Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Release Of The Committee’s Farm Bill Draft

With this draft, the Senate is moving toward next week’s committee consideration of the Farm Bill on a starkly more bipartisan footing than the House has done with the pending partisan Republican bill.  I applaud Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for working together to draft this proposal as a bipartisan starting point.

Every five-year Farm Bill is always important to Vermont families, to Vermont farmers and to our state’s economy in many ways.  Vermont farmers look to USDA for technical help, for support in ensuring fair market access for their products, and for support with conservation efforts.  Rural communities across Vermont benefit from economic development support.  And nutrition programs help ensure the health and vitality of our children, our families and our farms.  That is why I chose to join the Agriculture Committee from the start of my Senate service, and I’m proud to have served as its chairman.

When the Committee considers this bill next week, Vermonters will continue to have a front and center seat at the table as this bill is written.  I will pay close attention to the food security of all Americans, the viability of our dairy farms and the success of organic agriculture.  I will continue to champion other Vermont priorities, such as the rural economic development programs that are especially important to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. 

This Farm Bill is one of the most important issues before Congress this year, and my goal is to continue to help shape it to benefit Vermont and rural communities across the country.

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