Press Release

Sen. Welch Visits Organic Farms at Burlington’s Intervale Center, Announces Legislation to Support Organic Agriculture 

May 12, 2023

BURLINGTON, VTSenator Peter Welch (D-VT) toured organic farms at Burlington’s Intervale Center today, in celebration of the Opportunities in Organic Act, legislation introduced by the Senator this week to advance organic agriculture in Vermont and in communities across the country. 

“The Intervale embodies the best of Vermont: taking care of one another and the land, sharing skills and knowledge, and working together,” said Sen. Welch. “The Opportunities in Organic Act will help give farmers across the country access to the kind of support the Intervale provides, and that’s essential for our farms and for our future. I’m glad to be here to celebrate this significant step forward for organic farming in America.”  

Organic agriculture plays a pivotal role in Vermont’s economy and provides significant environmental and public health benefits. But many farmers struggle to transition to organic farming because they are unable to afford organic certification or struggle to secure the technical expertise required to make the switch to organic.  

Senator Welch was joined by Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Vermont, the Vermont Organic Farmers, and New Farms for New Americans, a community-based gardening and agriculture program for refugees and immigrants. 

The Intervale Center, along with NOFA VT, provides technical assistance and business guidance to farmers throughout Vermont. The Opportunities in Organic Act brings the philosophy of the Intervale to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), expanding and strengthening the technical assistance USDA provides for organic farmers across the country. 

Founded in 1988, the Intervale Center is 360-acre campus of farmland, trails, and open space located in Burlington, VT. In 2019 alone, the Intervale Center provided more than 140 farms with business and technical assistance, providing essential support for the economic viability and environmental sustainability of Vermont’s farms.  

The Opportunities in Organic Act supports similar initiatives within the USDA, expanding the availability of business and technical assistance for organic farmers and modernizing reimbursements for organic certification. To read more about the recently-introduced Opportunities in Organic Act, please click here.