Below please find published press releases and statements.
Statement of Executive Director, Marianne Cufone, on Congress Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill
February 5, 2014
Both the House and Senate of the U.S. Congress have now passed the same version of the Agriculture Act of 2014, the reauthorization of the law commonly known as the Farm Bill. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation, making it law soon. The new Farm Bill comes with changes not just for farmers, but also for children, low-income communities and many others nationwide on food access and quality.
While the Bill includes some important provisions, after a more than 2-year wait for its finalization, it is not what it could or should be. Among its weaknesses is the failure to formally recognize recirculating farming as an expanding part of U.S. agriculture. These eco-efficient growing methods include hydroponics (raising plants without soil in nutrient-rich water), recirculating aquaculture (raising fish in a recirculating tank system) and aquaponics (growing plants and raising fish together in one combined system). Such farms are closed-loop, and recycle water and waste. Recirculating farms are ideal operations for farmers of all backgrounds and ages. They can be inexpensive to build and run in virtually any setting, including indoors, on paved urban lots, and even otherwise unused spaces, like rooftops. These farms are an innovative, and exciting way for new farmers to join in the burgeoning local food movement and provide fresh, healthy foods for themselves and their communities. The Recirculating Farms Coalition is greatly disappointed that Congress missed this easy opportunity to acknowledge recirculating farming as a notable and meaningful contribution to U.S. agriculture and our food systems.
Additionally, there are severe cuts to social food programs. For example, funding for food stamps, officially, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will be reduced by about $8 billion over the next decade. This significantly undermines any progress made for those not currently working and low-income communities to have access to fresh, healthy food. At a time when unemployment rates are relatively high, nationwide obesity rates are over 35% and 20% of people say they struggle to buy food – this is a significant blow to our country’s health and well-being.
We urge President Obama to revisit these and other critical issues before the end of his final term in office, and show a type of forward-thinking leadership that is necessary for the U.S.
Other Releases and Statements:
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 – Wisconsi