Press Release

Senator Welch Hosts Listening Session on Making Rural Communities More Resilient 

Apr 26, 2024

WAITSFIELD, VT –  Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, hosted a listening session in Waitsfield with community members and local leaders to discuss how Congress can better support rural communities in Vermont and across America.  

“Right now, Vermont’s rural communities are facing enormous challenges—including a lack of affordable housing, an overdose crisis, costs that are too high—and on top of that, we’re still recovering from last summer’s brutal flooding,” said Senator Welch. “These are many of the same challenges facing rural communities across the country. I’m bringing Vermonters’ concerns and priorities back down to D.C. with me, and will work across the aisle every day to support, strengthen, and rebuild better than before.” 

Senator Welch has championed legislation to connect rural communities to high-speed broadband, conserve and protect wild spaces, repair and reimagine rural water infrastructure systems, and lower energy costs while advancing clean energy projects. This listening session was part of his continued work to uplift and highlight the opportunities to strengthen rural America. 

Senator Welch was joined by local leaders, business owners, and champions for rural development, including Sarah Waring, Rural Development State Director for USDA; Roger Nishi of Waitsfield & Champlain Valley Telecom; Melissa Bounty of Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation; and Adeline Druart of Lawson’s Finest Liquids.  

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