MONTPELIER, VT — Last week in Wisconsin, the Republican US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, warned dairy farmers may not survive as the factory farm model moves to overtake family farms.

Perdue stated: “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out. I don’t think in America we, or any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.”

Vermont Democratic Party spokesperson R. Christopher Di Mezzo released the following statement:

“It is clear that the future of the family dairy farm is not a concern of Secretary Perdue. The Trump administration writ large, through the Department of Agriculture and its trade policy, has demonstrated a detrimental disregard for rural Americans and their lifeblood.

“Republicans for too long have used rural America and family farms as political pawns in electoral politics and, as it seems, in trade wars — causing famers to close up shop and find other work. In 2018 alone, 10% of Vermont’s dairy farms closed their doors.

“The luxury of silence on this issue and others cannot be afforded to Republicans like Phil Scott and Deb Billado while the national leaders of their party throw support behind large agribusinesses, leaving family farms in the dust. Vermont’s family farms deserve the respect of their political leaders and deserve to know who is in their corner.”

Background: The VDP’s platform states the Party’s support for small farms: The agricultural and forestry sectors are a critical part of Vermont’s heritage and our modern economy. We support efforts to sustain and grow these sectors, supporting environmentally sound and economically innovative efforts to strengthen these industries, especially small farms, and ensure dignity for all who work in this field, regardless of immigration status.

The VTGOP’s platform makes no such mention of small farm preservation or protection — in fact, does not mention Vermont’s agriculture industry in any form.


R. Christopher Di Mezzo
Director of Communications & Outreach
Vermont Democratic Party
(315) 368-3660
t | @rcdimezzo