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Fighting for Vermont’s Farmers

Peter is working hard to support Vermont’s farmers, especially struggling dairy farmers who are facing unprecedented economic challenges.

  • Enact milk supply management program
  • Strengthen the dairy insurance program
  • Require the FDA to enforce its definition of milk
  • End the corn ethanol mandate that raises the price of feed for farmers, damages small engines, and harms the environment
  • Support organic farmers by funding organic research and imposing oversight of imported organic products
  • Advance the local food movement and farm-to-plate initiatives

More on Fighting for Vermont’s Farmers

May 13, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D), co-chair of the Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus, on Wednesday led a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to do more to support dairy farmers facing an economic crisis due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Leahy is Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the most senior member of the Agriculture Committee. 

May 8, 2020 Press Release

Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) Friday issued the following statement to inform farmers and agribusinesses of newly available assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA).  The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is now available to farm businesses in addition to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

April 14, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Representative Peter Welch, co-founder of the Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus, on Tuesday led a letter to Secretary Perdue, urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support dairy farmers facing an economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 25, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Peter Welch and Joe Courtney (CT-02), co-chairs of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, have led a delegation consisting of all 21 Members of Congress from New England in writing to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, pushing back on comments he made earlier this month at the World Dairy Expo about the future of small dairy farms. In their letter, the members highlighted the importance of family dairy farming to the history, culture, and economy of New England.

September 17, 2019 Press Release

(TUESDAY, Sept. 17, 2019) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) are reminding Vermont dairy farmers that signup for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program ends this Friday, Sept. 20, giving producers just a few more days to enroll.

June 27, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives has approved two appropriations bills that include four initiatives championed by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). The bills, H.R. 2740 and H.R. 3055, fund the operations of various federal agencies for fiscal year 2020.

The following approved Welch amendments boost funding for programs supporting the dairy and maple industries, assist veterans suffering from exposure to military burn pits, and promote economic development in communities along the U.S.-Canadian border:

June 17, 2019 Press Release

(MONDAY, June 17, 2019) - Vermont’s congressional delegation — Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D) — on Monday urged Vermont dairy farmers to consider enrolling in the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, a safety net measure created in the 2018 Farm Bill to help producers manage volatile milk prices and feed costs. The enrollment period opens Monday, and runs through September 20.

May 17, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) led a bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue demanding that he increase trade war relief payments to dairy farmers. Welch and the legislators assert in the letter that the current trade mitigation program has failed to fairly compensate dairy farmers slammed by retaliatory tariffs.

March 14, 2019 Press Release

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) today re-introduced bipartisan legislation in the House that requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take enforcement action against manufacturers labeling non-dairy products as dairy. 

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) cosponsored the Senate version of the bill introduced today by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho).

December 12, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – This afternoon, Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) spoke on the House floor in support of a five-year compromise farm bill hammered out by House and Senate negotiators over the last several weeks. Welch touted the overall benefits of the bill for Vermont, including provisions that benefit the dairy, maple, organic and hemp industries. He also applauded the jettisoning of draconian cuts to nutrition programs for children and low income Vermonters.