Press Release

Senator Welch and USDA Undersecretary Moffitt Celebrate Updated Regulations and New Program to Strengthen Organic Enforcement and Support Vermont Farms

Jan 27, 2023

WHITINGHAM, VERMONT – Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Undersecretary Jenny Lester Moffitt toured Corse Farm Dairy today to highlight the Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule, designed to reduce fraud and improve enforcement in the USDA Organic Marketplace. Sen. Welch and Undersecretary Moffitt also celebrated the creation of the new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program.

“Our farms are at the core of Vermont’s rural communities—but they have faced unprecedented obstacles over the last few years, including high feed costs, supply chain disruptions, and a changing climate,” said Senator Welch. “These steps from USDA will support our farms and help them meet the challenges ahead. I look forward to working alongside Under Secretary Moffitt and USDA to support Vermont farms and uphold our proud agricultural tradition.”

“USDA is committed to supporting organic farmers, like those in Vermont, and growing the industry, creating new and better markets to keep people on the farm,” said Under Secretary Moffitt. “Our recent announcements underscore our commitment to this work. With the new Strengthening Organic Enforcement rule, USDA has significantly greater oversight and enforcement authority to help ensure consumers and farmers can have confidence in the integrity of the organic label.  And with the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance program, we will help producers with anticipated higher marketing costs as they face a variety of challenges from weather to supply chain disruptions.”

On January 18th, USDA announced the Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule, the single largest revision to the organic standards since they were first published in 1990. This change will support farms working to adhere to organic standards and enhance accountability.

On January 23rd, USDA announced the creation of a new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program, which will enable USDA to better support small- and medium-sized dairy farms coping with the ongoing effects of the global pandemic. This program was established in response to requests for relief from the Vermont congressional delegation and Vermont dairy farmers.

Senator Welch has long championed Vermont dairy farms, working closely with other members of the Vermont delegation to advocate for our farmers, support organics enforcement, and strengthen our agricultural communities. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

For additional information on the Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule, please click here.

For additional information on the new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program, please click here.