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Helping Farmers Thrive

"Vermont’s agrarian way of life has been central to the state’s identity since our founding. As family farmers face unprecedented challenges, it is vital to our economy, our landscape, and our culture that we help them succeed. I will continue to fight for struggling dairy farmers, nutrition programs that keep children healthy, local food production, and renewable energy innovations that bring new revenue to farms."


Spotlight on Farms

As a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, Rep. Welch has worked hard to help Vermont’s dairy farmers cope with wild swings in milk prices. Working with Senators Leahy and Sanders, he added a new dairy insurance program to the 2014 Farm Bill.  He has also fought to ensure dairy farmers get a fair shake in new trade agreements. And, he is leading a bipartisan effort in the House to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard which drives up feed prices.

Rep. Welch also secured provisions in the Farm Bill to boost other important segments of Vermont’s agricultural sector, including the maple industry, crop insurance for small farmers, and a program to encourage schools to serve local fresh fruits and vegetables.  

Click here for my agricultural resources page.


More on Helping Farmers Thrive

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.

November 15, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced the Local School Foods Expansion Act, legislation to improve child nutrition by expanding access to locally-grown, unprocessed fruits and vegetables for school meal programs.

September 20, 2018 Press Release

(THURSDAY, Sept. 20, 2018) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Thursday announced $1,448,371 in grants to the University of Vermont and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets to expand market opportunities and support research and education in the maple industry.  Vermont’s three grants, awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acer Access and Development Program (Acer) account for more than half of the grants awarded nationally this year.


June 21, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, June 21, 2018) — Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Thursday applauded the FDA decision to review comments in response to its proposed guidance that would require maple syrup, honey and other single-ingredient natural products to carry an ‘added sugar’ label.  Welch, joined by Leahy, Sanders, and 18 of their colleagues sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Gottlieb earlier this month asking the FDA to extend the comment period on the proposed labeling and noting that “The simplest, most commonsense solution to this

June 14, 2018 Press Release

(THURSDAY, June 14, 2018) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Thursday issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the deadline until Friday, June 22, for dairy farmers to enroll in the improved Margin Protection Program (MPP).

June 13, 2018 In The News

Rep. Peter Welch says President Donald Trump is playing Russian roulette with Vermont jobs by threatening to impose tariffs on Canada.

The Democratic Congressman held a news conference with industry representatives Tuesday to decry the president's posturing toward Vermont's largest trading partner. Welch noted 19,000 Vermont jobs are linked to trade with Canada. Vermont exports $1.2 billion worth of goods to Canada.

June 8, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – As the comment period for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts Label draws to a close, Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) today sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib insisting he exempt pure maple syrup and honey from any new “added sugars” disclosure requirements.

May 16, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON –  Today, during House floor debate on a new Farm Bill, Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) slammed proposed draconian cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will eliminate a lifeline of nutrition assistance to millions of Americans.

May 2, 2018 In The News

Vermont’s congressional delegation is pushing back against a rule proposed by the Food and Drug Administration that would require producers of pure maple syrup to put “added sugar” labels on their products.

Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch, both Democrats, joined maple syrup producers at Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in Montpelier Tuesday morning to push back against the proposed regulation.

The lawmakers say that the labels would misinform consumers and could harm the industry, which does not put additional sugar in its syrup.

November 8, 2017 In The News

“It’s a mess in Washington,” Congressman Peter Welch told a group of Champlain Valley specialty crop farmers who gathered in Middlebury last week to share their wish lists for the 2018 farm bill. But, despite the dysfunction in much of the nation’s capital,  the Vermont Democrat said there is still hope because there tends to be bipartisan support to “get a decent farm bill.”

Key to building that support, he said, is first gathering specific concerns and recommendations from constituents.