Dairy & Agriculture
Sen. Sanders believes that small, family farms are fundamentally important for Vermont and America as a whole. In his years representing the Green Mountain State in Congress, Sen. Sanders has worked to promote Vermont's dairy industry, sustainable and organic farming, and good nutrition for every American.
Currently, Congress is considering the 2013 Farm Bill, which will set the nation’s agricultural policy for the next five years. Unfortunately, it faces an uncertain future given the House of Representatives’ inability to pass comprehensive legislation that authorizes agriculture-related programs as well as nutrition programs, including SNAP, our nation's most effective weapon in fighting hunger. Sen. Sanders will continue to advocate for passage of a Farm Bill that meets the needs of farmers and families in Vermont.
Sen. Sanders strongly believes that the dairy industry is a vital part of the fabric of Vermont's communities and a central part of the state's rural economy. He is committed to passing legislation to ensure dairy farmers a fair price for the milk they produce. Sen. Sanders supports the Dairy Security Act, as included in the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill. This policy is based on legislation Sen. Sanders introduced with Sen. Leahy and Rep. Welch in 2010, addressing the volatility in milk prices that has been detrimental to small dairy farms.
Sen. Sanders is proud of Vermont farmers’ pioneering work in the local and sustainable food movement. He has successfully advocated making local food part of school lunches and nutrition assistance programs. Sen. Sanders strongly supports farmers’ markets, value added agriculture, and agri-tourism.
Genetically Modified Food
Sen. Sanders supports the rights of consumers to know what is in their food. In June 2013, Sen. Sanders introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill affirming states’ right to require labeling of genetically engineered ingredients. During the debate, he noted that "All over this country, people are becoming more conscious about the foods they are eating and the foods they are serving to their kids, and this is certainly true for genetically engineered foods…I believe that when a mother goes to the store and purchases food for her child, she has the right to know what she is feeding her child."
Sen. Sanders strongly supports access to good nutrition for every American. With unemployment, under-employment, and low wages plaguing the middle class, many working families rely on nutrition assistance to make ends meet. Sen. Sanders believes that “it is unconscionable that the federal government would cut back on food and nutrition assistance to states as our nation struggles to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.”