I grew up on my family’s vegetable and dairy farm in South Newbury, Vermont; I understand firsthand that family farms are essential to our rural communities. They are an economic driver, where communities gather, and provide food and security to our friends and neighbors.
In the wake of the pandemic and with war waging in Ukraine, converging challenges have made times tough for Vermont farms. Due to the workforce crisis, we don’t have enough milk truck drivers. Because of the housing crisis, seasonal workers struggle to find a place to live. And as a result of climate change, the growing season is unpredictable and uncertain. These crises impact food security here at home and across the country – we must invest in local, resilient food systems and our family farms.
In Congress, I’ll make sure our farmers have the resource to feed our communities and fight climate change by:
- Expanding provisions in the Farm Bill to conserve more working lands and increase investment in organic agriculture and dairy.
- Continuing to fund American Rescue Plan USDA grants that provide over $1 billion to ensure underserved communities have the tools, programs, and support they need to succeed in agriculture. This includes the establishment of an Equity Commission to identify barriers to accessing USDA programming.
- Voting to expand Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans and Grants through the USDA. These grants provide affordable financing to develop housing for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farm workers.
- Strengthening and protecting SNAP and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).