farm Bill," Marianne Cufone said.

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Other Releases and Statements

September 26, 2018 — Court Stops Industrial Fish Farms in the Gulf of Mexico — National

February 16, 2016 — Fishing and Public Interest Groups Sue Feds On New Rules Allowing Industrial Offshore Aquaculture — National

January 13, 2016 — National and Local Groups Oppose Industrial Fish Farming Regulations — National

November 20, 2015 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Denounces FDA Approval of Genetically Modified Salmon for Human Consumption – National

October 6, 2015 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Celebrates National Farm-to-School Month! – Louisiana

September 2, 2015 – USDA Appoints Recirculating Farms Coalition Executive Director to Special Task Force – National

August 29, 2015 – Volunteers Do Community Service With Recirculating Farms Coalition In Commemoration of 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina – Louisiana

May 15, 2015 – Proposed Farm to School Laws Continue Move Forward in Louisiana – Louisiana

May 1, 2015 – Farm to School Law Moves Forward in Louisiana – Louisiana

April 22, 2015 – For Earth Day, Innovative Farming Group Announces Series of Free “Sustainable Farming” Classes — National

April 1, 2015 – Gulf Fisheries Plan for Menhaden Fails to Address Critical Issues – Gulf of Mexico

February 2, 2015 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Awarded Grant to Train and Mentor New and Beginning Farmers; USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden Makes Announcement in New Orleans – National

February 5, 2014 – Statement of Executive Director, Marianne Cufone, on Congress Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill – National

November 6, 2013 – City of New Orleans Celebrates Groundbreaking of Innovative Urban Farm – Growing local NOLA – National

October 29, 2013 – Statement of Executive Director Marianne Cufone, Recirculating Farms Coalition on 9th Circuit Appellate Decision – National

August 13, 2013 – Backyard Gardeners Network, Recirculating Farms Coalition Host Community Day In Lower 9th Ward – Louisiana

February 8, 2013 – Open Ocean Aquaculture Would Harm the Gulf of Mexico: Statement by Marianne Cufone – National

October 22, 2012 – Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Announces Partnership to Build Growing Local NOLA – National

September 24, 2012 – Unique Training Program Will Support New and Beginning Urban Farmers National

August 23, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition, New Orleans Food & Farm Network to Build Innovative Urban Food and Farm Center – National

August 8, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Help Florida Families Eat Healthy During Tough Economy – Florida

July 16, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Urges Congress to Improve Farm Bill – National

June 1, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Help New Orleans Eat Local – Louisiana

April 20, 2012 – Recirculating Farms Coalition Creates First Interactive Map Of U.S. Commercial Water Farms – Helps Consumers Find Fresh Local Food To Celebrate Earth Day – National

February 9, 2012 – AMPS Builds New Orleans’ 1st “Aeroponic” Recirculating Farm, Demonstrates Sustainable Urban Agriculture – National 

October 3, 2011 – New Orleans “Worst food desert in U.S.” and “Best City in America for Foodies” – Louisiana

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – National 

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – California

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Louisiana

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – New York

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Texas

September 15, 2011 – U.S. Food and Jobs Crises Spawn New Nationwide Farming Coalition – Wisconsin