WASHINGTON—Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) addressed the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research yesterday during a hearing on opportunities to support specialty crop producers in the 2023 Farm Bill. Welch’s remarks centered on the important role specialty crop producers play in community health and environmental stewardship and highlighted the unique barriers organic specialty crop producers face. The Senator also highlighted his Opportunities in Organic Act, legislation designed to ease costs for agricultural producers hoping to transition to organic production.
“I wonder why we use the words ‘specialty crops’ when we’re kind of talking about healthy food. And healthy food is really important. In the Farm Bill in 2018, we authorized $61.5 billion for commodity crops. And they’re important, but when you compare that to $2 million for horticultural crops, it would suggest that one element is getting pretty generous treatment and another element is being ignored,” said Sen. Welch. “The contradiction is that all of these healthy foods are so good for us. I’m for having a much greater emphasis on trying to get these programs more fully supported.”
Watch video from the hearing here:
To learn more about the Opportunities in Organic Act, please click here.