Press Release

Welch Leads Colleagues in Requesting Robust Funding for Key Federal Programs to Support and Grow Organic Agriculture Industry  

May 9, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) this week led his colleagues in calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to bolster investments in federal programs that support organic infrastructure, as part of the upcoming FY25 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. These organic-specific programs, including the National Organic Program (NOP), Organic Transitions Research Program (ORG), Organic Production and Market Data Initiatives (ODI), and the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), deserve standard congressionally appropriated grant funding to provide the research, technical support, and regulatory oversight to help the organic industry flourish. 

The letter was sent to the bipartisan leadership of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies and was signed by Sen. Welch and Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Angus King (I-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). 

“As you draft the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, we request that you continue to invest in the rapidly growing organic agriculture industry by funding key programs outlined below. Organic agriculture provides environmental benefits and bolsters local economies by supporting nearly 28,000 family farms and businesses. In 2022, total organic sales in the United States topped $67 billion, nearly doubling 2013 sales of $34 billion. This trend is likely to continue as more consumers seek organic goods. However, federal support is needed to help current and future organic producers meet the growing demand,” wrote the lawmakers.  

“While federal funds appropriated to support organic agriculture have been modest in recent years, the return on that investment has been substantial and impactful. From farm fields to businesses, organic agriculture continues to be a growing industry which provides jobs throughout the supply chain. We ask that you continue to support its growth by funding the organic-specific programs outlined in this letter,” the lawmakers continued. 

Read and download the full letter here.