Press Release

Vermont Delegation Urges USDA Secretary to Approve Vermont Disaster Designation, Streamline Flood Recovery Funds for Vermont Farmers 

Jul 15, 2023

BURLINGTON, VT — Senators Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch and Congresswoman Becca Balint sent a letter today, urging United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to approve Governor Phil Scott’s request for a Secretarial Disaster Designation for the State of Vermont following catastrophic flooding to farms and rural farming communities.  

“It is imperative that the Federal government, working in conjunction with the state, mobilize as many resources as possible to quickly bring aid to Vermont’s agricultural sector,” the letter reads. “We are heartened that on July 14th, President Biden approved a major disaster declaration for all counties in Vermont, with an additional authorization of individual assistance for six counties. However, Vermont will need additional, ongoing support from USDA. We therefore ask that you quickly approve Governor Scott’s request for a Secretarial Disaster Designation, and any additional requests for support forthcoming from the state.” 

The letter also asked Secretary Vilsack to take steps to expand USDA workforce capacity in Vermont to support loss assessment documentation and the provision of technical assistance to our farmers, residents, and communities. 

Yesterday, the Delegation spoke with Secretary Vilsack about the dire circumstances many farmers and producers face following recent storms and flooding across the state of Vermont. During the call, the group urged Secretary Vilsack to act quickly to provide essential support for Vermont’s farmers and agricultural producers. 

To read the lawmakers’ letter, please click here